Off the rails and not in the room

The Herald continues to demonise the First Minister with the above connection. Two days ago, it was this:

I said my bit about the demonisation of SNP leaders there:

Yesterday, they had this:

The transport minister was clear on Reporting Scotland – “I’m not in the room”. Those in the room, the RMT and Scotrail, were not interviewed.


2 thoughts on “Off the rails and not in the room

  1. It was so predictable the BritNats would never accept Scotland having a nationalised train service. The fact that the actual rail network in Scotland is under English control means they can sabotage the Scottish system whenever they like with frequent delays, and shutting down parts of the system. British nationalist unions can’t accept that Scotland has taken train services out of private hands, simply because the unions don’t bother to criticise the appalling running of the privatised railway that was sold off lock stock and barrel rather than the nationalised system being invested in and upgraded.

    When public services are sold off to private profiteers aside it being wholly unethical (unless a referendum is held to actually ask the public if they agree) it’s never for the good of the country or economy, and certainly never for the benefit of the people reliant on the service. Privatisation of any public service is a scam, and begs the question, just what do the English government do with the taxes they collect from the public, aside pay themselves massive renumerations (especially the £300+ a day in the HOLs) and expenses.

    I suspect there are going to be many acts of sabotage on the newly nationalised trains service in Scotland, the British state will make sure of that. Only by being independent with full fiscal powers and full control of the actual rail network, will Scotland
    have a 21st century rail system. Meanwhile the Scottish government will just have to keep calling out the British nationalist attempts to undermine Scotland’s public services. Scottish BritNats at Holyrood would much rather have public services in private hands but paid for by the people, including the Scottish NHS and Scottish water, than have them publicly owned.

    Scotland must never allow any British nationalist English HQ’d party to sell off their public services again, but only independence can guarantee that.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The thing about the lack of drivers illustrates your point Art. To blame new management – in the job about six weeks – for the lack of drivers is beyond stupid. It’s just political expedience.
    A trainee driver’s pay is £27,483 during the first year of intensive training. As a newly qualified driver the salary is £38,194, after 6 months £40,792 and after 9 months £43,810. On successful completion of all training and the probation period, the salary is £48,360 a year. So that is 27 months to fully train a driver, or at least 12 months to become qualified.
    The SG have been in the job for six weeks, so the lack of drivers is clearly something that has to be laid at the door of the previous management. Or can it? Let me tell you a story.
    In 2019 a nurse applied to become a train driver (look at the numbers above and you can see why). However, very shortly afterwards the lockdown started and she heard no more. She even changed her employment to another nursing job at the start of this year. However, after only a few weeks in her new job she got a letter from ScotRail offering her a place on their training scheme – 2-2.5 years after she applied. Why might that be? With Covid restrictions it seems almost certain that training has had to be curtailed, and – particularly in the early stages of the pandemic – perhaps stopped altogether. The schools and universities closed, with learning going online, but you can hardly train drivers with a few videos on Youtube, or online meetings.
    So, if training, as I surmise has been reduced because of the pandemic, this does not mean that drivers have not been retiring/ moving to other employments/ just being ill (you might have noticed even the FM has been found to have Covid) without being replaced at the usual rate. In those circumstances a shortage of drivers is to be expected.
    But to hold the new management responsible for a problem that has been marinating for much of the pandemic is beyond ridiculous and can only be explained by political animus.
    This reaches a peak with the “report” in the Herald that “ScotRail cuts mean last trains for Scotland’s World Cup clash with Ukraine will leave before kick off”. Now, what they are talking about is the last train to Aberdeen leaving at 6.41pm, to Dundee at 7.10pm, and to Perth at 7.37pm.
    The last train to Aberdeen tonight (before the new timetable comes in) was at 21.40. To be fair there were trains to Dundee and Perth at about 11.00, but even then let’s consider the logistics if you live in any of these places and are going to the match.
    The game starts at 7.45, so including the 90 minutes + half time, it is unlikely to finish before 9.30, probably a little bit later. If it goes to extra time, that is going to be after 10, and if penalties something like 10.30.
    So, you live in Dundee, you are making your way home from Hampden and plan to take the train. Optimistically you are unlikely to join the almost invariably long queue at Mount Florida not long before 10. Being optimistic say you have to wait 20 minutes to get on a train, the journey is on average 12 minutes, so by the time we get to 10.30 you are in Central Station but need to be over at Queen Street, which is supposed to be six minutes (according to Google). So let’s say 10.45, or in time for the last train with about 25 minutes to spare.
    BUT, this assumes that the game is finished after 90 minutes, you are out of Hampden before the pea in the ref’s whistle has stopped vibrating, that the queue at Mount Florida isnt too awful, and in particular that nothing goes wrong.
    If the game doesnt finish by 9.30, or you live in Aberdeen, forget it. Thus I suspect that anyone coming down from Aberdeen, Dundee or Perth is coming down in a bus being run for the occasion, or by private car. About the only reason for running this story is another week kick at the SG, no matter how unreasonable it is at every level and in every respect.


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