Friday, February 09, 2007

For the Real Deal, Turn To An SFF Author

by Tom Bozzo

Dean Baker complains that this NYT article on the screwed-up state of British passenger railways fails to mention the privatization that is, in no small part, responsible for the mess. For the unvarnished version, turn to China MiƩville in the Socialist Review (writing about New Labour's nascent effort to revive the British space program; via Making Light):
Thanks to privatisation, getting a train from London to Birmingham is such a lunatic thicket of contradictory rules, cancellations and deals it's easier to walk. Tube maintenance is handed to Metronet, whose performance is so crap that even the official arbiter of "public-private partnerships" is compelled to tantrums. This is the "transport vision" of a government and its corporate pals that now want to get a rocket to the stars. I wouldn't trust them to push a wheelbarrow to a shed.
Where's Sir Topham Hatt when you need him?!

BONUS: Charlie Stross, from The Atrocity Archives...
[L]o, in the thrusting entrepreneurial climate of the early nineties a new government came to power with a remit to bring about the triumph of true socialism by privatising the post office and air traffic control systems, and DERA didn't stand much of a chance.

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