FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist  Chat Chat  UsergroupsUsergroups  CalendarCalendar RegisterRegister   ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

1963: oil cartels' Dr Beeching decimates British railways

Post new topic   Reply to topic    9/11, 7/7 & the War on Freedom Forum Index -> The Bigger Picture
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Trustworthy Freedom Fighter
Trustworthy Freedom Fighter

Joined: 13 Jan 2007
Posts: 2498
Location: Westminster, LONDON, SW1A 2HB.

PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:58 pm    Post subject: 1963: oil cartels' Dr Beeching decimates British railways Reply with quote

'Bomber Beeching': Undo vandalism & get Britain back on track
Published time: 14 Nov, 2014 17:14

When the 50th anniversary of Britain’s ‘Beeching Report’ passed recently, magazines TV and radio all marked the occasion with retrospectives on the man who took a hatchet to half the 4,000-odd stations and 6,000 miles of Britain’s railways.
Back in 1963, Dr. Richard Beeching ripped the heart out of the world’s first and greatest railway network, but not one of those articles or programs mentioned that Beeching had no qualifications whatever for what was an accountant's job. His expertise was metallurgy and he'd just helped develop Britain's first atomic bomb. Britain was the first country to industrialize and used her manufacturing muscle to become the great empire in the 19th century. It wasn’t just technology, like the invention of the steam engine, but a national policy of mass urbanization, transferring labor from agriculture to armaments and industry that put Britain ahead of the world. Mass evictions of the peasantry, known as enclosures, kept the wheels turning in the factories, William Blake’s ‘Dark Satanic Mills’ were filled with hundreds of thousands of homeless men with hungry families to house and feed, desperate for money for rent and food. The wider empire was built on one particular invention, the railway. Moving coal, iron ore, wool and other raw materials as well as manufactured goods off the canals and uphill, down dale, cheaply and at speed gave Britain the edge as a massive shipbuilding program projected Queen Victoria’s power across the globe. Even as Britain’s influence waned between the wars and the deliberate retreat from empire post WWII to make way for the US empire, the railways underpinned everything, moving people, goods and services, wherever they were needed and with a minimum of cost or fuss. Across the Atlantic in the 1920s, though, people were about to be forced off the rails. Rockefellers’ Standard Oil Company teamed up with the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, Mack Truck and General Motors automobile lobby to set up a bogus public transport firm National City Lines (NCL). Streetcar (tram) companies all over the US were taken over by NCL, which deliberately failed to maintain or replace worn out vehicles. As streetcar lines collapsed, commuters were persuaded to buy automobiles that were rolling off the new production lines. Though the Standard Oil monopoly before it had been broken up by US antitrust laws, the Rockefeller shareholding family was finding new ways to extend its influence. Part of the NCL plan was to make future governments dependent on them for fuel tax revenue. It was Nazi Germany that brought autobahns to the world, followed by US freeways and eventually European auto-routes and motorways in the 1960s. The agenda was threefold: shift travel away from unionized public transport, increase oil consumption – and therefore fuel and vehicle tax revenue - and finally to shift power, forever, into the hands of giant private oil companies like Exxon, Shell and BP. This was a brave new fossil fuel led world where a dependency on energy would drive economic growth like never before. Governments and people alike would have to get used to the car. Public transport was way too fuel-efficient. ‘Beeching Report’: Myth v reality A two-week rail strike just before the 1955 general election in Britain, which some now believe was deliberately provoked for political gain, brought the country to a halt. A 'state of emergency' was declared two weeks into June and the political classes were reminded just how reliant the nation was on the whim of transport unions. Although the oil companies hadn't made it public, North Sea Oil had also been discovered, so in order to attract US investment into the ambitious offshore drilling program there was pressure from the oil lobby behind the scenes to open up a vast new market for petrol in the UK before releasing the cash to build the rigs. The new oil stream must not be allowed to depress the world oil price and demand for the petrodollar. With consecutive governments, particularly Tory Transport Secretary Ernest Marples - who owned road-building firm Marples Ridgeway - the industrial lobby got its way. Passenger travel on the railways would in future subsidize bulk freight transport. Even the newly-constructed state-of-the-art freight marshaling yards such as Whitemoor in Cambridgeshire were phased out, with the railways only taking container traffic or entire train loads of coal, ore, etc. for big business. One third of the rail network and half the stations had been closed. Who was 'Ax Man' Dr. Richard Beeching? Retired railway manager and author Ted Gibbins explained in his ‘Blueprints For Bankruptcy’ (1995) that the government’s British Transport Commission, later the British Railways Board too, had been consistently forced to keep fares artificially low by the government. The railways had been 'regulated' into making a loss year after year, when on a looser rein they could easily have turned a profit. Both in 1963 and five decades later in 2013, commentators mused about Beeching’s credentials for the job of ‘reshaping’ Britain’s railways. And well they might. The plan was sold to public and politicians on two myths: those railways could no longer make money and that the door-to-door technology of the motor car was simply more convenient. Few seemed to envisage the long commutes and choked roads of today. So it was with the stage set for the revolutionary motor car which was already sweeping across the United States and Germany that, out of nowhere, Beeching stepped on to the national stage with the grim news that Britain’s railways’ days were numbered. In ‘Doctor Who? Atomic Bomber Beeching and His War on the Railways’ (2013 eBook), former editor of the British Aircraft Corporation’s magazine and MEP Richard Cottrell was the first to expose the Ax Man’s shadowy past. Introduced to the British public simply as chairman of Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) Beeching's link to explosives and nuclear weapons was never mentioned. After a stint at the Woolwich Arsenal designing anti-tank weapons in World War II, Beeching had been moved on to the top secret ‘Tube Alloys’ project which was a cover for the development of the first British atomic weapons. At Royal Ordnance’s secret Fort Halstead base under the North Downs near Sevenoaks in Kent, Cottrell reveals, Beeching’s expertise in metallurgy made a key contribution to Britain’s rudimentary nuclear arsenal. The success of Britain’s 1950s atomic testing program brought Beeching the top job at ICI. Qualifications in metallurgy and state-of-the-art explosives were not, you might think, the ideal qualification for a man whose job was to go through the accounts of British Railways with a fine toothed comb. No, the reason Beeching was hired was because the Conservative government had already decided his job was chop up the railways to make way for the motor car and they needed a figurehead that could keep his mouth shut. With lines to be closed decided before Beeching's 'surveys' took place civil servants at the Department of Transport set about the simple but impish task of meddling with train timetables to make sure branch line trains left just before connecting trains arrived, nudging ever more passengers off the railways. Running costs of lines they wanted to close were grossly inflated, but nether rail unions nor public were allowed to see the figures to check them. Where these fraudulent figures were exposed, as in the pamphlet ‘The Great Isle Of Wight Train Robbery’ (1969) press, public and political furor led to lines earmarked for closure being reprieved, but atomic Bomber Beeching ran a tight ship and exposures of his closure orders to scrutiny were few and far between. A top secret de-industrialization plan was in place too. In late 1967, British Rail printed a secret 'Blue Book of Maps' with details of coalmines, steelworks etc. and associated rail lines secretly earmarked for closure over succeeding decades. Britain's devastating 1984/5 mine closure program and subsequent strike had been secretly anticipated by government and oil industry alike, decades before. David Henshaw in his ‘Great Railway Conspiracy’ (1991) is one of the only analysts to have understood the secret Marples/Beeching axis untruth that rural rail, and urban rail outside London, could never pay its way, was simply propaganda cooked as a cover story, to take out the competition, by the oil industry and roads lobby. Before addiction to oil & cars suffocates us all… What hapless Britons are left with now after railway privatization in 1993 is the most expensive railway network in the world to travel on. In some places 10 times dearer than an equivalent journey in Austria, for example, a whole succession of racketeers from track and rolling stock owners to platform and turnstile operators draw their pound of flesh, from the great British public’s need to get around. Banks and hedge funds own the rolling stock which is leased to deeply-indebted train operating companies such as First Group, which leases the bare minimum of carriages. This leaves trains jam-packed with standing-room only through large parts of the day. Even the minimum fares seem carefully pegged just above what it would cost in petrol to make a journey by car. A legacy, perhaps, of the energy industry's economic imperative, still nudging rail commuters to buy a car. Along with electricity, gas, water, telecommunications, defense procurement, airports, the Royal Mail postal service, home care and housing, rail travel is just another government-approved scam. With commuters lining the pockets of overpaid bosses and shareholders, and exorbitant prices for what should be national utilities, turning a profit, at home or in business, becomes almost impossible. Like energy and housing costs, travel costs by rail or car are slowly bankrupting families and small businesses alike. If policies don't change, all that will be left will be the boards of directors of the giant transnational corporations who have won the favor of what is now the ultimate power in the Western world, the banksters. New Zealand discovered state railways work for public Perhaps Britain's free post war socialist health service and social security miracle meant the British had it too good for too long? Perhaps because the London media is too close to the City's dark heart? Or perhaps it's just because all the main political parties have sold out? But the British public, it seems, will put up with anything. Not so in New Zealand, where privatization of the railways brought about a political storm as well as a split in the Labour party. It was re-nationalized in 2008. Meanwhile, as the British government sinks ever deeper into the black it will be forced to consider the astounding success of Britain's only state run East Coast Main Line region which is not only top-rated in the UK for customer satisfaction but, unlike the privately run regions, has paid over a billion pounds into the treasury. Nevertheless the government is determined to sell off the East Coast operating company two months before the general election in March 2015. "Reprivatization of the East Coast Main Line defies all economic logic and is nothing less than an act of industrial vandalism," rail union leader Mick Cash told the Guardian in September this year. It seems even with such a crystal clear example of the only state run railway being the best in the country the government still determined to overturn it and set up another racket with a Tory party donor in charge and hundreds of thousands of captive passengers as the victims. It's a tough ask, but perhaps so close to a general election, and with Labour toying with the idea of rail nationalization, they, together with the commuting public could break the combined lobby of the oil industry, road lobby, media and banks? The railway racket has come to sum up everything about Britain's post 'swinging ’60s' decline, but perhaps, as in New Zealand the angry voice of commuters, squeezed in like sardines, and the cold hard economic successes of nationalization can turn things around? Beeching's accidental stroke of genius Bomber’s legacy, though, hasn’t been all betrayal. By accident his hatchet fell at the same time that Britain’s steam locomotives, kept on well beyond their continental networks because of Britain’s plentiful supplies of coal, were being replaced by diesels. Those steam engines chuffed off to the overgrown lines that Beeching closed, and as a result many have been preserved. Now over 150 charitable steam railways, some of which are regular enough to be used by commuters, are dotted across the country on the old closed lines. It is as if those heritage rail services are biding their time, waiting for the day when the policy-makers slip out of the grip of the oil lobby, regain their sanity and re-lay the old tracks. Travelers can then once again begin to pay, for the first time since the 1960s, just a little more than it costs railway operator, to get where they need to go.

'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Trustworthy Freedom Fighter
Trustworthy Freedom Fighter

Joined: 13 Jan 2007
Posts: 2498
Location: Westminster, LONDON, SW1A 2HB.

PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exclusive: John Major's government planned to ‘smash up the unions’ in preparation for British Rail privatisation
Declassified Cabinet Office files from the early 1990s show the government was aware that breaking up the national railway network could endanger public safety

JOHN MAJOR’S government considered “smashing the unions” as a “priority” objective of privatising British Rail, newly declassified documents reveal.

Cabinet Office files from the early 1990s, which are being released today to the National Archives, also show that the government was aware that breaking up the national railway network could endanger public safety.

The documents lay bare a rift between then transport secretary Malcolm Rifkind and Prime Minister Mr Major over the shape that the new privatised railway should take.

Mr Rifkind favoured prioritising the sell-off of British Rail’s Intercity sector as a “vertically integrated” business covering both track and trains.

But Mr Major preferred a “line of route” approach, splitting the railway up into privatised regions akin to those that existed prior to nationalisation in 1948.

In a briefing for Mr Major on December 12 1991, political adviser Jonathan Hill asked whether Mr Rifkind’s model would “really smash the power of the unions.”

In the same document, Mr Hill had already set out the need to ensure that privatisation “breaks BR up and smashes the unions.”

This form of words appears in a list of “priorities” that the adviser said Mr Major “made clear” at a summit on rail privatisation at Chequers, the prime minister’s official country residence.

On being told of the new revelations, rail union leaders said the papers confirmed what they had suspected all along.

“After 25 years in which Britain's privatised railways have been turned into a money-raking racket, the truth is now out at last,” RMT general secretary Mick Cash said.

“Privatisation was simply about busting the unions and exploiting the travelling public in the name of Tory ideology and grotesque corporate greed.

“With nearly three-quarters of the British people now supporting a return to public ownership of our railways and with Chris Grayling, Theresa May and their shambolic minority government on the ropes, it’s no longer a question of if, it’s simply a question of when.”

Other “priorities” listed by Mr Hill include ensuring that privatisation is “popular with passengers” and “is simple to explain and understand.”

The adviser, now best known for his short stint as Britain’s EU commissioner, also stressed the need to ensure that privatisation “will not allow our opponents to play the ‘safety’ card.”

In the event, the privatisation of British Rail did not follow either of the models most discussed in the files.

Instead, the government awarded 25 different franchises to private train operators. The infrastructure, including the track and most stations, was taken over by Railtrack, which, following several fatal rail accidents, was later dissolved and replaced by publicly owned Network Rail.

The files show another Downing Street official, Barry H Potter, asserting that “the smaller the number of lines linked together to form a saleable private company … the easier it becomes to break up British Rail and union control of the rail network.”

Mr Hill also criticised Mr Rifkind for proposing that railway staff should maintain their employment conditions when transferred to the private sector. “We obviously cannot tie the hands of the would-be franchisees in this way,” the prime minister’s adviser wrote.

'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website

Joined: 25 Jul 2005
Posts: 16565
Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2018 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

British rail passengers spend six times more on train fares than European counterparts
Those commuting from Luton to London pay an average of £387 a month - compared with the £61 paid by those in Paris and Rome
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/british-rail-passenger s-rpice-hike-train-fares-europe-income-southern-virgin-gwr-a7506711.ht ml

Shehab Khan @ShehabKhan - Tuesday 3 January 2017 10:08 - 355 comments

Train fares in Britain increased by an average of 2.3 per cent
Rail passengers are spending six times more on fares than their peers in Europe - with 14 per cent of their income being spent on monthly season tickets.

Those commuting from Luton to London pay an average of £387 a month, significantly more than the £61 paid by those in Paris and Rome.

This equates to an average of 14 per cent of monthly earnings, significantly higher than the 2 per cent seen in France, 3 per cent in Germany and 4 per cent in Spain, according to Action for Rail.

How UK rail fares have risen against the cost of living since 1995
Read more

Rail passengers hit by hikes of up to £2,100 in cost of annual tickets

Southern rail passengers warned of 'severe' New Year disruption

Man in Peterborough found impaled on metal railings on Christmas Day

Christmas disruption starts early for thousands of rail passengers
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said that not only are prices high but trains were “overcrowded”, “understaffed” and the infrastructure was “out-of-date”.

"British commuters are forced to shell out far more on rail fares than others in Europe. Many will look with envy at the cheaper, publicly-owned services on the continent,” he said.

"Years of failed privatisation have left us with sky-high ticket prices, overcrowded trains, understaffed services and out-of-date infrastructure. Private train companies are milking the system, and the government is letting them get away with it."




Distance (miles)

Monthly season ticket cost

Monthly earnings

% of monthly earnings



London St. Pancras






Liverpool Lime Street

Manchester Piccadilly

































RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: "British passengers are paying the highest fares in Europe to travel on rammed services while the private train companies are laughing all the way to the bank. Companies like Southern Rail and their French owners are siphoning off cash to subsidise rail services in Paris and beyond."

Mick Whelan, the General Secretary of ASLEF added: "It is scandalous that the government is allowing privatised train companies to make even more money for providing an ever-poorer service. We have the most expensive railway in Europe and the train companies, aided and abetted by this government, are about to make it even more costly for people to travel."

Action for Rail
Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling said: “Thanks to action by the Government on train ticket prices, wages are growing faster than regulated fares. This commitment to cap regulated fares in line with inflation will save annual season ticket holders an average £425 in the five years to 2020.

“To improve services, we are investing more than £40billion into our railways. This will provide passengers with better trains that are faster and more comfortable.

"We are delivering the biggest rail modernisation programme for more than a century, providing more seats and services. We have always fairly balanced the cost of this investment between the taxpayer and the passenger.

"On average, 97% of every £1 of a passenger's fare goes back into the railway.”

UK news in pictures
Show all 50
19 November 2018
18 November 2018
17 November 2018
16 November 2018
Campaigners will be protesting outside rail stations across the country in response to the increase in rail prices.

Protests are expected at more than 100 stations across the country, with the largest planned for King’s Cross in London, Glasgow Central and Manchester Piccadilly.

"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    9/11, 7/7 & the War on Freedom Forum Index -> The Bigger Picture All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group