Note to Trade Unions: You Can't Trust Nationalists

Submitted by Janine on Tue, 17/04/2007 - 15:32

Below is a press release from RMT revealing that the Scottish National Party (SNP) has dropped its previous policy in support of rail renationalisation after ... getting big bucks from private rail owners.

Stagecoach owner Brian souter is also a notorious homophobe, having bankrolled the unsuccessful campaign to keep Section 28 in Scotland. Does that mean we can look forward to the SNP dropping any pretence of supporting LGBT rights?

Now, some of us have been saying for years that workers' organisations should have no trust in non-working-class, nationalist parties. Perhaps now the pudding has been proved in the eating, RMT will learn a timely lesson.


Britain's largest rail union RMT today challenged the Scottish National Party to come clean on why it had ditched its commitment to a publicly-owned railway following large donations from transport privateers.

On the eve of an STUC debate on transport policy, RMT general secretary Bob Crow said that all mention of bringing the railways under public control had been dropped from latest SNP manifesto following donations from Stagecoach director Brian Souter.

"It would be interesting to see if these privateers would have given money to the SNP if it had retained a commitment to a publicly-owned railway," said Bob Crow.

"In 2003, the SNP said that passenger train services across Scotland should be taken under public control through a not-for-profit trust.

"At a time when public opinion and many of the political parties in Scotland, including the Labour Party, are recognising that Scotland's railways should be run in the interests of passengers and not shareholders, the SNP are taking a step backwards.

"It seems the SNP would rather take money and support from the likes Souter and non-executive director of Stagecoach, Sir George Mathewson rather than putting the interests of passengers first.

"Public money should no longer be wasted on a franchise system that is discredited, inefficient and costly and it is time to bring the failed experiment to an end," Bob Crow said.

Bob Crow also described claims in the Scottish press that RMT was backing the SNP as "complete nonsense".


Notes for Editors

1. The 2003 Scottish National Party, Scottish Parliament manifesto said: "The ScotRail franchise, which provides passenger train services across most of Scotland, is due for renewal, and we believe that it too should be taken under public control through a Not for Profit Trust."

2. The 2007 SNP manifesto makes no mention of running the railways on a not-for-profit basis.

3. Before becoming a non-executive director of Stagecoach, Sir George Mathewson was also Chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland. The Royal Bank of Scotland Group owns the rolling stock company, Angel Trains.

4. The STUC will debate transport policy tomorrow afternoon, Wednesday April 18.

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Submitted by TB on Wed, 02/05/2007 - 11:56

The fact that the BNP is also in favour of re-nationalising the railway should further encourage the union to look beyond its three of four bullet points in determining which parties get our support.

Submitted by Janine on Wed, 02/05/2007 - 21:09

RMT should use its 'bullet points' alongside its rule book, which says that it supports the supercession of capitalism with socialism (or words to that effect). Any candidates it supports should agree with this as well as with the key policies.

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