Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/313/11649

From The Socialist newspaper, 6 September 2003

London blackout: Chaos shows up failure to invest

SIXTY YEARS ago London's tubes - then publicly owned - kept going through the Blitz. But on 28 August a summer storm caused a power failure that brought the now part-privatised London Underground (LU) and many overground services to a halt and deprived homes of power.

Roger Shrives

This blackout hit 250,000 people with scenes resembling the panic in New York's power crisis weeks earlier. The root cause was similar too - deregulation and privatisation.

A spokesperson said back-up generators couldn't cope with emergencies as big as this. "You practically need a power station," he lamented.

However LU used to have its own power station - Lots Road in west London. Last year it was shut down as the tubes were being part-privatised and it will become yet more luxury riverside housing for the rich.

This left the system to the mercies of a private consortium, Seebord Powerlink, in a deal under the Private Finance Initiative (PFI). The tubes became dependent on the national grid.

As Bobby Law, the RMT railworkers' union London regional organiser, said: "Using PFI contractors to supply key public services does not work."

What's more, a split, diversified London transport network can't get an emergency alternative system going any more. Who controls the network? No-one.

What motivates it? The profits of many different bus, tube and train companies.

There should be no more PFIs. The unions should step up their fight to reverse tube privatisation, renationalise all the bus services and get proper government funding for transport so an effective emergency replacement service can be organised.

Britain's power supply network is in a similarly atrocious condition. Past governments were very slow in reinvesting.

Privatisation only made things worse, despite most new owners getting the industry at knockdown prices.

It's even more under-invested - a recent survey showed only two countries invest less in their infrastructure. It's also disastrously under-staffed.

Since privatisation around half of the staff have been sacked by cost-cutting bosses or left the industry. More cutbacks are threatened as low energy prices frighten off investment from profit-hungry companies.

To prevent even worse crises, the unions should fight to renationalise the whole privatised and fragmented system.

Under democratic workers' control and management an integrated power supply system could be built that could meet the needs of the public not just boost the profits of monopolies.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 6 September 2003:

Teach Blair A Lesson Build a new workers' party

Blair's head still spinning

Fight low pay, job cuts and privatisation in Royal Mail

Death and destruction in Iraq

Stop SATs: Unions must take action

How to beat top-up fees

Asylum seekers: Blunkett's harsh policies ignore reality

Daggers drawn in the BNP

Understanding Marxism - a guide to action

Will new IVF proposals end the postcode lottery?

London blackout: Chaos shows up failure to invest

TUC conference: Opportunities for the Left

Civil service union challenges New Labour's pension pans

Are the unions on a collision course with Blair and the bosses?

Royal Mail's spin doctor

Strike action on the increase

Israel/Palestine: Ceasefire collapses as Sharon targets Palestinian leaders

Italy - a 'hot autumn' awaits Berlusconi

Build a movement against the occupation of Iraq

Iraq: Can the occupation be stopped?


 

Home   |   The Socialist 6 September 2003   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

London:

triangleSouth London health bosses' cover-up

triangleNewham anti-academies strikes

triangleUnite day of action against blacklisting

triangleThem & Us

triangleTamil Solidarity AGM & public meeting

Privatisation:

triangleBrexit deal no solution to Tory rifts

triangleSave our NHS

triangleSchool staff strike against privatisation

triangleLabour council Blairites deselected

Privatised:

triangle4,800 young people hurt after officers 'restrain' them

triangleProfiteering NHS counter-fraud firm in alleged case of... fraud

triangle900 carers quit a day - nationalise social care now

PFI:

trianglePFI privateers dodge tax

triangleSheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

13/12/17

Woolwich

Support the Crossrail Woolwich walkout

13/12/17

Devon

Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

13/12/17

Miners

Tory plan to hold dinner at coal mining museum defeated

13/12/17

Bradford

Bradford campaign to save children's services launched

13/12/17

Housing

Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

13/12/17

Fracking

Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

13/12/17

South London

South London health bosses' cover-up

13/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite day of action against blacklisting

13/12/17

Brighton

Brighton victory

13/12/17

Newham

Newham anti-academies strikes

13/12/17

Tamil Solidarity

Tamil Solidarity and Refugee Rights activists meeting

7/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite protest against blacklisting

7/12/17

RMT

Anti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee

6/12/17

Donald Trump

Mobilise to stop bigoted billionaire Donald Trump's state visit to Britain

6/12/17

Transport

Arriva bus strikers stand firm

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle13 Dec Support the Crossrail Woolwich walkout

triangle8 Dec Local government pay: fight for the 5% claim, fully funded

triangle6 Dec Strikers rally in Liverpool

triangle6 Dec Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

triangle5 Dec Victory at Glenfield shows people power can save our NHS

triangle5 Dec Labour council Blairites deselected

triangle30 Nov Victory: Glenfield Children's Heart Centre saved!

More ...

triangle13 Dec Caerphilly Socialist Party: Are we heading for an era of war?

triangle14 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Universal Credit - the Tories' latest assault on the poor

triangle18 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Religion and Socialism

triangle19 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas social

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2