Socialist Party

 |  Mobile  |  16 October 2018 | 

Archive article from The Socialist Issue 402

Print this articlePrint this article

Seach this siteGoogle search the site

Home   |   The Socialist 21 - 27 July 2005   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Bookshop

Hatfield disaster

Judge lets rail bosses walk free

A JUDGE has thrown out manslaughter charges against five rail executives from Railtrack and Balfour Beatty, accused of killing the four people who died in the October 2000 Hatfield train crash. Corporate manslaughter charges against Balfour Beatty, the engineering firm that specialises in privatisation, were also dismissed.

Judge Mackay ordered the jury to find the executives not guilty, telling jurors: "It is not open to you to convict any of the six defendants on charges of manslaughter. The trial will proceed on the health and safety charges faced by all the defendants." Amazingly he said he could give no reason for his decision, merely telling jurors to accept his ruling.

The prosecution claimed that faulty rails identified 21 months before the crash were left unrepaired, that more than 200 defects had been found on the 43 miles of line from Kings Cross, and that many other dangerous decisions had been made, mainly to cut costs and boost profits.

Rail unions knew that only a handful of corporate manslaughter cases have ever succeeded in the capitalist legal system, and that these mainly involved small firms, not big companies like these. Nonetheless this class-biased decision appalled the unions, one leader said that managers can now "cock a snook at health and safety legislation".

The rail system has got more unsafe since privatisation, with the owners bent on increasing profits and dividends rather than safety. After the Hatfield crash, 76% of people said they agreed with renationalising the rail system.

The rail unions should fight for the entire rail system to be taken out of the hands of profit-grasping private firms. It should be brought back into public hands, this time under the democratic control and management of workers and transport users.

That way we could ensure that safety not profit became the rail system's top priority.

Hands off our housing

disaster: bosses walk free

Heath: took on workers and lost

civil service jobs

delegates defending democracy

Home   |   The Socialist 21 - 27 July 2005  |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Bookshop

In this issue

Troops out of Iraq

No to terror! No to war!

Hospital workers condemn terrorism and war

Workers maintain class unity

Iraq: War and occupation bring growing misery

al-Qa'ida: US imperialism's deadly legacy

Stop the War Coalition's missed opportunity

Karl Marx: the greatest philosopher of all time

Hands off our housing

Judge lets rail bosses walk free

Ted Heath, Tory premier who took on the workers and lost

Defending civil service jobs

Delegates fight to defend democracy at TGWU conference:

National finance meeting success


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551



Alphabetical listing

October 2018

September 2018

August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018