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From: The Socialist issue 1032, 6 March 2019: Cuts must stop - boot the Tories out

Search site for keywords: Government - Transport - Probation - Workers - Rail - Brexit - Privatisation

Boot out failing Grayling and the other Tory wreckers

The Tories awarded a Channel ferry contract to Seaborne - a firm which does not even own any ferries, photo by Roel Hemkes/CC

The Tories awarded a Channel ferry contract to Seaborne - a firm which does not even own any ferries, photo by Roel Hemkes/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Simon Carter

What does it take before one of the most incompetent government ministers in modern times is sacked? I am of course talking about transport minister Chris Grayling.

The Tory cabinet member has cost the public a small fortune over the recent Brexit ferry fiasco.

His department has had to pay Eurotunnel 33 million to avoid legal action by the Channel Tunnel operator - which was excluded from the bidding process of a 108 million contract to ensure extra cross channel transport capacity in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Effectively the company made a massive 33 million profit for doing absolutely nothing! This huge blunder comes after Grayling's department scrapped a 13.8 million ferry contract it had awarded to Seaborne, a start-up ferry company with no ships!

Probation privatisation

Grayling has also been slammed over his disastrous privatisation of the probation service in 2013 when justice minister.

The National Audit Office found that his scheme had been "extremely costly", both in terms of the huge increase in the number of offences committed by reoffenders and in terminating the failed contracts of private companies. The cancelled contracts are expected to cost the public purse more than 467 million!

And on it goes. Grayling, in an official report, was also held responsible for overseeing the disastrous introduction by private train companies of new railway timetables in 2018, when rail users faced thousands of train cancellations for weeks on end.

Labour reckons that Grayling's policy disasters have, in total, cost the economy and the public an unbelievable 2.7 billion.

The Socialist Party says that, instead of handing out huge sums to private contractors, public transport - including rail and ferries - as well as the probation service, should be renationalised, with democratic workers' control and management, and compensation paid to shareholders only on the basis of proven need.

Grayling has also previously been accused of sleaze over claiming expenses on his flat in Pimlico despite having a constituency home just 17 miles away from parliament.

And, as minister at the Department for Work and Pensions under Cameron's coalition government, he oversaw axing 100,000 staff which disastrously impacted on both workers and claimants.

Yet despite these (and more) monumental failings, the right-wing neoliberal minister continues to enjoy Prime Minister Theresa May's 'full confidence'. Clearly, to protect the public not only should the transport minister be sacked but the whole Tory government booted out.







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