Skip to main content

First the Worst


If ever you needed a ready and easy example of why privatisation should be avoided and indeed why capitalism should be avoided, then look no further than First. Simply the worst public transport provider imaginable. Their latest stunt beggars all belief, even for them this is a step way too far.

My local jobcentre is a bus journey away on a particular route that used to be provided, from about a decade ago (after a long absence), by council subsidy to a local coach operator. It was a popular service and remained so when First muscled in. Smelling blood in the manner of a shark they create their own route to cover that journey the side effect of which meant that the council had to withdraw because they aren’t allowed (so they tell me) to compete.

Fast forward a few years (First have only been running this route for about 2/3 years) and that route is being changed to use the motorway - completely cutting off the communities along that route toward it’s destination. That being the town that’s home to the Jobcentre. Anyone living here that works in that town would now have to quit their job, which of course creates it’s own set of shit problems. Of course the council now don’t have the money to resurrect their original service; First have come in, muscled out the competition and gutted the service.

The reason they gave me beggars belief: I was expecting some blarney about costs and profits, but apparently people complained the journey was taking too long. Unbelievably First responded not by telling these people to politely stop being selfish and to accept that in order to service everyone in the community a few more minutes would be required. They decided that, presumably to help clean up their wholly toxic public image, it’s better to throw whole communities under the bus (pun intended, with extreme prejudice) foregoing the money they’d make from those passengers, no matter how little they might regard it, just to shave a few minutes off a journey.

There you have it. Local councillors are baffled and angry. I am baffled and angry. Fortunately I’m not compelled to attend the Jobcentre presently, but I chose that one because it’s the least busy. Attending the second nearest centre is no great hardship in terms of public transport (though it’s more expensive, despite First’s ‘fairer fares for all’ consultation last year that resulted in a price increase), but the centre itself is too rough. I don’t like it. I don’t feel safe there, and I hope I don’t have to attend. I doubt First gives a shit though. This is what privatisation creates:decisions made at the expense of the community.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

I Fucking Hate the Work Programme

That did not go well.
My legs were wobbly to begin with as I closed in on the church that passes for the office of the employment wing of the Salvation Army. My appointment was 3 to half past. I really did feel sick. Pretty early on, when he asked for the forms he gave me last time to fill in, I knew that what was arranged on the letter (a short interview with me bringing my CV and jobsearch) was actually going to be much longer. I also knew that, come half three when I had to leave to catch my bus back ten minutes later, I was going to have problems. 
Unfortunately, though more for me I fear, it never got that far; at 20 past he terminated the interview citing my apparent 'putting up barriers' as the reason not to continue. This was because I refused consent for him to keep my CV. I asked why he needed it and offered, three times, to show it to him (that's all), he said it was to apply for jobs on my behalf. The EEC's need this information.
What's an EEC? Employm…

U.N. and Them

What are my thoughts on this?

It's a humanitarian crisis. Is that a phrase we should only reserve for famines in Africa or force majeure? We seem to have a blind spot to these things when they are on our own doorstep - it couldn't happen here, could it?

Yes.

Seven years of the most brutal selfish and greedy governance, not to mention the least competent, has brought us to the point where the United Nations are telling the Tories they are causing a 'human catastrophe' amongst the disabled and the sick. This is not the first time, and even that doesn't include their comments on the hated and spiteful (not to mention ineffectual) Bedroom Tax.

Do the Tories persist with these policies because they actually believe they are correct or even moral?

Or is it because they have no other way to appease the media attack dogs and/or the braying Shirefolk that delight in persecuting the poor as they do torturing foxes and badgers?

Is it both?

We have a government, in a first wor…

Anybody Out There?

Just so I can be sure this is being read at all and decide whether it's worth continuing, please shout out in the comments. Even if you think I'm talking barmy bollocks, it'd be helpful to know if there are people reading this and not weird bots from phishing sites or Russian hackers or some weird sentient algorithm.

Apologies if you are none of those things, but I'm considering what to do with this blog.

Thanks