Rail chiefs or unions: can passengers trust either of them? | Rafael Behr
As commuters face strikes and price rises it’s clear that a key problem is the lack of accountability. But renationalisation is not the answer
If solidarity among British people experiencing a common misfortune could be measured, the scientific unit would be the blitz. When train delays are announced, sensitive instruments might read the synchronised rolling of eyes on station concourses in milliblitzes. Inside a carriage that has stopped between stations, there is a steady buildup of centiblitzes, which can, at a certain atmospheric density, make strangers talk to each other.
That threshold could be called the Southern point, in honour of the rail company that has done so much to generate feelings of collective grievance in confined spaces over the past year. It is not, of course, a replica of the spirit of endurance that withstood aerial bombardment by the Luftwaffe. Southern are not military aggressors. (The analogy is doubly inappropriate because the lone upside to oppression by a totalitarian regime is supposed to be trains that run on time.)
Source: Guardian Transport