Scary thought, isn’t it?

He also called for Richard Murphy, a tax expert who previously advised Mr Corbyn, to be made the head of HM Revenue and Customs and introduce a financial transaction tax, land tax and wealth tax.

The odds on John McDonnell ever becoming Chancellor are rising or falling with this?

44 comments on “Scary thought, isn’t it?

  1. My own favourite tweet from The People*s* Chancellor is this:

    4 hour delay on train & flights full, so sorry to miss @bbcquestiontime. Jinxed! Won't have this problem when we renationalise the railways.— John McDonnell MP (@johnmcdonnellMP) March 9, 2017

    The delays were caused by damage to the power cables. Apparently nationalisation’s going to cure that. Yup

    *”people” meaning the 12% who think he’s competent

  2. “”people” meaning the 12% who think he’s competent”

    You’re ignoring those who may have a particularly sick sense of humour.

  3. “The issues around energy, you immediately announce no more nuclear power. On foreign policy, you immediately say we are coming out of Afghanistan now, we’re scrapping nuclear weapons. We would have built up popular support for those policies.”

    Yes, all those people who work in those industries will certainly vote for you, John!

  4. So the trains ran on time in the British Rail days, did they?

    Murph is flip-flopping like crazy over the budget. On March 8 he commented on the side-swipe against the self-employed. On March 9 he realises that means MOAR tax so he is in favour of it. Today he is preaching the virtues of tax increases so that government spending can rise, almost as if he has forgotten about the magic money tree. And he is really pissed off that it is the Conservatives who are doing this

  5. @Diogenes – I ran some very crude numbers on rail accidents this morning. Under the aegis of BR (compared to privatised rail companies since 1995) fatalities were more than four times as frequent, and injuries from accidents around twice. Incidents of any sort were nearly twice as common. All these are on a time basis, not adjusted for passenger miles, which I believe have gone up and would increase the ratios even more,

  6. He also called for Richard Murphy, a tax expert who previously advised Mr Corbyn, to be made the head of HM Revenue and Customs and introduce a financial transaction tax, land tax and wealth tax.

    The odds on John McDonnell ever becoming Chancellor are rising or falling with this?

    Having finally stopped laughing at the full absurdity of that suggestion – neither. (for any value A: 0 x A = 0)

  7. My own view (hopelessly uninformed I’m afraid) is that electric trains are vastly overrated and that if a fraction of the money spent on electrification had been spent on improved diesel locomotion and improved freight handling facilities and reducing fares then we would have a very much more cost effective railway.

  8. As an engineer, I’d say his chances are infinitessimal. So whatever multiplier you put on that, the answer is still, to a first-order approximation, zero.

  9. Caligula attempted to make his horse Incitatus a Consul so there is a precedent.

    Regarding accidents and fatalities under BR, to be fair I imagine a lot were the result of the old style carriages and their doors, specially designed for pissed people to open themselves while the train was in motion.

  10. The video was from 2012, Ritchie has burned all the bridges since then. Expect some back peddling over the next few days.

  11. His response on his blog as to what would happen if he became head of HMRC:

    ‘Read chapter 9 of The Joy of Tax

    That’s my Chancellor’s speech’

    I am not quite through it yet but I promise to have a precis at some point on a Ragging post within the next week so TIm, who was quite justifiably unwilling to put himself through the ordeal of reading this lunatic’s output (I think he had a wall drying which was preferable) has something to Fisk….

  12. But I’m sure 99% of voters have never heard of him and of those that have probably a majoriy think he’s right that tex evasion needs to be reduced (if it were put in those terms)

    The facts that:
    a) he’s an expert in much the same way that I am king of England
    (b) his policies would have a disastrous effect on businesses and the economy
    (c) without raising most likely any extra tax

    will simply not be picked up by the majority who get their news from the BBC.

    That is the danger with these fuckers.

  13. Seems this was five years ago, before they fell out:
    “In footage uncovered by The Telegraph … speaking at a Labour meeting in July 2012, Mr McDonnell said …”

  14. “My own view (hopelessly uninformed I’m afraid) is that electric trains are vastly overrated and that if a fraction of the money spent on electrification had been spent on improved diesel locomotion and improved freight handling facilities and reducing fares then we would have a very much more cost effective railway.”

    An awful lot of money is currently being spent ‘upgrading’ the line in the West Country and Wales to overhead cables. Given these cables come down when someone farts loudly near them, I don’t fancy their chances with gales blowing up the Severn Estuary.

    But hey, Climate Change.

  15. I did a lot of travelling by train back when BR were handling things.
    Four hours of delay – had that more than once.
    Went on our honeymoon by train – BR had delays and the price I paid per ticket was far higher than it was even 5 years after privatisation.
    Nationalisation is a fantasy some have about the railways, one not borne out by the observed facts.

  16. I’ve suggested a few times to the great man he works for the state to see what it’s like. He won’t touch it.

    He blusters and flusters as if working in the public sector is like working for TRUK, where he can order the spaniels about.

    I suspect deep down he knows that people he has been critical of (eg Hartnell) have hard choices. Once you get to that level it is all political and it is often messy. He wouldn’t want the delusion shattered.

  17. Lots of train thickness here.

    My local train, the Yamagata Shinkansen, is electric. It runs on 27kv electric power at 175kph. It doesn’t need to carry any fuel and the power comes through a wire as thick as my little finger.

    The new generation E2 series (replaced the old generation 400n series about 8 years ago). I get active suspension, free wifi, a comfortable (reclinable) seat and a very fit-chick pulling a trolley of drinkables and comestables at about a 30 minute return period.

    The last time (thankfully) I was in the UK the best you could get was the Intercity 125. 30 years ago the Intercity 125 was modern and comfortable. Now its a shagged dinosaur. Thats why the high-speed (electric) trains into London are all built elsewhere.

  18. Caligula attempted to make his horse Incitatus a Consul so there is a precedent.

    Technically, Spud isn’t a horse. He’s a horse’s ass.

    There is a difference, and that difference is important.

  19. Thank God I live in ‘Merica, where if you want to get somewhere you get in your car and drive there. It’s worth noting that the only commuter trains worth mentioning are those that run (on a gov’t subsidy) in the communist wog states of the East Coast. Trains are for wogs… The rest of us drive cars, like God intended.

  20. Any bets on just how much time it will take for McDonnell and Spud to fall out in a public way?

    How much time did it take for Corbyn and Spud to get huffy? I can’t remember.

  21. DtP, oh I don’t know. I wouldn’t mind taking an Amtrak train across the US stopping in places like Goatfart, Idaho. Possibly get to see more of the countryside than I would driving on the interstate.

  22. Possibly get to see more of the countryside than I would driving on the interstate.

    I once spent a summer driving about the United States looking to see the countryside. I discovered it consists mainly of square crop fields the size of an English country and is mostly flat as a billiard table. There were some awesome places, but by fuck it’s a big place with not much in it.

  23. Henry Crun:

    Am in agreement (except that, there are actually quite a few places where you can leave whatever interstate you’re on–and have a look-see!).

  24. Rail in North America is for freight, the freight guys don’t like passenger trains on their lines and actively resist it

  25. Well known fact that you can run a railway for freight or for passengers but they don’t really mix well. You want really long trains for efficient freight movement but that means long signal blocks that prevents you running lots of frequent short passenger trains that are what the prols want.

    Solution is to build two networks but bloody expensive.

  26. Well DtP can enjoy wasting his life sitting in traffic. When I leave work I would rather sleep or read something relaxing instead of having to pay attention to stupid people (drivers) for another hour. Also, I don’t have to worry about my blood alcohol level.

  27. Having driven in the States quite a few times now, apart from the big cities it’s a real pleasure with nothing like the traffic density on the A roads & motorways in the UK. Ditto for Oz & NZ.

    As an aside, I saw a hire car guy here in La Gomera who is a dead ringer for RM, so for a microsecond I thought he had changed career…

  28. @Bloke in Japan, March 10, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    Lots of train thickness here. [From you?]

    My local train, the Yamagata Shinkansen, is electric. It runs on 27kv electric power at 175kph. It doesn’t need to carry any fuel and the power comes through a wire as thick as my little finger.

    The last time (thankfully) I was in the UK the best you could get was the Intercity 125. 30 years ago the Intercity 125 was modern and comfortable. Now its a shagged dinosaur. Thats why the high-speed (electric) trains into London are all built elsewhere.

    The Intercity 125 “shagged dinosaur” travels at 187.5mph – faster than the high-speed (electric) train you eulogise.

  29. I think there’s only one scenario in which Labour could actually win the next election, and that’s if the government makes a total hash of Brexit. If they really mess it up and we end up with a deep recession and lorries backed-up all the way across Kent because the customs arrangements haven’t been worked out properly then there will be huge popular anger directed at the Tories. That wouldn’t make Labour more popular, but it would reduce the number of people who were willing to vote Conservative.

    They’d probably have to ditch Corbyn, but with the current state of Labour’s membership any replacement would be just as far-left. But if it was someone young like Clive Lewis or Rebecca Long-Bailey they wouldn’t have the long history of gaffes, proven incompetence and incriminating quotes about terrorists that hangs around Corbyn and McDonnell.

    So the nightmare scenario is that a botched Brexit – Botchedit? Brokeit? – depresses the Tory vote and produces a low turnout overall while Labour slightly improves its own share of the vote by adopting a young and superficially plausible new leader. Even then they might still need a coalition with the LibDems to stagger across the finish line, but the yellow stain would enter into a coalition with the Ebola virus if that’s what it took to get back into power.

    It would be a complete disaster for Britain, but unfortunately it’s not entirely impossible.

  30. @Rob, March 10, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    +1

    Electrification of train lines seems to be modernisation for virtue signalling. I would give it a Stop signal.

  31. The Intercity 125 “shagged dinosaur” travels at 187.5mph

    I assume you mean 187.5kph? The 125 isn’t capable of 187.5mph.

  32. Thing is, anyone in their right mind would prefer to travel on a 125 (as built) over a modern electric unit – the 125 is of an era where things like room for the passengers legs was still a consideration, rather than a just cramming as many people into cattle class as physically possible.

    Incidentally, whoever up thread was comparing BR’s safety record to privatization – your comparison is apples and oranges.
    BR started out with steam locos hauling wooden rolling stock, with safety reliant entirely on the driver observing the signals. Take the Harrow and Wealstone accident in 1952, where a driver appears to have missed a signal in fog (the driver and his fireman both died, so we will never truly know what happened), and the resultant triple collision involving a train of wooden coaches was one of the worst in the history of railways.
    By the 80s, not only could that accident have been made far more likely never to have happened by the with AWS providing in cab signal alerts, but all steel rolling stock would have greatly reduced the death toll.
    The privatized network has had some nasty incidents (including several that could reasonably be partially blamed on privatization – Hatfield being the most obvious example), but the sheer strength of modern (I.e 1970s on) rolling stock has made utterly horrendous situations surprisingly survivable. (again, take Hatfield – most of a train got scattered round the landscape at 117mph, and only 4 deaths resulted – all of them in a vehicle which had it’s roof sliced open by collision with a steel girder).

  33. TimN,

    “I once spent a summer driving about the United States looking to see the countryside.”

    I recommend flying in to SFO and taking Route 1 to Point Reyes. Then inland and down through Napa Valley to Yosemite and stay at the ageneral Walker. Back to SF and down R1 stopping a Carmel. Continue down R1 through Big Sur and then a long slog inland to do the “canyons”.

    We stopped at a place called Kernville to see some real USA and some Sequoias.

    Bryce at sunrise is a sight to behold. Take in Monument Valley and finish at the Grand Canyon and fly out of Phoenix.

    I wanted to do Death Valley but Mrs BiND was having none of it so we went to Vegas. Never again but glad we did it.

    We took 18 days and hired an SUV for comfort and weren’t disappointed at any time.

  34. Friend of mine went to the US on business and decided to visit Richmond from where he was staying by train as he had a few days between meetings and was a rebellion fan.
    Thought he’d take the train as he dislikes waiting in airports.

    He ended up miles from where he wanted to be – the airport apparently is a lot closer to the places he was after than the train station.
    He swore never again to catch a passenger train in the US.
    Two days to do a couple hundred miles.

  35. Nationalisation is a fantasy some have about the railways, one not borne out by the observed facts.

    There’s some odd Socialist thing about railways being better nationalised that doesn’t die. I think it harks back to the old days when railways employed lots of labouring, working class types.

    It’s pure emotional attachment. In the same way that coal miners and steel workers losing jobs stirs up the Left in a way that farming labourers, say, does not.

  36. My grandfather was a coal miner, pretty sure the fact it killed him has an impact on my thinking about coal mining being a good job.

  37. Bloke in Japan said:
    “My local train, the Yamagata Shinkansen, is electric. It runs on 27kv electric power at 175kph. … 30 years ago the Intercity 125 was modern and comfortable. Now its a shagged dinosaur. ”

    Pcar said:
    “The Intercity 125 “shagged dinosaur” travels at 187.5mph – faster than the high-speed (electric) train you eulogise.”

    Aye, but BiJ was talking about his local train, and you’re comparing it to the fastest British Intercity. His goes to Shinjō, population less than 40,000. That’s about the size of Salisbury, and we certainly don’t have a 175kph train to there; it’s more like 60mph.

    Not that I think we should; this fast train thing is another State-funded fetish. But let’s compare like with like.

  38. BiND: sad you missed Death Valley. We went through it on the way back from Grand Canyon to LA after stopping at Pahrump for the night (did Vegas on the way out but as you say, not to be repeated). This was in early May, so 95 deg on the OAT display at Badwater and it hit 100 when we were heading out via Furnace Creek towards 395. I wouldn’t think of doing it in August though.

  39. @Richard, March 11, 2017 at 10:58 am

    Aye, but BiJ was talking about his local train, and you’re comparing it to the fastest British Intercity. His goes to Shinjō, population less than 40,000. That’s about the size of Salisbury, and we certainly don’t have a 175kph train to there; it’s more like 60mph.

    Depends on the line/serivice. Is Shinjō on a main line route like eg Edinburgh – Dunbar, pop 8,486

    Not that I think we should; this fast train thing is another State-funded fetish.

    +1

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