Hornby price increases

That is precisely what is was designed to be, together with a way to maximise the income to the exchequer [1] - hence the fragmentation and the shear number of TOCs - IIRC all transport experts how advised the government at the time wanted the 'regions' [2] to become 'complete railways', much like the old 'Big Four', with both freight and passenger carrying responsibilities.
[1] no doubt so that they could offer tax bribes just before the next election [2] Western, LMR, ER, Southern, Scottish
Reply to
Jerry
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There is France.
At least one country votes on the basis of old men locked in a room and emitting coloured smoke :-)
Whatever system they use in Belarus probably doesn't stand up to close inspection.
IIRC they voted to give the prince more personal power. Places like Liechtenstein have noticed that "no taxation without representation" can be read two ways, and can be a trade-off some people are willing to accept.
But a system which only mathematicians and Liberal Democrats understand may not be perfect, either. FPTP also usually keeps out the nutters, which may or may not be a bad thing (do we really want the BNP on the London Assembly? They don't even make the trains run on time).
Reply to
Arthur Figgis
Acquiring the railcard will usually require some kind of proof of status, which might be tricky to arrange at every ticket purchase - you can't easily demonstrate your age, disability or address (for a regional discount card) to a ticket machine. You could abandon discounts altogether, but that would be politically difficult, and risks losing the extra money brought in by attracting more bums-on-seats, which can be used to cross-subsidise the resources needed for peak travel: getting a granny on an otherwise empty off-peak train which is needed anyway for peak commuters brings in some extra revenue for little effort. You could lower all fares, but then people would complain they weren't getting a discount(!), and the extra money would need to be found from somewhere. As things stand, the major cities need to provide incentives to encourage off-peak travel. The taxpayers might not be willing to provide the money for extra capacity, and ultimately the funding has to come from fares or tax, unless we are in playground economics.
There is a case for considering a model where you pay a lot for a railcard, but get a substantial discount - couple of hundred quid for 50% off, or something, as the Germans do. ATOC have commissioned studies into it. That lowers the marginal cost of doing extra trips, countering the "well, once my car is maintained and taxed I may as well use it" view. Though no doubt someone would moan that getting a percentage off was too complicated!
[I'm not expecting Jerry to be able to grasp any of this, but others might]
Reply to
Arthur Figgis
It's true though! Hopefully no-one is going to propose filling the boot of their car with iron ore and driving it from Kiruna to Narvik to avoid the trains...
Reply to
Arthur Figgis
Who do you think advises ministers then on implementation of policy. You also forget the influence of the road lobby on both parties. For the conservatives road business and Labour unions in the car industry and trucking, TGWU and its replacement has always been that much bigger than the railway unions. Beeching was brought into sought out the economic mess the railways were in at the beginning of the 1960's. BTW something very similar occurred in NE USA in the 60's and 70's with the collapse of Penn Central and other railroads in that area. Beeching also helped the railways to modernise with the introduction of MGR and Freightliner to mention just two. The line closures that happened after he left went to far in a lot of places.
Chris
Reply to
Chris
On Tue, 02 Sep 2008 23:07:21 +0100, Arthur Figgis said in :
I like the single transferable vote system. At least that way if there are three candidates and you're happy with two but definitely not the third, you're more likely to have an MP you support to at least some degree.
Guy
Reply to
Just zis Guy, you know?
Stoke - Weymouth = £90 return, and is 6.5 hours at the time I'm able to travel, with 3 changes. Take the misses and that's £180 and 2 days travelling effectively. The Land Rover used £80 of diesel and took 3 hrs 45 to get there, and 3hrs 20 to get back the weekend before last (Bank Holiday). Taxis to and from the station would be £40.00, if we could get one to come out this far for the pick-up. And we both choose to smoke, so travelling by train is purgutory now anyway, and we can take all the luggage we like, and the dog! Since the car is 15 years old there's no depreciation to speak of, and as I have it anyway it makes sense to use it as the overhead of ownership is paid whether it is used or not.
Sorry, but it's a no-brainer sadly.
Cheers Richard
Reply to
beamendsltd
wrote
That sounds familiar. I think we'd all got sick of Blair, but many said at the time that Brown would make Blair look like a really good politician.
Oh yes - just ask Mrs T.
John.
Reply to
John Turner
Unfortunately FPTP *keeps the 'nutters' in* but keeps those with fresh or alternative ideas out from the "There is no other way" mentality that the two party club has now adopted.
Indeed, I would also like to make it law so that no MP can stand before the age of 40, this would make sure that MPs have real world experience and thus stop the career politicians we get now, those who went from school/college to Uni' [1] to MP researcher to MP themselves...
[1] no doubt studying political science...
Reply to
Jerry
You already have that option, it's called spoiling your ballot paper, all spoilt papers *have* to be counted and recorded - it is not the same as not bothering to vote (apathy). The problem with your suggestion is, someone has to be returned as MP, electing no one is *not* an option!
Reply to
Jerry
What do you not understand about the fact that the civil service (hence why people who work in the service are sometimes, and always used to be called, civil servants) can *not* implement anything unless it is approved by the elected government of the day?
Reply to
Jerry
Even better is the "none of the above" idea - at least one gets a vote then which is counted and can't be ignored by all concerned, rather than having to just not vote at all which is studiously ignored at present, or labelled conveineiently as "apathy".
Cheers Richard
Reply to
beamendsltd
"Jerry" wrote
Some aspects of the Civil Service have executive powers and can act without approval of elected representatives. I can't say how widely this exists or to what level of decision.
John.
Reply to
John Turner
I don't think that they have national executive powers, local powers yes, but then approval has already been given by the executive - IOW the CS can't take executive powers IYSWIM They most certainly could not have been able to de-nationalise the railways as that needed primary legislation IIRC - certainly an Act of Parliament, although of course once the executive had made the decision (by getting the Bill through Parliament so that it becomes an Act and gains Royal Assent) the CS would then be in a position to take executive decisions, (for example) choose which TOC won which franchise bid.
Reply to
Jerry
My father had cause to work with senoir government and Civil Service officials on a very major project (and got a OBE for his efforts). His observation, as made by many, many observers is that the TV series "Yes, Minister" was considerably more accurate a commentary on the political workings of Whitehall that most people realise. Only funnier. Probably. The CS could certainly produce, on demand, a report would completely halt any progress on any issue they so desired. Mrs. Thatcher got round this by demanding that any report summary over one page be re-written, thus greatly restricting their abilty to do a "Sir Humphery" and fill the pages with meaningles waffle. You only have to look at defence procurement to how effective they are at ensuring the worst possible option is bought on the brow of political expediencey.
Cheers Richard
Reply to
beamendsltd
"Jerry" wrote
Oh I don't know; surely education is all about equipping young people for life not just academic achievement. If you agree with that premise, then teachers need a wider sphere of experience than just the inside of educational establishments.
John.
Reply to
John Turner
"Jerry" wrote
That's correct. If no-one bothered to vote at all, then the election would be decised by the drawing of lots, just as it is when the two highest-polling candidates are tied in the number of votes received.
John.
Reply to
John Turner

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