TSSA/Momentum: bloody foreigners coming over here taking our railways

January 4, 2017 at 7:46 pm (Europe, Jim D, labour party, left, nationalism, populism, reformism, unions)

Momentum’s Facebook page carries a bizarre video which comes from the TSSA rail union.
It’s about railway privatisation, but instead of talking about private businesses exploiting passengers and workers, it focusses entirely on the French, German and Dutch public railway companies that have bought up parts of the UK system, and basically rests on an implied “foreigners stealing our railways” message. Really dodgy, and particularly unhelpful at this time of Brexit-inspired nationalism and racism.

On the TSSA website the link to the video is accompanied by the following gems from the union’s recently re-elected General Secretary Manuel Cortes:

“This film makes the case that it is high time the UK takes back public control of our rail operating companies back [sic] from Keolis, Arriva and Abeilio [sic] who are just front companies for the French, the German and the Dutch states.

“Brexit has made Taking Back Control of train operating companies a vital economic necessity. Leaving the EU but leaving our rail operating companies in the control of EU countries to continue reaping the profits, would now be preposterous.

“It’s a no-brainer case and we hope this film will be shared widely and be used to hold the Tories to account in England and Wales – and in Scotland too where under SNP nationalist rule ScotRail has been tuned [sic] into a Dutch rail colony – for their unpatriotic and misguided running down of UK rail.”

Yes, we must hold the Tories to account for being unpatriotic!


  1. Glasgow Working Class said,

    It is not really dodgy it is fact. The Scottish Gov who pretend to be socialist of a kind have split Scotrail between foreign companies when it should be in the public sector.

  2. Cain said,

    I’m surprised that the TSSA still have the gall to call themselves a Trade Union, especially after seeing their accounts! Why hasn’t the TUC kicked them into touch either?
    They used to be, once upon a time, an efffective Trade Union who regularly punched above their weight but due to internal greed, bullying and sheer bloody cheek, they are now a sick and pathetic ghost of their former selves and who are now in their last desperate death throes of existence!
    What doesn’t help is those who portray themselves as working towards growing the Union are really only using it, like a whore, for personal gain and have no intention of going out of their way unless there’s a benifit.
    They’ve run it into the ground, chased away some very good and effective Reps from their ranks because they didn’t fit in with their agenda.
    Well I hope your proud of yourself for what you have ruined.
    When Manuel was first elected in Nov 2011, after assistance from the EC to stab the former GS Gerry Doherty in the back, he was heard saying that he’d be the last GS of the TSSA. That will soon be a reality. RIP TSSA.

  3. Jim Denham said,

    Stephen Bush at the New Statesman, on the TSSA film and Labour’s proposed “populist” turn:


  4. Glasgow Working Class said,

    It seems some in Britain are obcessed with immigration and the indiginous people are no longer entitled to a voice while the British popoulation is expanding while the public services are streched to the limit. This is a small island and the arable land is being swallowed.

  5. Political Tourist said,

    2017 and the Glasgow Bigot is still at.

  6. What is Corbynism? | Left Futures said,

    […] front. We’ve heard talk of Jezza’s left populist relaunch and there was that, ahem, kipper-lite video. More interestingly, Clive Lewis has put out a piece expanding on Corbynomics. The stuff about […]

  7. Rilke said,

    Corbyn and Momentum are trapped between a spurious ‘radical’ left social agenda wedded to what is nothing much more than guild socialist economics. The result is a sort of dirty dishwater left populism. The guild part means flag waving for ‘our decent workers’, the ‘radical’ part means perpetual criticism of ‘greed’ and the ‘oppressive state’ and anything vaguely illiberal. It is fine as a posture and great for moral exhibitionists. It has already run its course. It is an animated corpse.
    From my own point of view, the turgid anit-cosmopolitanism of Corbyn and his crew reveal how culturally inward and fundamentally traditionalist they are. You know the kind of thing…modern painting is decadent and should show good realsitic workers, the music of high modernism is too elitist and should be more ‘folky’, modernist literatures are too obscure..we don’t need all that fancy European stuff…the Ragged Trousered Philanthropist and Billy Bragg define our cultural heights, Brecht might get a look in, but only because they don’t understand him, and so on. Both the politics and the cultural perspectives are about as interesting and radical as Watch With Mother.

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