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Stagecoach charlatans

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Thursday 10 April 2003 9.45pm
I completely agree with MM about the ridiculous pendulum of fashion in political ideology. However, we are relatively lucky in London because everywhere else in the country the buses were completely deregulated under Thatcher and services in most areas suffered enormously as a result. I think it's interesting that London, the only area where buses were not deregulated, is also the only part of the country where bus ridership has actually risen in recent years.

MM's comments about Labour Party history remind me of the irony that one of New Labour's principal architects was Peter Mandelson and his grandfather was Herbert Morrison, who introduced the London Passenger Transport Board in 1933 as a new kind of state-controlled monopoly in the public interest, compulsorily taking over an uncoordinated collection of private bus operators. A major justification put forward at the time was to eliminate what Morrison called "wasteful competition"! How times change.

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