Profits keep rolling in for rail privateers
Rail privateers keep the gravy train rolling with passengers being milked by a 3.4 per cent fare increase.
Paul Plummer of the Rail Delivery group has the job of delivering straight-faced justification for corporate greed, helping fellow privateers count their ill-gotten gains and reassuring passengers his members will do everything to use money properly - the usual nonsense about 97 per cent going back in to trains, confirming three per cent is taken by private shareholders for an awful service.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, can be relied upon to put the privateers’ interests before passengers, staff and taxpayers.
The joint operation by stagecoach and Virgin, should have paid £3.3bn to the Government up to 2023 - but they are bailing out early like National Express did 10 years ago.
Grayling and rail minister Paul Maynard, the privateers’ friend, insisted on returning the East coast mainline to the private sector. Efficiency, they said with a straight face. Well, we have seen the results. Stagecoach and Virgin shareholders can sleep in their beds knowing the companies have avoided paying the Government hundreds of millions - and don’t worry about the travelling public.
Entrepreneurs are supposed to back their judgements in the market and reap rewards or salty tears as a result. Not in Britain. It’s win-win for the Bransons and Souters, and the rest.
If all goes well, eye-watering profits, dividends, bonuses and cheers in the boardroom. If all goes pear-shaped, exit stage right and let someone else clear the mess.
Tough times call for greater faith
That we live in a sad sick world is patent for all to see, we hear many say “what is the world coming to?” we are shocked at the behaviour and immorality of our young people these days.
Immorality in schools, government, television and politics, nations spend millions on weapons and armaments while in many places people starve.
Evil and wickedness in our world is not an anomaly; it’s the norm. It’s bad now but it’s only going to get worse, with the nuclear atomic weaponry we have today it would take half an hour to destroy the world.
As we survey the world’s escalating anxiety, we conclude that it is a world of tragedy and threatening disaster. Things have been on a downward spiral since Adam and Eve. Godlessness and lawlessness are going to increase, so how does this give us any hope?
Hang on, I’m getting there, the good news is that, in spite of wickedness which fills our world, Jesus Christ will continue saving sinners and building His church that will never be overcome – even the gates of Hell will not prevail against it.
We easily seem to forget that the helpless babe in the manger later said: “I will come again”. We don’t know when but our current world crisis points to its near approach.
This truth should challenge the believer in Christ to face his responsibilities in work and in witness, while at the same time it should confront the unbeliever with the urgent need for repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.
Clergy are ones up in arms at visit
Evangelist Franklin Graham’s plans to visit Blackpool, England, in September 2018 have ignited a firestorm of controversy, according to The Gazette.
To the dismay of his most virulent critics, a spokesman told the Guardian: “It will be a positive and encouraging event with music, and also a message from Franklin Graham about the hope that can be found in a relationship with Jesus Christ.”
Given the spiritual decline in Great Britain over the past few decades, the reaction to Mr Graham’s visit should not be surprising.
His most vocal critics are not the Members of Parliament, or even the local bar owners, but the men of the cloth.
The clergy is up in arms over the possibility that the American preacher would dare to challenge the moral decadence that has permeated Britain for decades.
ME sufferers at Christmas time
Many people with the chronic, neurological condition ME tell us they feel very lonely and isolated at this time of year, particularly those who live alone with no family or friends to share the festivities with.
A visit, phone call or simply a thoughtful card from a friend could make a positive difference – so if you know someone with ME, let them know you are thinking of them this festive season.
If you have ME and you need information and support, call us on 0117 927 9551 (we’re here until 4pm on 22 December, and re-open on 3 January), or join one of our friendly online forums, open 24/7.
You can also read advice from Rose, who has M.E., in her article on coping with Christmas alone at www.actionforme.org.uk/alone-at-xmas
Chief Executive Action for ME