Friday, 30 December 2011

Fair reporting on fare increase?

That the Daily Mail has been renamed by some bloggers as the Daily Fail/Wail is understandable when considering the poor standard of journalism exhibited by that newspaper*, none more so than in an article today by Ray Massey; one that deals with the fare increases for rail travel due to come into force on 1st January 2012. This article contains the obligatory soundbites from various 'interested' people such as Sophie Allain of the Campaign for Better Transport; Bob Crow of the RMT Union (with whom Ukip seem 'best buddies'- nuff said); and Michael Roberts, chief executive of the Association of Train Operating Companies.

What is odd about Massey's column is that only last August the same newspaper reported on an EU proposal that railways should be operated on the basis of 'user pays' - on which I posted here** - that report hinting at a 50% increase in rail fares, should the proposal come to fruition. Even though the Mail is a supporter of this country's membership of the European Union one would have thought, in an attempt to be informative, Massey might just have mentioned that earlier report and its contents? Neither, of course, is there any mention that Osborne's deferment of an increase to 3% of the RPI aspect of fare increases may be linked to the fact that not until then is the impending Directive from Brussels expected to be published.

Presumably Massey and the Mail are either ignorant of the 'user pays' principle or decided to play along with their political friends by not mentioning the principle in the first place and that it is nothing new. For example, on that latter point, it was raised back in 1998 by Neil Kinnock when Commissioner for Transport; likewise the Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC was based on the same principle.

It is also intriguing that Bob Crow, an avowed anti-EUer, did not attempt to raise this 'user pays' point - or maybe he did and the Mail decided not to print that. One would have thought that at least the Campaign for Better Transport might have mentioned it, but then looking at the graphic for their sources of funding (page 9 of their Annual Review) perhaps not. Unfortunately it was not possible to look at their annual accounts as the link provided does not work (an email has been sent.....). 

As with HS2, where I have shown an EU connection, so there is the same 'connection' where rail fare increases are concerned. That not one politician, nor 'stakeholder' cares to mention these connections can only show that there is indeed a policy in place to hide the truth from the British public. Where the hiding of truth is concerned Dav il Cam should take note that we are not all in it together. Where that practice is concerned, they may be - we in the blogosphere most definitely are not.

* Though tis a tad unfair to single out the Daily Mail when just about every member of the MSM exhibits 'Fail' where journalism is concerned.

** This post contains links to the August Mail article and access to the EU White Paper and other related documentation.

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