RED UKIP: Party Spokesman Suggests Nationalising Railways


UKIP’s flirtation with hard left-wing radicalism continues with force. This afternoon the party’s Financial Affairs spokesman Steven Woolfe has said in an interview with the New Statesman that he is open to the idea of renationalising the railways:

“There’s an argument, in some ways, for saying that one could renationalise the railways. If you look at the French and the German nationalised railways, they’re actually here, acting like private companies. So why is it that they’re able to make successful businesses, which work on a capitalist method of being able to acquire and buy railways, and we’re not? Why is it that we seem hamstrung to be able to trust our own business people to get involved in some form of nationalisation or a co-operative? I do think that we should be considering, and there should be an open debate at the moment, whether we should have nationalisation or through an organisation like a co-op.”

On the left-right battle in UKIP, Woolfe insists:

“Patrick [O’Flynn] is certainly alongside myself in that we recognise that there is a huge number of people who have not benefited from the growth. If that makes us left-wing then so be it.”

A cynic might say this is blatant populism, with polls now showing there is public support for nationalisation. As Guido wrote this morning, people forget how truly abysmal the railways were when they were nationalised and called British Rail…

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