Reeves Immediately Backtracks on Ruling Out Rail Nationalisation

Yet another communications train wreck from the Labour frontbench today, and it’s not even lunchtime. Appearing on the Today Programme this morning, Reeves ruled out renationalisation of rail, water or energy on the grounds that it wouldn’t fit with her “fiscal rules” for day-to-day spending:

“I’ve set out fiscal rules that say all day-to-day spending will be funded by day-to-day tax revenues… [nationalisation was] a commitment in a manifesto that secured our worst result since 1935… we have scrapped the 2019 manifesto. That is not the starting point. We’re setting out distinct policies under Keir Starmer.”

This was certainly news to Shadow Transport Secretary Lou Haigh. Splashed on the front page of the ASLEF Journal just four months ago, Haigh insisted “Labour is committed to public ownership” and privatisation of the railways had been “an absolute failure”:

“We are totally committed to public ownership and to putting passengers back at the heart of decision making… public ownership, on a point of principle, and rational common sense, is the answer.”

Reeves, realising she’d completely undermined her own party’s “rational common sense” answer to transport policy, then pulled out a genius excuse: she’s just a bit deaf. According to House Magazine’s Sienna Rodgers, Reeves’ spokesperson is insisting she simply “didn’t hear” the rail part of the question. The final, official line on this – raise your hand if you’re struggling to keep up – is this:

“We are pragmatic about public ownership as long as it sits within our fiscal rules – a point Rachel was underlining in the interview by referencing this framework. For example, we know there is a positive role for rail in public ownership.”

Eh…?

mdi-account-multiple-outline Lou Haigh Rachel Reeves
mdi-timer July 25 2022 @ 11:18 mdi-share-variant mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-printer
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