The Scottish National Party (SNP) make some odd decisions for 'Nationalists'. Just a short while ago they were out campaigning for Scotland to be independent and breakaway from the rest of the UK. Now the SNP-run Scottish government have decided that the country’s railway system should be state-owned and run, but by another country.
The 'Nats' have just decided that the lucrative franchise for running rail network ScotRail to a company owned by the Dutch government.
Scottish Transport Minister Keith Brown announced that the 10-year £2.5 billion ScotRail franchise will take effect from spring next year.
Rail unions who supported independence said the SNP had betrayed their promises.
RMT leader Mick Cash said: “It is scandalous that just a few weeks after the referendum, and promises from all quarters that the Scottish people would have an increased say in every aspect of their lives, that the continued privatisation of Scotland’s railways has been bulldozed through with the SNP colluding with the political elite in Westminster to deny the opportunity for this franchise to be brought back into public ownership.”
The RMT rail union had united with train drivers’ union Aslef and white-collar staff union TSSA to call on MSPs to postpone the decision until after powers over rail franchising are transferred to Holyrood.
Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said: “It’s a particularly perverse decision by the SNP government, which was arguing for independence, and is getting many more devolved powers, to embrace privatisation rather than wait a few months, take a fresh look at the opportunities for rail services in Scotland, and make a considered decision next year.”
Unless the decision is over-turned the ScotRail network will join several in England that are now state-run by other countries, including France and Germany.