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Railtracks in the Sky (Socialist Renewal, Third Series, No. 3)

by Peter Reed - £9.99  Spokesman Books (2002)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9780851246710 | ISBN 10: 0851246710

Some of the world's largest airlines facing bankruptcy; American consumer groups calling for air transport re-regulation; National Air Traffic Services (NATS) on the verge of collapse only months after privatisation; an 'intensifying crisis' at London's airports; growing worries about operational standards in aviation; relentless pressue on the natural environment; these trends were clear long before the New York terrorist attacks. And yet, despite the compelling evidence of policy failure, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown press on 'unremittingly' with their schemes for deregulation, free markets and privitisation.
 
Their policies may bring about irreversible changes with profoundly adverse effects on airlines, workers in the industry, the travelling public and the entire British economy. In Railtracks in the Sky, one of Britain's most experienced transport professionals explains the issues in language that anyone can understand. This informative book also clears up some of the enduring mysteries of air travel such as Overbooking, Negative Add-ons and Bucket Shops. But perhaps the core issue it poses is that around the possible handling over of vital decisions to 'international' market forces. The subject matter thus has a significance extending far beyond air transport.
 
As one of the original Labour modernisers, Peter Reed concludes that 'New' Labour's policies are unrealistic, unworkable and based on no more than ancient dogmas. An international managed regime for air transport could be made to work, starting at European Union level. But this would call for a rejection of discredited 'free market' nostrums and a major reorientation of policy thinking.
 
Railtracks in the Sky aims to stimulate constructive deabte on these themes. Agree with it or not, this is a highly informative, thought provoking and politically constructive book.

(Price & availability last checked: April 2018)

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In booklists: Transport and Travel, Privatisation,
In categories: Environment & Animal Rights, Politics & Philosophy, Anti-Capitalism & Global Inequality,

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