Labour just scored possibly its first social media trend of the summer – and some of the contributions were delicious.
The Labour Party organised a #RailMayhem day of action on Monday 25 June. It was highlighting the chaos on our rail network, the ineptitude of transport secretary Chris ‘Failing’ Grayling and the need for the renationalisation of the network. It caused quite a stir on Twitter.
#RailMayhem coincided with the controversial East Coast Mainline being partly and temporarily taken back under government control. As The Canary previously reported, the franchise has been dogged by controversy, being nationalised in 2009, then privatised in 2015, then placed under a public/private partnership operation this May. The government still plans to give it back to the private sector; something the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) branded “government-sponsored racketeering”.
Social media reacts
So, Labour took to the train stations, and to social media, to call on ‘Failing Grayling’ to resign and for the renationalisation of the rail network:
Today marks the first working day since the East Coast Line returned, temporarily, to public hands.
This morning, Labour campaigned across the country for the whole railway network to be brought back, permanently, into public hands and run for people, not profiteers. #RailMayhem pic.twitter.com/W80i5QOyRI
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) June 25, 2018
The party’s Twitter account called on people who had been ‘unlucky with their commute’ to share their experience on social media. And share people did:
— Chris Dewey (@ChrisDeweyCD) June 25, 2018
Labour MP Emily Thornberry blew up the irony meter with her tweet:
— Emily Thornberry (@EmilyThornberry) June 25, 2018
One social media user highlighted another chaotic rail franchise that’s rarely away from the headlines: Southern Rail:
I commute from Brighton to London. Trains frequently late or cancelled, usually very crowded, and worst of all I pay an eye-watering £5,300 a year for the pleasure. That's almost 1/3 of my post-tax income. Can't wait for @UKLabour to do something about this mess.
— Tegan Tallullah (@TeganTallullah) June 25, 2018
Southern is failing while Labour is derailing Grayling
As The Canary has documented, the never-ending chaos on Southern Rail has been staggering. From disabled people, passengers groups and unions accusing the operator of disability discrimination, to multi-million pound ‘get out of jail free cards’ gifted by the government, ‘Southern Fail’ as it’s come to be known has won itself an extraordinary reputation. And it’s not a good one, with the latest fiasco being its new timetable.
Grayling’s handling of both the East Coast and Southern franchises, and of the rail network more broadly, has led Labour to call on him to resign. As Labour’s shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald said in a press release:
The rail mayhem that we’ve seen on our railways was caused by one man and that man is Chris Grayling.
Passengers across the country are right to be angry at the way he has handled the latest in a long run of rail fiascos.
Chris Grayling has lost all credibility and it’s time for him to go.
The RMT piled in on Grayling as well:
— RMT (@RMTunion) June 25, 2018
Jeremy Corbyn said of the rail network:
The East Coast mainline, and all other lines should be run in the interests of passengers and taxpayers, not private profit.
Passengers, our economy and our environment need affordable fares and reliable services, which Tory policy is failing to deliver.
Featured image via the RMT
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?