Re: @steelpillow and ImAlrightJack
@Simon Hobson I disagree somewhat, but my take on things may be slightly different to most. I'm old enough to (just) remember travelling on a mainline steam train and a time when having a phone in your home instead of using a phonebox was a bit posh, and maybe every other family had a car, singular, and motorways? what motorways?!
With regard to trains - and bearing in mind that I cannot drive, so I use public transport (and for preference trains) a lot - it never made any sense to me as a user for the trains and associated infrastructure to be privatised due to the blame game whenever anything goes amiss.
Not only that but fatuous tannoy announcements as trains come into stations of the ilk "thank you for using (company name) for your journey" irritate - they;re just noise pollution, because if there's one thing train users do NOT have any realistic choice of it's which train company to use on the journey they want to make. I've also experienced the situation , where there were delays of even station tsaff not knowing what the hell was going on, because the company owning the station wasnt kept informed by the company running the delayed train. And privatisation doesn't solve all ills- one only has to look at the situation south and east of Reading to see that.
In general, I contend it's utter bloody madness to have a non-nationalised rail network - it would have been better, IMHO, to have worked on implementing better systems within the nationalised train setup than selling it off. If privatised companies are allowed to err then improve, why not nationalised ones? Seems like double standards to me.
With regard to phones, I utterly LOATHE the current setup not because it's privatised, but because of how shit it is in delivering the service I want compared to how the PO service used to be. (It's a phone. I want to be able to speak to people, that;s it. Oh, text? OK, that's neat and useful, I'll have that too, please. I am NOT interested in the internet on a phone, that is crazy talk! If you can get it on my pocket computer, I'm game to give it a go, though). Caveat - technology has changed dramatically since back then, so we're right on the verge of comparing apples with oranges, in that mobile phones didnt exist back then. If they had, would the PO have done any better than the current excrutiating mess? Hmm.. tricky. My guess is that the PO might well have experimented with the types of service phones might provide more slowly than private companies have, and that might not have been a bad thing.
I'm also aware that I have definitely hit the age of (genuine) old cantankerous biddyness (as against that which I have claimed in years gone by for comic effect)* and so at least some of the negativity I feel toward the current situation with regard to phones should be taken with a pinch of salt. But I really do hate the direction mobile phones have gone in, from highly useful simple devices with decent battery life to vastly overcomplicated pieces of kit that are shit as phones and shit as computers, that are actually controlled by phone companies who seem to think that throwing everything including the kitchen sink into the kit they rent to you is a good idea and doesnt impact usability one bit (and I'll only mention my loathing of touch screen keyboards this once, promise).
Oh - and my liking for the basics of life being nationalised has more to do with my desire for simplicity in the fundamentals of life, not my political leanings. If there's a problem with my electricity bill, I;d rather just contact the electricity Board (as was) than be shoved from meter company to transmission company to "power supply company" trying to get to the bottom of the problem. Privatising some things is actually LESS efficient for the customer - and causes more stress. I don;t give a monkeys if other stuff is privatised. Fine by me.
Anyway in summary - I think renationalising the railways actually would be a sensible thing to do. Renationalising the phone service though - I like the idea (I'm in favour of nationalised basic service like power water transport and comms generally), but honestly, I think the insanity with mobile phones has gone so far that that mess isnt ever likely to be sensibly fixed anytime soon, whether privatised or not. So why not let private companies take the blame for the mess they've created rather than renationalise it, with the inevitable huge problems involved in doing so, and then have lots of naysayers blaming the mess on it being nationalised rather than blaming the private companies that caused the mess of overpriced user-hostility that is the modern phone landscape?
Right, I've said me piece, settling down in my recliner with a throw over my lap nice cuppa and blissfully going back to my video games on my ethernet wired desktop PC. WiFi? Bah, humbug! :-}*
*You think I'm kidding? I'm not! (chuckle)**
** But I'm still capable of poking fun at my own expense!