Azara Blog: British rail passengers are allegedly hard done by

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Date published: 2009/02/19

The BBC says:

European rail travellers generally get a better deal on tickets compared with British users, especially in south-east England, a watchdog report suggests.

Passenger Focus said "turn up and go" fares to London from elsewhere in the UK generally cost more than similar journeys in other European countries.

On average, fares were 50% higher in Britain than on the continent.

The watchdog called for rail firms to cap prices, but ministers said fares had fallen relative to earnings.

Transport minister Andrew Adonis said that to reduce prices further, taxes would have to rise.

This is a typically bad BBC article. Why should rail passengers expect to receive a subsidy every time they get on a train? Why does the BBC continually produce articles that imply that such a subsidy is of course the correct approach? Why does the BBC continually publish articles that are basically just dressed up press releases for some special interest pressure group (this time, Passenger Focus)? Needless to say these pressure groups usually (as here) have self-serving reasons for pushing their story.

The basic function of a journalist should be to critically analyse the propaganda that such special interest pressure groups are pushing. But the BBC rarely questions the propaganda of any of the (zillions of) academic middle class organisations (Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, the RSPB, etc.), perhaps because BBC journalists are typical members of the academic middle class, so are incapable of being critical in this regard.

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