Rail fares crisis: Julia tells RMT train union chief to 'go google it' in row over poverty and food banks

'Rail travel should not be facility for greedy capitalists', says RMT Union

Steve Hedley (pictured) says the railway should be nationalised

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Julia Hartley-Brewer had a heated row over poverty and capitalism with a senior figure at the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers' Union this morning, culminating in both protagonist telling the other to go and Google the facts.

Julia claimed capitalism had delivered the biggest-ever fall in poverty over the last 50 years, while Steve Hedley insisted a million people are using food banks.

Our presenter told Hedley, the senior assistant general secretary of the RMT, that he was "genuinely out of touch with the real world", and offered to contact Hedley after the show to present her facts to him.

Hedley, a prominent supporter of Jeremy Corbyn who has previously demanded the "overthrow of capitalism", also said no-one was starving in Venezuela - although Julia said this was because they were eating their pets.

Rail row

The interview was meant to be about the rising fares on Britain's railways, which, according to Hedley, should be a "public service and not a facility for greedy capitalists to use."

The debate about whether the railway should be nationalised has reopened after rail fares increased by an average of 3.4%.

Hedley told Julia: "What [the railways] should be really is a public service and not a facility for greedy capitalists to use in order to make themselves rich."

Hedley also suggested the much-publicised shortcomings of British Rail, the nationalised rail service which was scrapped in the 1990s, were a deliberate ploy by the Government to encourage privatisation.

Listen to the full interview above