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BOB CROW MEMORIAL EVENT ‘Plundering London Underground’ with Janine Booth, and Peter Pinkney

As London Underground celebrates its 150th birthday, our guests discuss the failures of the tube’s infrastructure privatisation, and consider what can be done to protect this crucial public service

Due to the sad and untimely death of Bob Crow, who was due to speak at this event, our guests, both comrades of Bob's, will begin the talk with a memorial to Bob, sharing memories and celebrating his legacy.

Our guest’s discuss Janine Booth’s book ‘Plundering London Underground’ (Merlin Press, 2013) which tells the story of infrastructure privatisation on the London Underground - the Public-Private Partnership. Announced by New Labour in 1998, it was implemented in 2003, and by 2010 it had failed. So what went wrong?

Janine says "There are arguments for and against PPP, and I consider some of them, but I have written this book as someone heavily involved in campaigning against this policy. I have seen the damage done! So do not expect me to praise the PPP policy. In my view, lessons need to be learnt and conclusions drawn from this episode in the history of London's Tube system.

I set out a case for public ownership. London Underground does best when it is publicly-owned, unified, under the control of a (preferably, elected) London body, adequately funded, and allowed to operate as a public service rather than a commercial business."

PPP failed because privatisation incentivises managers to earn money for themselves, shareholders, and lawyers, neglecting service improvements, safety and the needs of the disabled.

Published during London Underground's 150th birthday year, this book draws extensively on interviews with managers and Tube workers; it both sketches the history of the Underground and looks to the future: we need a transport plan, one that involves passengers and workers, one that prioritises public service.

Janine will be joined by RMT General Secretary Bob Crow and RMT National President Peter Pinkney.

Event information

Housmans Bookshop
5 Caledonian Road
King's Cross
London N1 9DX
Tel: 020 7837 4473

Entry £3, redeemable against purchase.
Nearest tube: King's Cross


Janine Booth | talks
Peter Pinkney | talks


Date and Time:

23 April 2014 at 7:00 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



Housmans Bookshop
5 Caledonian Road
King’s Cross
N1 9DX
020 7837 4473

More at Housmans Bookshop...



Entry £3, redeemable against purchase

Available from:

Additional Information:

We're very easy to find - just a two minute walk from King's Cross/St.Pancras terminals. Housmans is at the bottom end of Caledonian Road where it meets with Pentonville Road. If you have any problems finding us, give us a call!

020 7837 4473

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