CCTV footage has been released by Virgin Trains in an attempt to disprove Jeremy Corbyn’s recent claim that he could not find a seat on a ram-packed train from London to Newcastle.
It certainly raises questions but the real question is why was the CCTV footage released and under the orders of whom?
It’s a personal opinion wether you believe Corbyn’s version of events or you take at face value the CCTV images that have been released but in any case we will never likely know the exact circumstances of the day.
It raises some some interesting points however in regards to rail travel. Hariett Harman has claimed that you need ‘evidence’ of the issues surrounding rail travel when claiming that rail needs to be re-nationalised, yet for years we have known of the ever decreasing standard of rail travel and the ever increasing cost of that same rail travel. Southern Rail couldn’t be a better example of a poor rail franchise that needs to be nationalised, despite an indefinite reduced service across its network to achieve better arrival times, up to 50% of its services are still delayed. It’s further proof that politicians often seem to need to conduct surveys and reports for the sake of it. Jeremy Corbyn knows the problems the public faces and wants to act on it. It’s a promise that was well highlighted in his video on the ram-packed service to Newcastle, stunt or no stunt.
Some newspapers will be running (or will have run by the time you are reading this) front page headlines on this latest development calling Corbyn’s video a “stunt” exposed only by the CCTV footage. Yet politicians are known for conducting stunts on an almost weekly basis, from photo opportunities to soundbites on policy areas, stunts are a daily occurrence yet the media never describes them as “stunts” which is exactly what they are. Makes you wonder why they want to make an issue out of it over Corbyn.
Finally, who released the footage? If it was Virgin themselves then they will be trying to negate the impact on their business but it would still be an odd approach. It would not be unusual for passengers to complain of poor service or lack of seating but they don’t make a habit of trying to deny those allegations. Perhaps then the release of the footage was called for by unknown persons within the Labour Party and that would be a likely probability considering how intent they are at discrediting Jeremy Corbyn. It is clear they will go to any length to put Corbyn in a bad light. No one in the public sphere could request CCTV footage of other people and that would be seen as a breach of confidentiality so if it was someone from within Labour there would have to be an agreement between them and the head of Virgin Trains to release the footage and it would not be unusual for big business to work hand in hand with the elite in politics. Back hand favours exist within Labour just as much as any other political party it seems.
Whatever you think about the release of the footage it’s important to remember one thing. Jeremy Corbyn, in his video, is not wrong. He is spot on. That’s the important message to take away.