TUC 2012: In March 2012 the government published its command paper on the future of our railways, its response to Sir Roy McNulty's deeply flawed review.
The now-sacked Justine Greening has opted to introduce changes in a way that is fundamentally undemocratic.
Ministers are fully aware that any MP who voted in favour of closing 675 "category E" stations - stations which typically are staffed by only one person at a time and have an annual revenue of less than £1 million - as planned would face a serious backlash if an affected station was in their constituency.
So in an act of political cowardice the government has opted to bypass Parliament by outsourcing its dirty work to private train operators through franchise agreements.
This will be closure by stealth, with no democratic accountability. And it frankly shows how worried the coalition is about the continuing unpopularity of the botched job that is rail privatisation.
Older readers may remember a previous Tory transport secretary promising that privatisation would lead to cheaper fares and a smaller public subsidy.
Twenty years on and Greening tells us that after years of unparalleled public funding all we can look forward to us years of unparalleled fare increases.
You might have thought that having admitted privatisation had failed the Tories might back the glaringly obvious alternative - public ownership.
But political dogma doesn't allow humility or common sense to survive in Tory DNA.
The best the Tories could come up with was to tinker around the edges of the broken system - again - even though over £6.5 billion has been siphoned off the industry via dividend payments since privatisation.
The Tories' rearrangement of the deckchairs on the Titanic has one very clear winner - private train operators.
They will be given greater freedom and the chance to make even more money for their fat-cat directors and shareholders.
Of course, passengers - and our members - will have to deal with the fallout from one in four booking offices in England and Wales being earmarked for closure.
And dangerously the profit motive looks like being reintroduced into rail infrastructure maintenance.
It seems that little has been learned from the disasters at Potters Bar and Hatfield that ultimately led to the demise of shareholder-owned Railtrack and the creation of the not-for-profit Network Rail.
Unleashing a raft of mini-Railtracks will play hostage to fortune with passenger safety.
There is a clear alternative to this madness. The recently released Rebuilding Rail report, commissioned by the rail unions, shows how we can provide better value for both passengers and taxpayers.
It calls on a future Labour government to completely overhaul our fragmented network by putting railways back together and into public hands.
Since TSSA successfully moved a resolution at the Labour Party conference in 2004 the party has favoured public ownership.
Sadly successive Labour leaders ignored the wishes of the conference. It is high time that Ed Miliband did the right thing and give the public a firm commitment that railways will be brought back into public ownership on his watch.
The failures of rail privatisation are glaringly obvious. The real cost to the public purse of running our railways is two to three times greater than before they were sold off.
A conservative estimate of the cumulative cost to taxpayers of privatisation shows a bill of over £11bn - or around £1.2bn each and every year.
If we eliminated this unnecessary cost we could afford an across-the-board cut in rail fares of roughly 18 per cent.
The reduction could be even greater if we focused the savings on reducing those fares that are most socially useful, such as cutting the extortionate cost of season tickets.
I am absolutely convinced that a Labour pledge to use this saving to cut fares would deliver instant electoral success.
It would enable Miliband to win the marginal seats that will deliver him the keys to number 10.
Let's face it - there's massive public support for the public ownership of our railways.
TSSA will not shy away from taking whatever action is needed to defeat the McNulty proposals and get Labour back on the right track.
If you appreciated this article then please consider donating to the Morning Star's Fighting Fund to ensure we can keep developing your paper.