Online from: 1988
Subject Area: Accounting and Finance
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|Title:||New Labour, Network Rail and the third way|
|Author(s):||Robert Jupe, (Kent Business School, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK)|
|Citation:||Robert Jupe, (2009) "New Labour, Network Rail and the third way", Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 22 Iss: 5, pp.709 - 735|
|Keywords:||Political philosophy, Privatization, Public policy, Railways, United Kingdom|
|Article type:||Research paper|
|DOI:||10.1108/09513570910966342 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
|Acknowledgements:||The author would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments, and Lee Parker for his editorial guidance.|
Purpose – The paper aims to examine the role, funding and status of Network Rail, a very significant example of New Labour's attempt to operationalise the “third way”. The analysis of Network Rail is used to critique the “third way” approach to policy-making in Britain.
Design/methodology/approach – The paper examines Network Rail, and the significant changes that have occurred since its creation, in the context of the claims originally made for the company by Transport Secretary Byers. It employs critical financial analysis and non-financial performance indicators to examine the “third way” approach to rail privatisation, drawing on the work of its leading supporter in the UK, Giddens, and its leading critic, Callinicos.
Findings – The paper demonstrates that Network Rail is an expensive mechanism for channelling public money to private companies. It argues that the “third way” is really a smoke screen for the neo-liberal ideology, behind which there is a continuing transfer of wealth from taxpayers to the private sector.
Research limitations/implications – The paper focuses on one significant example of the “third way” approach to policy making. It demonstrates the strength of the neo-liberal ideology, particularly the belief in the value of privatisation, in the UK.
Practical implications – The findings of the paper have implications for public policy and for those affected by rail privatisation, including employees, passengers and taxpayers.
Originality/value – Researchers and practitioners working in the area of public sector management and reforms should find the paper of value.
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