Air Travel is one of the nastiest polluters of our environment, the amount of gas and contamination spewed out of an engine which propels a massive machine carrying hundreds of people through the air at hundreds of miles an hour is enormous. Poor old Mother Earth has been subjected to this abuse for a long long time not only from aircraft of course but the air travel industry somehow for me epitomises the worst of the greed and lack of concern for people and the environment that is motivated by the pursuit of more and more wealth (capitalism how are ye) I sometimes have to remind myself that Ryanair is not a caricature and it’s owner O’Leary is not a fictional character created by Armando Iannucci, a flying Malcolm Tucker if you will, it is a real airline and O’Leary is a real person; how did it ever come to this?
Very low-cost air travel defies belief; the fuel; the airport runway costs; the staff costs etc. would lead me to stop and think before buying. The elephant in the room is of course for a braying rapacious capitalist company, how do they make their profit? The answer it would seem is by charging for as many extras as they can dream up, many of which are foisted on an unsuspecting travelling public, at least Dick Turpin wore a mask right?
It is necessary to refer to only one of these sting extras to put this company into perspective. Mr. O’Leary and his airline it would seem are considering charging travellers to use the toilet when flying, £1 to ‘spend a penny’ since you ask; families beware; have enough £1 coins for the children and don’t let them drink fluids for a few hours before boarding. Some are threatening to just wet the seat and others to urinate in the isle, some may in fact be forced to do just that because Ryanair have removed toilets to cram in more passengers and each plane apparently has only one loo, it sounds like the journey to and from Hell. What passengers should do was suggested by someone in a paper I read today. They should collect and keep their plastic drinks bottles and carry a funnel and use them for the toilet they should then be deposited in a large container as they leave the plane; the sign on the container should read “we at Ryanair are pleased to take the piss” I remember arguing against deregulation and privatisation when Thatcher was selling off everything to her friends, well I told you so didn’t I? Privatisation makes some already rich people even richer and the price the rest of us have to pay is the emergence of the likes of O’Leary and Willie Walsh, being second generation Irish I am ashamed.
As I watched mother earth display her awe-inspiring power from Iceland I couldn’t help but think on Walsh and his vicious union busting policies, he can’t bully nature though, also the unacceptable face of capitalism O’Leary (B.T.W. I heard O’Leary is fond of showing people his watch which he proudly proclaims was sold to him by his dad on his death bed) Notwithstanding the plight of those who are stranded by the volcano eruption it will be a comfort to many who have been exploited by such people that mother nature is kicking their butts.
Is it not about time that the con men and spivs who took over rail; air travel etc. under Thatcher were relieved of these services and the state restored some honesty and decency to the nations travel arrangements?