Brian Souter – sorry, Sir Brian Souter – is a multi-millionaire. He’s made his money all sorts of ways, including sweating it out of his passengers, but thanks to the excellent services of LRT, he’s never been able to get much of a foothold in Edinburgh. Wherever the Stagecoach transport network runs, the public who depend on his buses find themselves at the mercy of a profiteer millionaire’s drive to get the last drop of profit: Souter isn’t running a public service – he’s paying himself millions. (Sir Brian was knighted for “services to transport”, but as the Honours committee doesn’t respond to FOI requests, we have no notion what that might mean: it certainly has no connection to Stagecoach.)
Brian Souter makes some of his comfortable millions out of public subsidies to transport. Due to the cuts, Fife Council had to withdraw a public subsidy to bus services run by Brian Souter. Souter, having just awarded himself over £50M, was not minded to himself subsidise an unprofitable bus service, so Stagecoach promptly withdrew it. Grace Craigie, vice chair of Crossgates and Mossgreen Community Council, voices the objections of the community:
to the loss of a vital bus service, namely the Nos. 15 and 30, due to the recent re-scheduling of local transport in our area which took place without any local consultation. This we understand is because of the withdrawal by Fife Council of its transport subsidies.
This now leaves the residents, not only of Crossgates but also Halbeath, Hill of Beath as well as parts of Cowdenbeath, without any direct transport on a Sunday to both Queen Margaret and Victoria hospitals, which means at least two buses in each direction.
“Not very suitable for those who are elderly, disabled and others who have no car, especially in the coming winter months. This also incurs extra travelling costs for them.
So anyone who wants to visit a friend or a relative in hospital on Sunday, who’s dependent on buses to get there – no car, can’t afford a taxi – will just not be able to go.
That’s the “sort of society” Brian Souter wants to live in: where someone in hospital on Sunday won’t be able to see a friendly face.
Souter, of course, doesn’t regard I was sick, and ye visited me as one of the “Christian values” – apparently the Nazarene church in Perth he attends doesn’t do Matthew 25:36.
These are Brian Souter’s “Christian” values; this is the “sort of society” he wants to live in:
“We are arguing here about what kind of society we want to live in,” he said (The Courier, 19 September 2011). “Are we going to be in a Babylonian-Greek type of society, where sex is primarily a recreational activity, or are we going to stick with the Judeo-Christian tradition, where procreation is something that we want to put within a marriage context?”
Visiting the sick? Helping the poor? Phooey. Christian values, by Sir Brian Souter, knighted for services to transport, are epitomised by making sure same-sex couples can’t get married. Because hatred and wealth are what Christianity is all about.