Rail travellers have been paying the price for failed privatisation again, in the face of hundreds of cancelled trains between London and Brighton - with all the attendant delay and inconvenience - over the last few days.
Drivers employed by First Capital Connect - the private company that runs trains on the Thameslink line between Brighton and Bedford - have been refusing to work overtime in a dispute over pay. That's led to hundreds of cancelled trains - and misery for thousands of commuters.
Basically, the rail company is offering its drivers a 3% pay rise next year, but nothing at all this year.
That's a scandal. Inflation might be low, but it's rising - and it masks the reality that food and energy prices are rising fastest of all.
It's completely unacceptable to impose a unilateral pay cut - to ask anyone to work for less, effectively, than they were being paid this time last year.
And it's not as though First Capital Connect doesn't have the money: research has shown that Britain has some of the highest rail fares in the world.
First Capital Connect must sort this out by treating its drivers fairly - making a little less profit, if need be, but paying its staff a fair wage and not simply passing on the costs to commuters.
And in the longer term, the Government must simply renationalise the railways. If private firms are incapable of doing the job - as they have been on the East Coast mainline - then the state needs to step in to guarantee services and keep fares down by removing the profit margin from prices.
The Green Party has calculated that removing the profit margin, and a proper programme of Government investment in the railways, could reduce the price of a Brighton to London commuter season ticket by £110 a year.
Yesterday, Green Party Leader Caroline Lucas joined Green councillors at Brighton Station to discuss the issue with commuters - more than 100 of whom agreed that renationalisation was the answer.
Cheap, efficient public transport is simply too important to be left to the vagueries of the private sector.