In the post-truth world of politics, what franchising means in the Bus Services Bill is nationalisation without compensation, which even the post-war Attlee government did not attempt — so large or small, at the behest of the local authority, a bus business would be confiscated and offered out to the lowest bidder


McDonald’s branding on retired London Routemaster RM1682 at a German restaurant site in Wolfrathausen, Bavaria. What the Bus Services Bill calls franchising is nothing like the model used to sell American-branded burgers and fries around the globe. JOHN CARTER

The unwanted Bus Services Bill that is meandering through Parliament includes a power available to certain authorities to introduce what is termed ‘franchising’.

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