The problem with East Coast is that the general public voted to continue with rail franchising last year so it's going to carry on like that. The advantage is that East Coast will compete with West Coast to keep prices down, improve services etc. etc. (see relevant PR drivel) and, it's not like the bad old days when they were run by the same company!!! A lot of the arguments against privatisation go along the lines of 'nasty companies making profits' which would be a useful argument if they were actually making mega profits but, in reality, they don't. Even if the government decided to, overnight, nationalise the industry without compensation it would take a very short time before the level of profits was actually replaced by the costs involved in having government organising the industry. The net benefit that could actually go into improving the network would be very low (less than 5% at a guess) and, as buses dont win votes at a national level, you can guess where that 5% is going to go, even if it actually that big. The downside would be that instead of having people running the buses that have incentives to keep people coming back the industry would rapidly be run by people whose first priority is to please local and national politicians and things get really expensive very quickly in these cases, and get really bad for passengers. This isn't to say the current system is perfect (network information was often better under NBC for example), but, until somebody votes in the kind of government that's willing to spend serious money on buses, it's likely to be better than the alternative.