I have long argued that there should be much greater transparency when it comes to journalists writing comment pieces for the national press. The reader has a right to know what financial interest, if any, the writer has in the area under discussion. Today's Daily Telegraph contains a piece by Kendra Okonski, arguing that water privatisation hasn't gone far enough.
The state should stop telling the private water companies what to do, and allow them to charge the market rate for their water. 'Customers should pay for every drop' Okonski opines- regardless of course of their ability to pay. At the foot of the piece the Telegraph mentions that Okonski is 'Envirnomental Director of International Policy Network' . Sound pretty bland doesn't it? I wonder how many Daily Telegraph readers will go the trouble of finding out who funds the IPN? If they knew, they would take Ms Okonksi's expressed concern for 'the environment' with a huge barrow-load full of salt.
Here's the lowdown on Okonski and the IPN from Sourcewatch.
And here's our great British water expert speaking to the American Enterprise Institute (!) in March 2006:
Kendra Okonski: Yeah, I’ll answer that one too. The U.K. has a privatized water system. I have to admit I don’t know much about the details of how it was done.