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Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Great Privatisation Rip-Off- and how we can end it

Ever since the Thatcher governments – which insisted that regulation, rather than being a device to protect the public, was in fact a conspiracy against them– politicians have been deluged with complaints about poor service, mis-selling and excess profit among privatised or deregulated industries. They always promise to get tough and, indeed, sometimes move towards re-regulation. But companies always find new tricks, keeping one step ahead of both consumer and government. So it will continue, for better or worse, until someone dares to utter again the dread words: public ownership.

You can read the whole of Peter Wilby’s brilliant Guardian piece on the ‘financialisation of daily life’ in the neoliberal era, here.

And of course some of us have uttered the ‘dread words’, and have been doing so for some time.


Chris H said...

How we can end it is yet to be seen. The cynic inside me expects no end in sight whilst directors and shareholders have unfettered access to the public need.

When the utilities were flogged off I never did understand how company X's electrons could cost less than company Y's. Or how a different gas supply could be enabled without ripping up the pipework.

Now in hindsight we see that there is no difference except where your gas, water and electric payments end up.

It's a good piece by Peter Wilby, but it does leave me a bit depressed. He highlights how those who don't spend hours predicting energy usage or the vagiaries of the energy markets subsidise those in 'the know'. As to changing suppliers I did change supplier once, never again. The changeover was less than smooth and I was expected to pay for the disagreement between the companies over final meter readings.

How I long for the day when everyone paid the same rate. No winners, no losers.

Neil Clark said...

Hi Chris,

"How I long for the day when everyone paid the same rate. No winners, no losers."

I totally agree.