The stench of British privatisation is becoming evident in the run up to COP26. Government ministers are running for cover and attempting to hide under stones after a Government motion was defeated which would have forced the private water companies to clean up their act. However what happened was actually very embarrassing for the government because the bill was defeated which actually looked liked a huge endorsement for the behaviour of the private water companies and a signal that it was OK to keep discharging untreated sewage in the rivers of Britain and into the seas around the UK. This is a huge embarrassment to the government in the run up to COP26. Again it is a stench resulting from the privatisations of the water companies pioneered by previous Conservative governments.
It appears that ministers voted on the matter in the way that they did mainly because of huge investments in the infrastructure that would be needed to update the antiquated system currently in place. Cost in this case was prohibitive to improving and maintaining the environment so the choice preferred was to continue to pollute and degrade the environment.
So why haven’t these private companies been investing in making these improvements themselves and why are they still reliant on funding from the government and the tax payers? What has gone wrong with privatisation? Surely the idea of privatisation was to become independent of the tax payer and yet these companies still manage to bother the tax payers to subsidise their profiteering enterprises.
The Labour Party need to reinstate Clause IV of the Labour Party Constitution in order to bind members to a common purpose and understanding of what Socialism actually represents to the Labour Party. At the moment we have a situation of chaos where each member seems to have a different interpretation of socialism there seems to be a lack of common understanding. The very meaning and understanding of socialism is open to interpretation in today’s Labour Party. This is an ill advised system in my opinion. In the past members knew instinctively where the Labour Party’s values were and they knew what was meant when referring to socialism. After Blair this all changed and there is now mass confusion and this is reflected in the mass confusion regarding the overall direction of the Party. The idea that socialism is an system of economic principles and values has seemingly been rather too conveniently forgotten about, and when many members refer to socialism they are simply referring to notions of fairness relative to the other political parties. Simply being nice and fair and listening to the opinions of others is not socialism. It should not be forgotten that socialism is actually a set of economic principles designed to bring about a greater distribution of wealth in an economic system and is something that challenges the notions of Adam Smith’s ideas regarding Capitalism. Socialism counters the greed of a purely Capitalist System of Economics and it gives people a stake in society through the benefits of the State owning some part of the economic system in order to obtain capital for the investment for the good of all the country’s citizens. In particular the key industries it targets are those that are essential for the running of the country such as Energy Supply and Transport. These are the key industries which socialism targets to generate capital for re-investment in the country’s health provision (NHS), to reduce the burden of taxation on the individual and to support local essential services, police and council provisions etc.
Continue reading The Labour Party need to reinstate Clause IV
A sure fire way to get the utilities and railways back into public ownership and the less costly way of achieving this.
Yes I admire the ambition of the Labour Party Manifesto and it’s aim to get the Gas and Electricity utilities and railways back into public ownership. Success of this would lead to a more prosperous and fairer Britain and it would be the start of a new era for Britain. Yes it is high time to reverse the failed privatisations of Margaret Thatcher and John Major, and this would be a move which would put Britain on track again. However the scale and the cost of the task is dauntingly enormous and Thatcher knew how difficult it would be to ever go backwards. She tried to make her privatisations irreversible in an attempt to frustrate any attempts to ever develop socialism in Britain. She thought that she had had the final word but despite this there was a fundamental flaw in her plan and one which the Labour Party could exploit if it is savvy enough.
Continue reading Competition is the way forward for the public ownership of Gas and Electricity in Britain