Monday, April 07, 2014

On the Royal Mail sell-off, Tony Benn & privatisation in Serbia

My new Public Ownership column in the Morning Star.

It's Grand National day. In 1937, the world's most famous steeplechase was won by a horse called Royal Mail.
Just as well Vince Cable and George Osborne weren't around then as they'd have flogged the poor animal off for a fraction of its value - and left the old owners paying for its upkeep, with the new owners able to pocket the profits of future wins.
For, of course, this is what they've done to our Royal Mail. Quite rightly, the price the Royal Mail was sold for has come under attack, with the National Audit Office reporting this week that the government's actions cost British taxpayers £750 million in a single day, but while the fact that this national institution was sold for at least £1.6 billion below its real value is scandalous - and some would say criminal - it would be a mistake to base our critique of the sale solely on the basis that "they sold it off on the cheap."
For the fact is that even if the Royal Mail had been sold at its proper value, it would still have been the wrong thing to do.
The Royal Mail was a profitable publicly owned enterprise which had delivered an excellent service to the public for centuries.

You can read the whole column here. 

1 comment:

brian said...

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