Harold Macmillan - Charlie Richardson - Noam Chomsky - Paul Foot - John Pilger - Andrew Marr TV - Alex Jones - Ruben Hinojosa - Misha Glenny - Mark Thomas TV - Tory! Tory! Tory! TV - The Empire Files & Peter Phillips - Dispatches TV - John Smith - Panorama TV -
First of all the Georgian silver goes, and then all that nice furniture that used to be in the saloon. Then the Canalettos go. Harold Macmiillan
The City is far more dishonest than anything I did before. The biggest organised crime in Britain was performed by the government stealing something the British people already owned and selling it back to them. Charlie Richardson, London gangster, worked in City on release from Prison 1984
Privatisation: ‘You take a public institution and you give it to an unaccountable tyranny.’ Noam Chomsky, cited The Corporation, 2003
That’s the standard technique of privatization: defund, make sure things don’t work, people get angry, you hand it over to private capital. Noam Chomsky
Electricity generation was carefully parcelled out to two huge monopolies, Power-Gen and National Power. The 12 public electricity distribution companies were transformed into 12 private electricity distribution companies, run by exactly the same people and in exactly the same way as before ...
The only difference is that the new monopolies are not answerable to any elected authority and provide the most lavish largesse for their top executives and shareholders. John Baker, a bureaucrat who ran the CEGB at £76,000 a year is now an ‘entrepreneur’ who runs National Power for £347,911 a year, plus share options. In the first full year of trading the electricity companies paid out more than £300 million in dividends to private individuals, funds, trusts and banks. Almost at once the market went into another spasm of greed. The new companies, using special powers given to them by Parkinson and Wake-ham (powers which had been specifically denied to the old nationalised companies) started to fund new gas fired power stations. The chief effect of this ‘dash for gas’ was to increase the overcapacity of power supply by a fantastic 25 per cent.
Was the purpose to make electricity cheaper? All the evidence suggests that the new gas fired electricity will be more expensive than the coal fired kind in the short term and much more expensive in the long term. How, in this disciplined and consumer conscious market, can billions of pounds be spent on increasing power, when there is apparently too much of it already, and into the bargain make it more expensive?
First, because the investors in private electricity want to collect a dividend from their share in the new gas stations, there is no dividend from nationalised coal. Secondly, the gas fired stations provide the new power vampires with a source of power supply where the unions are not half as strong as in the pits. So the market works against its own logic, increasing overcapacity and raising prices, solely in order to shift the balance of the fight against the workers.
This is also the only explanation for the greatest absurdity of all in the privatised power market; the subsidy for the nuclear industry. If the coal industry had the £1.3 billion subsidy dished out by the government for its unprofitable and dangerous nuclear power stations, coal could be given away free, delivered free and in abundance to every power station and every home, and still make a profit. Paul Foot, Birth of Our Power, November 1992
The huge privatisations which were meant to sweep away bureaucracy and bring down prices have set up new bureaucracies even more offensive and remote than their predecessors. Basic utilities such as water, electricity and gas have been delivered into the hands of greedy businesses which go about their profit-making without even a glance in the direction of parliament. Paul Foot, The Case for Socialism, 1990
It can only be a disaster, a disaster on many levels. For one thing you’ll see is the end of public service, and I think people now realise the true value of public service as the economy starts to melt down. In a way, that’s the biggest example of what a disaster privatisation is, that public service as such never really implodes or melts down. It’s a form of privatisation of capital ... That whole unspoken ethos would go. John Pilger, interview re privatisation of Sydney ferry service
The country was gripped by a borrowing frenzy. And it fuelled the mother and father of all consumer booms. This is the moment when British shopping goes turbo-charged ... In the ’80s for the first time we are what we buy. Now there was no stopping the revolution. The Conservatives set about selling off state-owned industries. Oil, electricity, steel, water, phones, airlines, all sold to the private sector. Privatisation became the very essence of Thatcherism. And British Gas was the biggest privatisation of the lot ... Billboards proclaiming Tell Sid. Andrew Marr’s History of Modern Britain, BBC 2007
The New World Order also allows European Union controlled and private financed corporations to buy up critical government services like waste, water and electricity. Privatisation isn’t private at all. It is simply a partnership between select corporations that act more like organised crime rings or modern pirates in partnership between government to bring you this tyranny. Alex Jones, Police State III: Total Enslavement, 2003
The privatization plan weakens Social Security and threatens our economic security by creating trillions of dollars in new debt. Ruben Hinojosa
Russia’s economy became a giant Petri-dish of Chicago-school market economics, but among the cultures they were busy cultivating was a Frankenstein that slipped out through the door of their laboratory almost unnoticed ... The coupling of a privatised foreign-trade mechanism with the retention of rock-bottom subsidized commodity prices gave birth within months to the entirely new species of robber baron – the Russian oligarch. Misha Glenny, McMafia
The process of enrichment was quite simply the grandest larceny in history and stands no historical comparison ... The biggest single flight of capital the world has ever seen. ibid.
The Soviet bureaucrats who still administered the state did not understand how to monitor, regulate or adjudicate the principles of commercial exchange. ibid.
Tube: it carries as many passengers as the rail network … This is a flagship policy … People don’t want the Tube to be privatised. Mark Thomas Comedy Product s5e6, Channel 4 2001
When you privatise the rail network … you fragment it. ibid.
The House of Lords: the vermin in ermine. ibid.
Enhanced PPP. Son of PPP. George W PPP. ibid.
They’ve already split the Tube up into four distinct companies … It’s called shadow running. ibid.
They’re going on strike for safety … This is our underground system. They’re your drivers. ibid.
A new buzzword entered the vocabulary: privatisation. Tory! Tory! Tory! III: The Exercise of Power, BBC 2006
The first company put up for sale was British Telecom. ibid.
‘Popular capitalism is nothing less than a crusade.’ ibid. Thatcher
The biggest privatisation of all was council houses. ibid.
We live in a world of over-abundance yet the gap between the rich and the poor continues to dramatically deepen. The 26 richest people on the planet now hold the same wealth as the 3.8 billion poorest. The Empire Files: Giants: Who Really Rules the World? Abby Martin online 2019
200 people control $50 trillion … A lot of those decisions aren’t favourable to most people … One of the problems with capital and capitalism is that it needs to continue to grow … They run out of places to invest … Literally privatise the world … everything is privatised, so the public domain is bought up … ibid. Professor Peter Phillips
Angry passengers from across Britain have sent their own stories to our special website A Journey from Hell. ‘That’s going to cost me £173 exactly’ … ‘I’ve had trouble booking tickets’. A decade and a half on from privatisation we’ve ended up with a rail system part-private part-public that’s leeching billions of pounds from the taxpayer. We’ve got overcrowded trains, while passengers complain of an incomprehensible and rapacious ticketing system. The trains are said to be running on time, but are they really? I’m trying to find out what’s going on. But the train companies don’t seem too keen for me to film on the trains. Dispatches: Train Journeys From Hell, Richard Wilson reporting, Channel 4 2011
The biggest government subsidy too ... the highest in Europe. ibid.
The Great British railway. A grand and historic institution ... Travelling across iconic feats of Victorian architecture … on trains designed to get us from city to city quickly, directly and theoretically on time. But they aren’t, are they? Today’s railways are in chaos with delays and cancellations and endless broken promises of track replacements, high-speed trains and upgrades. Dispatches: Ben Elton: The Great Railway Disaster, Channel 4 2023
I want to find out why. What’s gone wrong with our railways? ibid.
Since privatisation a quarter of all rail franchises have failed. ibid.
And even before the pandemic, the government was handing over three times as much cash to railways as it did in the days of British Rail. ibid.
Since privatisation the cost of running the passenger network is £64.3 billion more than if run by British Rail. ibid.
What is the nation to think when we see former ministers popping up on the boards of companies they themselves helped to privatize? Ministers one after the other take that slippery sleazy slide from the Cabinet room to the boardroom: cashing in on their own privatization plans. John Smith
It’s the passions our railway generates that makes it politicly sensitive. Panorama: British Rail: The Ultimate Sell-Off, Fred Emery reporting, BBC 1989
Customers would get a better deal the government believes with a private train. ibid.
Panorama tonight can disclose the radical approach ministers are taking towards rail privatisation. ibid.