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From The Socialist newspaper, 18 January 2002

Stop This Privatisation Madness

PRIVATE PROFIT is public enemy number one. If your train doesn't arrive, if you're denied a hospital bed, if your education services are cut, if your libraries are closed then chances are it's because big business has decided it doesn't make enough money.

Ken Smith

Twenty five years ago the Tories told us public ownership of industries wasn't working and spent 18 years privatising everything in sight, making services inadequate, less reliable or non-existent.

Labour continued the Tories' privatisation agenda and for four years has launched attack after attack on the public sector and the workers in it. The result has been a further paralysis of public services.

Now, faced with mounting chaos on the railways and a failure to deliver in other public services, Labour cabinet members admit their privatisation agenda has gone "flaky".

We've warned for ages that Labour's plans were not just "flaky" but dangerous and that things were getting worse than they were under the Tories.

Blair, however, carries on globetrotting trying to solve the world's intractable problems while ignoring the Third-World condition of Britain's public services. No wonder two-thirds of voters think he is arrogant and out of touch.

Now workers - pushed to breaking point - are taking action against the privatisation madness, which has meant them having to apologise for services they have no control over.

Public services are public in name only. Those who really pull the purse strings are big businesses who make a profit out of workers' low pay and ripping off the rest of us.

The big rail companies say Byers' new plan won't work because they won't invest any more or take less profits. When will the Daily Mail have screaming banner headlines about this investment strike by big business against our railways?

Now, Health Secretary Milburn wants to create a Railtrack in the NHS, bringing in more private managers. But, from Enron and Marconi to Britain's ailing rail system we've seen private profit only brings public misery.

Let's fight to end the role of these private parasites and bring industry under the democratic control and planning of working-class people - the people who use and work in these services.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 18 January 2002:

Stop This Privatisation Madness

PCS dispute: Support Action For Safety

A Return to the 1970s?... If Only

Northern Ireland: Workers Strike Against Killings

Argentina: Mass Protests Threaten Ruling Class

The Worst Railways In Europe


 

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Privatisation:

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Labour:

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