Saturday, August 30, 2014

Taken for a ride: Why it's time to renationalise the buses

CPO Director Neil Clark's new column in the Morning Star.

Subsidies for private bus companies run into hundreds of millions and the service provided leaves a lot to be desired. Neil Clark explains why it’s time to renationalise the buses

 

IT’S good to see that more and more media commentators and pundits are boarding the "Renationalise The Railways Express" to join those of us who’ve been calling for such a move for many years.

Calling for the railways to be renationalised 10 years ago had one marked down as a hard-core Marxist or political extremist. Now it’s perfectly mainstream — as even the supporters of privatisation find it hard to make any kind of case for keeping the status quo.

However, when it comes to renationalising bus transport, it’s rather a different story.

The whole article can be read here:

If you're fed up with rocketing bus fares and cuts in services, please consider donating to the CPO, via the donate button on our website, to help us with our campaign for renationalisation.
All contributions, large or small, gratefully received!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Royal Mail sell-off: Don't let Labour's front bench off the hook



The new Public Ownership column from the CPO's Neil Clark 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."

You can read the whole article here.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Rail against Privatisation



IT IS the New Year tradition that we could well do without. Every year, Britain’s rail users, who already pay the highest fares in Europe, are hit with increases on their first day back to work. Happy New Year? Our greedy rail companies make sure that the goodwill lasts only one day.

CPO Director Neil Clark makes the case for renationalising Britain's railways in today's Sunday Express. You can read the whole of his article here.

If you agree with him, please do consider a donation to our campaign, via this website's 'Donate' button. Thanks to everyone who has donated to the CPO in 2013. Your support is hugely appreciated. The more money we can raise in 2014, the louder we can make our voices heard.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

A right royal rip-off: What the privatisation of the Royal Mail tells us about modern Britain



What a black day for Britain. Here is CPO director's Neil Clark's new piece on the shameful privatisation of the Royal Mail, and what it tells us about our governing elite and in whose interest they govern.

It’s the wilful destruction of another much-loved British institution. The privatisation of the Royal Mail, the British postal service, brings to an end nearly five hundred years of history- stretching back the days of King Henry VIII. 
By privatising the Royal Mail, our coalition government has shown that it does not care a jot for our national heritage, or the devastating impact the sell-off will have on remote rural communities, or how the elderly and the poor will be disproportionately affected. They have shown us that all they care about is rewarding their wealthy backers in the City of London and keeping in with the giants of global capitalism.

You can read the whole article here.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Lost in the (Huffington) Post: Labour's Royal Mail betrayal



This new column by CPO Director Neil Clark  appears in the Morning Star.

One of the funniest moments in the hilarious Blackadder Goes Forth series was when our heroes are reminiscing about their time in the first world war trenches before the going "over the top" in the final "big push."
"I mean, we've had some good times. We've had damnably good laughs, eh?" says the silly-arse public schoolboy George (played by Hugh Laurie). "Yes. Can't think of any specific ones, myself..." replies Captain Blackadder.
I was reminded of that classic exchange when reading the article on Labour's policy towards the privatisation of the Royal Mail by shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna, published on the Huffington Post website.

You can read the whole article here. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

'Even Thatcher didn't want to privatise the Royal Mail!'



The CPO's Director Neil Clark  makes the case against the privatisation of the Royal Mail- and against privatisation in general, in a lively debate on Voice of Russia radio.  

Thursday, September 12, 2013

CPO Press Release on UK government's plans to privatise the Royal Mail



PRESS RELEASE: THURSDAY 12th SEPTEMBER 2013

THE CAMPAIGN FOR PUBLIC OWNERSHIP CONDEMNS GOVERNMENT PLANS TO PRIVATISE THE ROYAL MAIL

The Campaign for Public Ownership has said that the government's planned privatisation of Royal Mail, in total defiance of public opinion,' highlights once again the complete contempt that Britain's pro-privatisation neoliberal elite has for the views of ordinary people' .

CPO co-founder and Director, Neil Clark says:

'At a time when privatisation has never been so unpopular or so discredited, Britain's neoliberal coalition plans to sell off a much-loved publicly owned institution which has been in state-ownership since its inception nearly 500 years ago. Opinion polls show over two-thirds of people opposed to the sale, while one third say they are 'strongly opposed'. But once again, the UK Coalition government is treating the views of the vast majority of the public with contempt. This is another case of privatise the profits, nationalise the losses. The private buyers will get a business that has been 'fattened-up' by record hikes in stamp prices, but we- the taxpayer - have been left holding the big pension fund liabilities- but we won't have the profits from the Royal Mail to pay for them. The government says that universal deliveries being maintained- but how long will this last? There is also a big threat to rural services.

The claim that privatisation will improve an already excellent postal service is pure neoliberal propaganda: has privatisation improved Britain’s railways- or brought lower prices and better service to gas, electricity and water consumers? The reality is that the opposite has occurred and if we do privatise Royal Mail we will get a worse, not better service- with cutbacks in deliveries and hiked prices, as The Netherlands' disastrous experience of postal privatisation proves.

The Campaign for Public Ownership is working with all other groups who oppose the sale to mobilise public opposition to the government's plans as we believe that it is still possible to thwart the planned sell-off. We will also be calling on the Labour Party to pledge to renationalise the Royal Mail as this will help to sabotage any sale.

THE CAMPAIGN FOR PUBLIC OWNERSHIP

The Campaign for Public Ownership is a cross-party organisation which aims to harness public dissatisfaction with privatisation and campaign for a reversal of the disastrous policies of the last thirty-four years. The Campaign seeks to expose the cost to the public of privatisation, and highlight the inefficiencies and profiteering of the privatised companies. We also strongly urge that the British government does not give a penny of taxpayers money to a privately owned company without the public receiving equity in that company. The Campaign seeks to counter the negative propaganda about public ownership put about by those with a vested financial interest in privatisation. It’s time to bring to an end to the Great Privatisation Rip-Off.
Email: publicownership@hotmail.co.uk
Follow us on Twitter: @PublicOwnership