Monday, November 9, 2015

Neil Clark: Privatisation and Big Brother go hand-in-glove

The CPO's Neil Clark's new Morning Star column on the link between neoliberalism/neoconservatism  and the surveillance state.

The combination of privatisation, increased state surveillance and greater police powers suits the neoliberals and neocons who rule over us perfectly, argues NEIL CLARK

On October 13 the government sold off the last publicly owned stake in Royal Mail, which had been in state hands since its inception in 1516.
On November 4 Theresa May announced a new Investigatory Powers Bill, which would enable mass state surveillance of everyone in Britain.
In the words of the US investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald: “The UK is about to become the only democracy in the world to force internet companies to store people’s browsing history.”
At first it might seem strange that a government that is so keen on privatising and reducing state involvement in the economy is also keen on increasing the state’s snooping powers. But there really is no contradiction.

The whole article can be read here.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

How support for Public Ownership can propel Jeremy Corbyn and Labour to power

The CPO's Neil Clark's latest column for the Morning Star.

....Support for public ownership undoubtedly helped to propel Corbyn to the Labour leadership. It can also help him and Labour return to power in 2020.
For it’s not just Labour members who have had enough of privatisation. Polls carried out by the Money Saving Expert website, founded and edited by Martin Lewis, found large majorities in favour of public ownership earlier this year. A poll in late January showed that 86 per cent of the 10,742 people who voted were in favour of nationalising the railways. And 75 per cent supported renationalisation of the gas and energy companies..

Read the whole article here

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Railing, then failing- The Tories favourite game

The new Morning Star column from CPO  Director Neil Clark:

PRIVATISED companies are exposed for sharp practices. A “furious” government minister says that what they’re doing is wrong and threatens to “take action.” Nothing happens. If that sequence of events sounds familiar then its no surprise. It’s what’s been occurring on a regular basis since the era of privatisation rip-offs began in 1979.
The latest example is the “revelation” that rail company First Great Western has been hiding the cheapest fares from its customers at its booking offices. Newspapers published emails from the company to its customers which stated that its staff were under no obligation to inform passengers about the best fares — it was up to passengers to find them for themselves.
Straight on cue, Rail Minister Claire Perry expressed her outrage....

You can read the whole column here.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Cameron's track record on privatisation- a small reminder

The CPO's Neil Clark latest column in the Morning Star 

REMEMBER when David Cameron was elected as Conservative leader in the autumn of 2005?
Back then he was portrayed by his supporters in the elite media clique as a moderate “one nation” Tory — a man who was going to deliver “compassionate conservatism” and move “the nasty party” away from Thatcherism.
But, as I pointed out in a newspaper article which went very much against the tide in October 2005, there was nothing moderate about “Dave” or his policies.
Cameron’s extremism in office can be seen quite clearly in many areas, and not least in his zeal for privatisation.
The Con-Dem coalition which Cameron has led has been the most fanatically pro-privatisation government in our country’s history — privatising things which even Margaret Thatcher decided were best kept in public ownership.
With a general election looming, let’s remind ourselves of some of the national assets and public services which have been sold off in the past five years under the Con-Dems and how much British taxpayers have been short-changed by these sales.

The whole article can be read here.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Who will slam the brakes on unfair bus fare rises?

The CPO's Neil Clark's new column in the Morning Star can be read here. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Great Privatisation Swindle-Public Meeting in Yeovil this Saturday

The Great Privatisation swindle - the case for Public Ownership. Public meeting in Yeovil, Somerset, Saturday 17th January 2015.
Speaker: Neil Clark, Director of the Campaign for Public Ownership.

Full details of the meeting here.
Do try and come along!

Monday, January 5, 2015




Today we have seen major demonstrations at rail stations across in the UK in protest over yet another round of above-inflation fare increases- in a country which already has by far and away the highest rail fares in Europe. The Campaign for Public Ownership welcomes and strongly supports such protests but believes that it's not just the railways we ought to be concentrating on in a general election year. Polls showing sizeable majorities in favour not just of renationalising the railways, but also water (in England where it is privatised) and our energy companies too.It is fair to say that privatisation, launched as an ideological project by the government of Margaret Thatcher thirty-six years ago and carried on by successive British governments since, has never been so unpopular, or so discredited.The problem that we public ownership campaigners have is not convincing people about the failures of privatisation- which are all too apparent, but making the issue of public ownership the election deal breaker. People oppose privatisation and want renationalisation, but none of the leading political parties supports renationalisation: all, to a greater or lesser extent still wedded to a deeply flawed neoliberal model.

CPO director Neil Clark has outlined how he believes things might change- and has formulated a 'Four Questions' strategy which the CPO will be promoting in the weeks before this year's general election. It is our ambition to make Public Ownership the number one issue in the 2015 election.
'The first thing to do is to find out who your parliamentary candidates are. Then email or write to them making it clear that the answers given to four key questions will determine whether or not you will vote for them. The questions are:Do you support the renationalisation of Britain’s railways?Do you support the renationalisation of our bus services?Do you support renationalisation of the energy sector, and in the case of England, water too?Do you support a publicly owned NHS and oppose all privatisation of health services and other public services?Anyone who answers No to all four of these questions is a candidate who supports privatisation and is is not worthy of support. The ideal candidate is the one who answers Yes to all four. Simply vote for the candidate with the highest number of Yes answers — if there’s more than one candidate who passes the public ownership test then check with their party’s manifesto to make sure that these commitments are official policy.Opinion polls show large majorities in favour of renationalisation but, in order to make our vastly superior numbers count, we need to convince those standing for election that we’re going to cast our votes on the basis of this issue. '

The CPO's aim is to put all major candidates at this year's election 'on the spot' on the issue of public ownership in a way that they have never been put 'on the spot' before.We believe that if candidates are asked 'The Four Questions' test, we will get the change that the majority of Britons, fed up with paying over the odds for basic services, would urgently like to see.