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



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 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.
Follow us on Twitter: @PublicOwnership

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Angry about rail fares? Get on board the renationalisation express

The campaign for the renationalisation of the railways is gaining momentum!

Here is CPO Director Neil Clark's new article from The Guardian.

The 50th anniversary of the Great Train Robbery of August 1963 has been marked with a plethora of articles and the publication of new books. But why all the fuss, because the reality is that we're living through a Great Train Robbery which makes the activities of Ronnie Biggs and Co look insignificant. While Biggs and his gang only got away with £2.6m, the privatised train companies have (perfectly legally it must be said) taken billions from the public purse since 1996 – and have had the chutzpah to also charge us the highest rail fares in Europe...

The whole article can be read here.

If you would like to support the CPO's campaign to end the Great Privatised Train Robbery, then any donations would be greatly appreciated! And we're always looking for volunteers to help hand out our leaflets at demonstrations, so please get in touch if you can help!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Save the Royal Mail!

Having sold off Search and Rescue, the manic privatisers in the UK Coalition are now turning their attentions to the Royal Mail, with an autumn sell-off planned. We can't allow the neoliberals to destroy our postal service in the same way they've destroyed our railways and other public services.

You can sign a petition against the privatisation here, and a model letter for you to send to your MP is also available. Also, please keep an eye on the CPO Twitter feed @PublicOwnership and the Save our Royal Mail website for details of forthcoming demonstrations/protests against the planned sell-off.

As to what a privatised postal service would be like, we don't have to look far: only to The Netherlands where privatisation has brought chaos (article here).  This chaos will be coming to the UK, if the Coalition get their way.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Energy crisis? The answer is obvious: renationalisation

This piece by CPO co-founder Neil Clark, on privatisation and the 'Emperor's New Clothes' effect, appears in the Morning Star

.......Another good example of the Emperor's New Clothes effect is the current "debate" about soaring gas and electricity bills and what the government should do about them.
The "experts" tell us that we need more competition in the energy market. We need more regulation.
We need the government to "get tough" with the utility companies and make it easier for us to switch providers.
But the reason why our utility bills are so high and continue to rise year after year above inflation is a simple one indeed. It is the same reason our rail fares are so high and continue to rise year after year above inflation. It's called "privatisation."

You can read the piece in full here.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Search and Rescue privatisation reveals a coalition obsessed with privatisation

This new piece by CPO co-founder Neil Clark, on the UK government's latest privatisation plans, appears on The Guardian website.

From RAF search and rescue to Royal Mail and the NHS, state services are being sold off. The public don't back this extremism

You really couldn't make it up. As the RAF search and rescue service does heroic work helping people caught out or marooned in heavy snow in north Wales, the government announces that the very same service is to be privatised – with a 10-year contract worth £1.6bn being awarded to an American company whose headquarters are in Texas. "Our search and rescue helicopter service plays a crucial role, saving lives and providing assistance to people in distress on both land and on sea," said transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin on Tuesday. But why, when the SAR service is so excellent, and does such a fantastic job, is the government handing over all the work to a private company? We're told that the RAF's rescue helicopters are "ageing"; but can we really not afford to buy them 22 new ones?

It's not the only privatisation to be announced this week. The east coast mainline, which has been in public ownership since the previous franchise holder National Express quit in 2009, is to be reprivatised – despite the railway under public ownership being a resounding success.

Also, on 1 April, the Health and Social Care Act comes into force, which, in the words of the National Health Action party, "effectively abolishes the NHS in England after 65 years of existence". "We're not going to have a big bang privatisation for the NHS. We're going to have a very quiet one," says Dr Lucy Reynolds, in a recent interview for the BMJ.

These aren't the only privatisations – loud or quiet – we've got to look forward to in coalition Britain. 

The whole article can be read here