Virtue ....... Freedom ....... Aspiration ....... Wealth ....... Peace

 


 
Manifesto Introduction
 
The party defines itself by the five core policies. So that members and non-members clearly understand what the party stands for, these cannot be changed. At present they are principles the details of which will be decided according to the party constitution
 
All other policies will be decided according to the constitution
 
Below is a provisional list of headings for the Mani-festo each with a link to a page
That page contains provisional ideas for discussion.

Read this, as work in progress. Only DRP paid up members can comment and so if you want to have your say:

 

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A NEW CONSTITUTION FOR BRITAIN
Constitution Design
Executive
House of Commons Senate
Autonomous Regions

Electoral System

Democracy
Judiciary
Constitutional Court Supreme Court
Functions of Government Public Services Board Monetary Policy Board

Monarchy

 


 

ECONOMICS
Banking

Finance
Globalization
Monetary reform

Personal Finance

Austerity

Great Crisis

 

 

TAXATION
Tax havens
Corporation tax
Income tax
Wealth tax

 

REGIONS
Federal nation
Autonomous regions

 

INDUSTRY
Skills training
Industry needs
Business development
Export assistance

Employment

 

PUBLIC SERVICES
Health
Education
Utilities
Transport Road Rail Air
Social Housing
Postal Services, Telecommunications
Police
Fire Service
Prisons
Probation Service
Waste/ pollution

 

FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Europe
Commonwealth

Islamic World
War
Military provision

 

SOCIETY
Families
Social exclusion
Minorities and race relations,
Citizenship

Economic enfranchisement
Church of England
Civil Society
Deprivation
Youth
Meritocracy
Immigration

Ethical Issues
Humanitarian issues/Animals

 

NATIONAL PLANNING
National planning strategies
Coordination of regions
Transport

Energy/Climate Change

 

 

LAW
Human rights
Liberty
Economic rights
Citizenship
Penal reform
Vice
Drugs
Prostitution
Gambling

 

CULTURE
Arts
Broadcasting/BBC
Press

 

POLITICS
Political parties
Corruption
Protest
Political philosophy

 

SPORT/LEISURE

 

ENERGY

 

ENVIRONMENT

 

AGRICULTURE

 

CEREMONIAL

 

CIVIL SERVICE
Government departments
Prosecution Service

 

 

 


 

ISSUES DISCUSSED IN THE NEWSLETTERS NOT LINKED TO THE MANIFESTO

 

HISTORY

British Republican History

 

OTHER NATIONS

USA

 

 

 

 

© COPYRIGHT. All content of this website unless otherwise indicated is the copyright of Peter Kellow. You may freely quote and republish content on condition that you acknowledge the author the source and give the link to the website www.democraticrepublicanparty.co.uk

 

 

THATCHER'S
MALIGN LEGACY

 

The disastrous neoliberal agenda that still dominates all main parties today

 



 

4. Privatization

 

Thatcher did not start off as a privatiser. The idea seemed to creep up on her. After all, the idea of selling off the “family silver”, the long term assets the country held that contributed to the exchequer’s coffers, in exchange for the short term gain of the income from the sale, was not obviously a good idea. Thatcher, as a populist, would not at first go near it. Surely, the people would rumble what was happening and how future Britons would be fleeced.

Once she had concluded that she could get away with privatization there was no stopping her. It was sold to the public on the basis of two ideas

  1. It would lead to popular share ownership
  2. Private companies are automatically more efficient that state run companies

As I have said, Thatcher was a populist and an ideologue. The first idea was populist, the second was ideological. Let’s look at each in turn

What happened in reality to the idea of wider, popular share ownership? Who now owns the shares? In fact, very little of the original float has remained in the hands of private individuals. The shares were all sold too cheap and so people found themselves sitting on a potential profit and the temptation to sell off was too strong for most. Where institutional investors such as pension funds have bought into ex-state industries you might argue that they have ended up being owned by the public – but this is far from being so in many cases.

In the worse cases, such as some of the water companies, the companies have ended up being 100% held by private equity concerns and so the shares are no longer floated. Private equity companies exist because of the huge amount of wealth that has accumulated in recent years to the global state-free superrich - about which I have written several times. The wealth of these individuals is so colossal that buying properties and shares is too small beer for them. They want and can afford whole companies. They particularly like cash cows such as monopoly water companies. So ownership passes to private equity (a long way from popular share ownership). These companies do not register in Britain but exploit tax havens to reduce their taxes to minimal amounts. Often the services they give to their customers is poor and they use customer receipts to finance capital. They have a stranglehold over their customers (in spite of the ‘watchdogs’) and so there is little need to plough back profits into investment.

Turning to the second argument for privatisation, that the state cannot run companies is pure ideology. The French electricity company EDF, for instance, is mostly state owned and it is as efficient as any private company. It is also predatory as, where other countries have foolishly privatized electricity, it can buy up the private companies - so we have the irony whereby the privatized companies have been returned to state ownership but the state in question is foreign. Thatcherites would never accept the simple truth that an important reason why the state owned companies in Britain functioned poorly is because the state starved them of investment. By not maintaining them properly a self-fulfilling policy was constructed

Private entrepreneurship is the essential motor that drives an economy and so companies should be private – unless there is a compelling reason why they should not be. There are two such compelling reasons

  1. If the industry is as service industry and can never be run at a profit. This is the case with railways, for instance. This did not prevent the ideological conservatives from privatizing rail. Privatisation did not alter the fact that rail companies on their own are unviable, it just meant that that the subsidies go to private not public companies - with all the inefficiency and unaccountability that that involves
  2. If the industry is a natural monopoly. If one private company owns an entire industry and there is no competition the consumer will be poorly served and probably exploited. This is the case with the essential public services: water, gas, electricity. If these industries are in private hands the public will be the loser. We can all too easily end up with foreign owned companies, over which we have only limited control and that have no regard for British national interest. There may appear to be competition as you can buy, say, gas, from a range of companies, but this is a farce. The supply of gas has to be along the same pipes whichever company nominally supplies the gas. The supposed competition just leads to inefficiency as tasks are duplicated between different companies. The consumer will ultimately pay for these inefficiencies

And what we tend to forget is that some state industries did make profits and these went to the exchequer and reduced taxes and state debt. Listen to anyone who was Chancellor before privatisation and they will talk fondly of how they could see each year state industry receipts dropping into their lap. The fact that the country is broke now is partly because these revenues exist no more.

But did we not benefit from the sales? Any capital the country received was squandered by Thatcher in propping up her ideologically driven policies. We are all the losers from privatization. There was certainly a case for making parts of the industries concerned private and subject to competitive tender but placing natural monopolies wholesale in the private hands simply makes no sense.

In a latest twist, Britain is now in a position where it is seeking contractors to build new nuclear powers stations, but the trouble is there is only one tenderer – our old friend, Electricité de France, EDF. One of those reviled state industries is the only one left standing that can do the job. Money and jobs will go abroad. How many Thatcher supporters are will to stand up and admit we are in this sorry position because of her privatization policy? None. They ignore the facts and just keep spouting myths about conviction and political greatness

 

 


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