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Friday, May 14, 2010

Let's fix up England - Nationalisation vs Privatisation

Now I'm sure you read my earlier post regarding the fact that England has spoken and if not, well shame on you. You really need to understand how this "Great" Britain works or not as the case may be. Regardless, last evening was spent spining out an excellent diatribe on the way things are done in this country and the way things should be done. In short, we put the world (more importantly, the country) to rights... This really is deep stuff for three blokes having a beer, but then all the biggest problems are traditionally solved in this way.

It all comes down to human rights and what should (and shouldn't) the state control that directly effects us members of the public. So clearly we need some changes and as such I would like to present the WTC Manifesto (while not completed yet, it is the first principles of a Manifesto at least) which I can assure you we will be passing on to the members of parliament for the new coalition with the sole intention of inclusion in their future plans for old man England.

1. Services
I'm certain that most people would agree there are certain services that are essential to human existence. Things like the provision of water, energy and food for example. These services are things that (in our bright new coalition -ConDemNation-) should be provided by the state. Today the state provides us with medical (NHS), security (Police & Military), education (Schools & some universities), Entertainment & News (BBC) and the Post Office. Of these how many are provided well?

In the WTC's view (and I'm sure most people of any common sense) the answer is one, namely the BBC.

First of all, let me share with you the logic that has drawn these conclusions. The BBC is an institution that is highly respected the world over. In the face of commercial competition from the likes of ITV, Channel 4 and Sky (in the UK alone) it has managed to successfully compete and moreover "up it's game" to a level that the commercial stations can still only aspire to. It has done this through funding that is mostly publicly supplied, although it is important to note that it does have a smaller percentage of commercial income as a result of sales of some of it's output.

Surely when a semi-nationalised business such as this does so well, then shouldn't it be held up as a paragon of virtue in the quagmire that is commercialism. ?? ie: If the BBC can get it right, what the hell is going wrong with .... ??

Let's be clear, the BBC isn't a fully nationalised institution and neither is it a fully commercial institution. It is a hybrid and for this reason it works. So what happens if we apply the same logic to the other services that we believe the Government should be running ?

1a. Power
The commercial power providers in the UK need to have a certain amount of Nationalised control re-imposed upon them. Forget about everyone having a smart meter to see how much they're consuming, that is putting the cart before the horse (and it is in the coalition manifesto). Use that money to help provide everyone in the country with a solar panel or windmill for micro-energy generation. This in itself would create an entire business and should show the way to England becoming the world leader in micro-engegy generation. So we propose the Ministry of Energy should be taking this bull squarely by the horns and bringing the commercial energy providers back in line with what the people should have a "right" to and not what these enterprises shareholders want. ie: Clean and Cheap energy, not Dirty and expensive dividends. Why aren't we taking a leaf out of NYC's book and applying this logic to the whole country??

1b. Water
This one is a bit tougher, but it suffers similar problems in it's charging mechanisms. The fact that we're charged for the delivery of water and the taking away of water seems to be flawed, but we agree that we'd need to look further into the issues before we can set a firm policy on the subject although it is clear that shareholders influence is too strong when water is a basic need.

1c. Food
Anyone will tell you the supermarkets have too much control and influence over what we eat in this country. From the BOGOF (Buy One Get One Free) deals that encourage us to buy stuff we don't need and either eat it and get fat, or throw it away and load up the landfill sites to the importation of asparagus from Peru under the guise of providing more choice for the consumer which is actually just damaging the environment by flying the stuff over 6000 miles. They are clearly out of control and some government influence could save us a small fortune. Not least in the NHS which is going to be overburdened by fatties in no time at this rate.

So those are the Services that aren't government controlled, but should be at some level. Bear in mind that the method we're suggesting using is a hybrid Government controlled/Commercial model. What about the ones that are government controlled that shouldn't be...

Well I've blathered on about it enough for today - but it's an ongoing agenda item for the suddenly serious WTC, so you can expect views on semi-Privatisation of the existing services in a future blog entry.

At least we don't have to worry about Schrödinger's Japanese Snow Monkey which was a source of mental backflips for me & some of my co-workers, briefly yesterday. The cat died having been left in the box without food for too long.
 

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