This means both that the Government is allowing taxpayers to subsidise the privatisation, and that many small shareholders will make a quick killing and move on. Across the Home Counties, holidays, fine wine and home improvements will be financed by windfall profits from a briefly held shareholding in something we all owned.
The notion that private companies are somehow more "efficient" has always been no more than ideology (barely) concealing the naked self-interest of capitalists keen for an opportunity to turn a profit.
Since the Government are as determined to reprivatise the East Coast Main Line as they are to flog off Royal Mail on the cheap it's clear, joining the dots between these two stories, that this ideology, and those interests, continue to dominate.
The CWU have opposed the privatisation of Royal Mail (http://www.cwu.org/support-the-campaign.html) and the rail unions keep up the fight to return our rail network to public ownership (http://www.tssa.org.uk/en/whats-new/news/index.cfm/voters-oppose-east-cost-sell-of) - but these trade union campaigns need a coherent, organised political voice.
That's why the single most important political issue confronting all those of us who want to resist and reverse privatisation is to defend and enhance the collective relationship between the trade unions and the Labour Party (http://defendthelink.wordpress.com/).
The trade union movement needs a political voice. That voice should speak clearly in the interests of working people - and should make clear that the era of privatisation is at an end.
Labour needs to make the contrary case in defence of public services delivered for the public good - but to do that then, where the Party holds office it needs to stem the tide of privatisation right now.
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