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.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Let’s Make Public Ownership the election deal breaker

How can we make Public Ownership the election deal breaker in Britain in 2015? The CPO's Neil Clark explains how in his new Morning Star column:

IN the Morning Star last month I looked at what the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, Labour and Ukip had to offer us in relation to public ownership. Or to be more accurate, what they didn’t have to offer us.
Another five years of the present coalition — or a Conservative majority government — will mean the end of the NHS and see the sell-off of the remaining assets in public ownership, including Britain’s main trunk roads. 
So, if you do want to see Richard Branson or some other billionaire capitalist in charge of the M1, as well as rail routes, hospital services and the Met Office), our publicly owned woodlands flogged off to the highest bidder and our libraries either closed or run by US multinationals, then simply vote Conservative or Lib Dem. 
Labour has edged away from the neoliberal policies of Tony Blair but while its support for a publicly owned rail operator is a step in the right direction, the party is still a long way away from the progressive stance it took on public ownership before Blair became leader in 1994. 
Ukip, while stating that it would oppose the pro-privatisation TTIP, has made no pledges to renationalise anything — a stance which is surely at odds with their claim to be the “People’s Army.”
Well, that was the “Big Four” — but what of the others? 

You can read the whole piece here.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Public Ownership- the Big Issue that could swing it in May 2015

It’s general election night. Labour are on course for victory, with a small majority. The Labour leader is asked by the BBC interviewer if the size of the majority will hinder his party’s legislative programme. 
“We shall carry out our programme — our manifesto,” the Labour leader replies. “We shall give priority of course to putting on the statute book all those things that we have said, like the public ownership of land…”
That exchange took place exactly 40 years ago after the election of October 10 1974. Public ownership was a topic that cropped up a lot in that election, but fast forward to 2014 and it’s a very different story.

The whole of CPO Director Neil Clark's Morning Star column can be read here.