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The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

offsite link Big, huge changes, in the near future (a tentative list) Sun Sep 26, 2021 22:49 | The Saker
by Andrei for the Saker blog Note: I will be terminating the fund drive today, and I want to thank ALL those who donated, be it prayers, words of support

offsite link Who Really Runs the Middle East? Sat Sep 25, 2021 22:36 | amarynth
By Cynthia Chung for the Saker Blog Afghanistan is on many people?s minds lately, though the sentiment is rather mixed. Some think of it as a cause for celebration, others

offsite link Russian Federation ? Minister of Foreign Affairs Addresses United Nations General Debate Sat Sep 25, 2021 22:25 | amarynth
English #UN Charter is our rules.   Russian

offsite link Eurasian consolidation ends the US unipolar moment ? Part 2 of 2 Fri Sep 24, 2021 18:32 | amarynth
By Pepe Escobar, posted with permission and first posted at Asia Times Part 1 is here The 20th anniversary summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, enshrined

offsite link Political Declaration adopted during the first ministerial meeting of the Group of Friends in Defens... Fri Sep 24, 2021 17:49 | amarynth
https://www.mid.ru/en/forei... 1. We, representatives of Algeria, Angola, Belarus, Bolivia, Cambodia, China, Cuba, the Democratic People?s Republic of Korea, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Iran, the Lao People?s Democratic Republic, Nicaragua, the State

The Saker >>

Lockdown Skeptics

The Daily Sceptic

offsite link How Can a Book About Science Denialism Ignore the Most Pervasive Forms of Science Denialism? Sun Sep 26, 2021 14:58 | Toby Young
We're introducing a new section to the Daily Sceptic today: Reviews. We're also publishing our first ever book review in which Dr. Bo Winegard writes about How to Talk to a Science Denier by Lee McIntyre. It's a stinker!
The post How Can a Book About Science Denialism Ignore the Most Pervasive Forms of Science Denialism? appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link Lancet?s Panel Investigating Covid Origins Disbanded Because of Ties to Peter Daszak Sun Sep 26, 2021 11:45 | Michael Curzon
A panel of scientists affiliated to the Lancet which has been investigating the origins of Covid has been disbanded because of its ties to Peter Daszak, the President of EcoHealth Alliance.
The post Lancet?s Panel Investigating Covid Origins Disbanded Because of Ties to Peter Daszak appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link Does COVID-19 Have a Hidden Helper That Sometimes Makes it Deadly? Sun Sep 26, 2021 07:00 | Will Jones
The Spanish flu and Swine flu are both made much worse when a particular bacterium is present at the same time. Could Covid behave similarly?
The post Does COVID-19 Have a Hidden Helper That Sometimes Makes it Deadly? appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link News Round-Up Sun Sep 26, 2021 00:01 | Michael Curzon
A summary of all the most interesting stories that have appeared about politicians? efforts to control the virus ? and other acts of hubris and folly ? not just in Britain, but around the world.
The post News Round-Up appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link Dutch Protest Against Vaccine Passports Sat Sep 25, 2021 22:12 | Michael Curzon
People have gathered in The Hague, Netherlands, to protest against the "medical apartheid" barring those who haven't been vaccinated or tested for Covid from bars, restaurants and theatres.
The post Dutch Protest Against Vaccine Passports appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

Lockdown Skeptics >>

Voltaire Network
Voltaire, international edition

offsite link Photographers can fool the best experts Sat Sep 25, 2021 06:14 | en

offsite link Joe Biden might call off war against North Korea Fri Sep 24, 2021 20:36 | en

offsite link General boycott of Covid-19 Global Summit Fri Sep 24, 2021 20:11 | en

offsite link Ahmad Massoud has fled Afghanistan Fri Sep 24, 2021 08:00 | en

offsite link Another stab at the "two-state solution" Fri Sep 24, 2021 07:46 | en

Voltaire Network >>

The Spectre Haunting Europe

category international | economics and finance | other press author Monday December 04, 2017 23:21author by 1 of indy Report this post to the editors

This is a repost of an recent article (Dec 1st) by economic analyst and trade unionist Michael Taft on www.tasc.ie covering the good news trend where there is now a trend in Europe of reversing privatisations. And that is certainly something positive.

There is a spectre haunting Europe – the spectre of de-privatisation, re-municipalisation, and re-nationalisation. Local, regional and national Governments throughout Europe and in other countries - fed up with high costs, low investment, deteriorating quality and poor working conditions – are taking services back into public control and ownership. For many, privatisation has produced poor results; now they are starting to reverse that process. Public ownership is back on the agenda.

reclaiming_public_services_cover.jpg

The Transnational Institute has published a comprehensive report: ‘Reclaiming Public Services: How Cities and Citizens are Turning Back Privatisation’. at https://www.tni.org/files/publication-downloads/reclaim...s.pdf
They not only provide case studies but provide an exhaustive catalogue of the cities and states that have brought public service back into public control.

Overall, they list 835 de-privatisations at all levels of government, but mostly at local/regional government since most countries have far stronger local governments than in Ireland. This followed a wave of privatisations and out-sourcing in the 1980s and 1990s. A number of economic activities have been impacted.


  • Energy was the largest sector for de-privatisations (311) with most occurring in Germany
  • Water was the second largest sector (267) with France accounting for nearly 40 percent
  • General local government services was next up with 140. These cover a range of services: cleaning, security, housing, school catering, sports, etc. Interestingly, the UK – the ideological home of privatisations - led this list.

There were de-privatisations in waste services, public transport, education services, and health care and social work.

The activities go beyond what might be considered traditional public services and traditional public ownership. For instance, Vienna has re-municipalised theatres and cinemas some of which are now under the control of associations manged by workers and citizens. This shows that public ownership doesn’t necessarily mean the ‘state’ – it can also mean civil society groups taking charge of activities. In Mouans-Sartoux, France, municipality even bought a piece of farmland and employed a farmer to provide the local school restaurants with 100 per cent organic food.

In many cases, de-privatisation occurred for largely defensive reasons. Costa and were rising, investment was falling, working conditions were deteriorating and/or the quality of the service was falling. In other cases, the local government was creating new activity or wanted to co-ordinate the activity with other public goals. Underlining all this, however, was the experience that privatisation wasn’t working.

In Ireland, there are only two examples, both in Northern Ireland: hospital cleaning and waste recycling (Banbridge District Council). In the Republic, we can only surmise that privatisation is doing great and has no need of reform; or that we don’t evaluate and act upon the results. I suspect the latter.

Take bin services, for example. I have written on this topic previously:

‘The bin charges debacle is spiralling into chaos. We have areas where two or three or four bin companies operate and other areas where companies are threatening to leave; escalating charges becoming an intolerable burden on many low-income households; considerable price variations between counties; off-shored private companies pursuing wage suppression to increase profits; considerable illegal dumping; charges for recycling which dis-incentivises a social good; and on and on. This is not a waste management policy; it is a circus.’

There is a strong argument for returning waste collection to public ownership. This doesn’t necessarily mean that local government or a public agency would direct supply the service, though it could; they could tender – but for whole markets (e.g. Cork City Council could tender for all of Cork). Regardless of the process, there would need to be public oversight, strong labour regulations, price controls and transparent financial accounts.

But there are positive reasons to extend public ownership – either through local agencies or civil society organisations. We saw that in Somerset, Kentucky, the local council set up a public petrol station to take on the price-cartel operated by the private providers. In other cases, public ownership can earn profits and dividends from commercial activities which can then be re-invested into public services. In still other areas, public ownership can provide economy activity in depressed areas where private capital is in short supply.

In short, there is an opportunity to re-invent public services and public ownership. This is what they are doing in other jurisdictions. Let’s hope that the spectre haunting Europe reaches our shores sometime in the near future.

Note: the list of re-municipalisations start on page 178 of the report linked above

Related Link: https://www.tasc.ie/blog/2017/12/01/the-spectre-haunting-europe/

PDF Document Reclaiming Public Services: How Cities and Citizens are Turning Back Privatisation (PDF) 1.77 Mb


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