To follow up his conference speech in which he put “clear red water” between him and Cameron, Brown has decided to flog off another whole bunch of public assets.
Just to prove how much more in favour of the state he is than the Tories he is selling off the government’s 33% stake in Urenco, which supplies equipment to enrich uranium for the nuclear industry, the Dartford Crossing, the Channel Tunnel rail link, and a whole load of government land and property.
He will also be selling The Tote. This of course was created as a nationalised company in 1928 by the crypto-communist Winston Churchill.
Of course selling them off in the current depressed market means that whoever buys them will be getting them for a knock down price. So not at all like the privatisations of the 1980s!
And what beckons for the unfortuante workers of these firms? The same as has happened in every other privatised industry: “down-sizing”, wage cuts, the undermining of conditions and the strangling of trade union activity. How they must welcome being freed from the shackels of the state.
At least one trade union leader seems to want to do something about this. Bob Crow stated that “A recent poll showed that over 70% of the public oppose rail privatisation and the voters will be rightly angry at any move to knock down to the highest bidder the last major piece of the rail network still in public hands. This smacks of sheer desperation by the Labour government and dredges up memories of the darkest days of the Thatcherite privatisation mania.”