Here’s a line of questioning that always stumps Tories (and other radical-right privatisation fanatics).

If they’re so opposed to public ownership that they keep flogging off British public services and infrastructure, why are they always so relaxed about the same stuff being run by foreign governments?

Why do they believe that the UK government shouldn’t run infrastructure and services in the UK, but that that it’s absolutely fine if they’re being run by the investment funds of the governments of France, China, Germany, Italy, Oman, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, Qatar, the Netherlands, Kuwait, Malaysia …

The Tories privatised England’s water supplies based on the lie that the private sector could run it more efficiently, yet you only need to look into the ownership structures of the regional water monopolies to find a load of foreign governments using chunks of our water supply as profitable cash cow investments to fund their own infrastructure back home.

The same goes for the railways. The Tories lied that the rail network would be more efficiently run if it was fractured into a load of franchises, then they allowed numerous foreign governments to take ownership of the supposedly privatised pieces (France, the Netherlands, Singapore, Hong Kong, Germany, Italy, China).

Then there’s nuclear energy. Once again the Tories insisted that the private sector could run it better than the UK state, and sold off all of our nuclear power plants to private profiteers, who soon realised it was much more profitable in the short term to sell the whole lot on to the government of France, instead of actually running it themselves!

We’ve sold off our ability to build our own new nuclear infrastructure, meaning we now need to bribe the governments of France and China to build it for us, by promising them that British energy consumers will pay £50 billion over the market price to fund just one nuclear power plant!

There’s also the case of P&O Ferries, which wasn’t flogged off by the UK government, but it highlights an extraordinary inconsistency that they vehemently oppose public ownership by Britain, but when the government of Dubai came along to buy up Britain’s biggest ferry company, they saw no objection whatever.

Back to things that were flogged off by the Tories. Consider the UK energy market, which used to be run by the British state for the benefit of the British people and the British economy.

Thanks to Tory privatisation, it’s now run by a toxic mix of parasitical private profiteers and foreign governments, who are intent on squeezing as much profit as possible out of the British economy.

In France the government restricted their state energy company (EDF) to 4% price rises, but in the UK, the Tory government is allowing the French government to raise the energy bills of 5.2 million UK customers by 54%, with another massive price hike due in October too.A lot of British infrastructure and services fell into the hands of foreign governments via profiteering private sector middle men, but the Tories are not opposed to flogging off our stuff directly to foreign governments either.

In 2015 the Tory government flogged off Britain’s underground aviation fuel distribution pipelines for just £82 million (it would cost £billions to construct such a network from scratch). It turns out that the governments of Oman and the United Arab Emirates were significant shareholders in the nominally Spanish company they flogged it to.

So the Tory government believes that the UK government is unfit to run its own strategically crucial aviation fuel supply, but that the governments of Oman and the UAE are!And the biggest kicker: After flogging it off for a paltry £82 million, they immediately signed a 10 year deal to rent the service out for £237 million!

The ideological inconsistency is absolutely glaring. The Tories insist that public ownership is bad when they’re selling off British public assets on the cheap, but they have absolutely no opposition to public ownership when it’s the governments of other countries buying up chunks of our infrastructure and services to use as cash cow investments.

It seems that the only country that the Tories don’t want owning British infrastructure and services is Britain itself, while foreign governments are free to buy up whatever they like.It’s downright economic treason, but because the UK commentariat class can’t be bothered to keep the public even remotely informed, most Brits don’t even know that the Tory privatisation maniacs have ended up handing control of massive swathes of our economy to (often hostile) foreign governments.

If you do come across any Tories, it’s worth questioning them about why they hate Britain owning its own stuff, but have no problem with foreign governments owning the exact same stuff.

The reality-denial and absurd displays of mental gymnastics are often quite astonishing to observe.

Another Angry Voice

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