We can undo privatisation. And it won’t cost us a penny | Will Hutton
Three-quarters of British voters want our rail, gas and water renationalised but it’s expensive – there is a business model that offers the best of both worlds
Public ownership is fashionable again. Turning over Britain’s public assets, lock, stock and barrel into private ownership and relying only on light-touch regulation to ensure they were managed to deliver a wider public interest was always a risky bet. And that bet has not paid off.
Recent polls show an astonishing 83% in favour of nationalising water, 77% in favour of electricity and gas and 76% in favour of rail. It is not just that this represents a general fall in trust in business. The privatised utilities are felt to be in a different category: they are public services. But there is a widespread view that demanding profit targets have overridden public service obligations. And the public is right.
Regulators, however good their intentions, too easily see the world from the view of the industry they regulate
Source: Guardian Transport