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Anti-Empire

offsite link ‘Reduced Service’ Sat Jun 18, 2022 11:37 | Anti-Empire

offsite link Inconvenient Questions for the “Specia... Wed Jun 15, 2022 16:32 | Anti-Empire

offsite link Who Dares Apply Anti-Interventionist Ana... Tue Jun 14, 2022 11:15 | Anti-Empire

offsite link Kiev Puts Its Military Deaths at 10,000 ... Mon Jun 13, 2022 05:58 | Anti-Empire

offsite link Rosgvard Wasn’t Told They’d Be Going... Sun Jun 12, 2022 14:24 | Rolo Slavsky

Anti-Empire >>

The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

offsite link Behind the Tin Curtain: BRICS+ vs NATO/G7 Tue Jun 28, 2022 17:08 | amarynth
The west is nostalgically caught up with outdated ‘containment’ policies, this time against Global South integration. Unfortunately for them, the rest of the world is moving on, together. By Pepe

offsite link Gonzalo Lira: The Sitzkrieg We?re In Tue Jun 28, 2022 12:22 | amarynth

offsite link BRICS+: It?s Back with Scale and Ambition Tue Jun 28, 2022 11:25 | amarynth
http://infobrics.org/post/3... By Jaroslav Lissovolik After several years of being relegated to backstage of the BRICS agenda, in 2022 the BRICS+ format is back and is at the very center of

offsite link Lavrov gets it right by comparing European Union and NATO to Hitler?s old Axis Tue Jun 28, 2022 10:33 | amarynth
By Guilherme Wilbert for the Saker Blog Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated on 06/24/2022 that the European Union and NATO appear to be carrying out a military coalition for

offsite link Reasons for the Russian special military operation in Ukraine Tue Jun 28, 2022 10:25 | amarynth
by Batko Milacic for the Saker Blog On 24 February 2022, Russia started special military operation in the Ukraine. The main goals of the special operation was the denazification and

The Saker >>

Lockdown Skeptics

The Daily Sceptic

offsite link Non-Covid Excess Deaths During Spring Vaccine Booster Campaign Reach 6,500 Tue Jun 28, 2022 19:24 | Will Jones
There have been nearly 6,500 more deaths than usual in England and Wales from causes other than COVID-19 in the eight weeks since April 23rd, a period corresponding to the spring vaccine booster campaign among over-75s.
The post Non-Covid Excess Deaths During Spring Vaccine Booster Campaign Reach 6,500 appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link Guardian Pushes for Return of Masks, Mass Testing and Quarantine Tue Jun 28, 2022 15:38 | Will Jones
Here we go again. It's the middle of summer and the leading opinion piece in the Guardian calls for the return of masks, mass-testing and quarantine in response to rising infections and hospitalisations.
The post Guardian Pushes for Return of Masks, Mass Testing and Quarantine appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link ?England Will Revert to Hunter-Gathering by 2040?: Met Office Leads Crowded Field in This Year?s Eco... Tue Jun 28, 2022 10:31 | Chris Morrison
The Met Office's forecast that England will revert to hunter-gathering by 2040 leads a crowded field of strong contenders in this year's Eco Crackpot of the Year Awards.
The post “England Will Revert to Hunter-Gathering by 2040”: Met Office Leads Crowded Field in This Year?s Eco Crackpot Awards appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link Why is it Okay to Blame Right-Wing Culture Warriors for the Oslo Attack but not Radical Islam? Tue Jun 28, 2022 07:00 | Kathrine Jebsen Moore
In the aftermath of the terrorist attack on a gay bar in Oslo, Norwegian pundits have been quick to blame anti-woke culture warriors like Jordan Peterson. Almost no one has mentioned radical Islam.
The post Why is it Okay to Blame Right-Wing Culture Warriors for the Oslo Attack but not Radical Islam? appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link News Round-Up Tue Jun 28, 2022 01:36 | Will Jones
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.

Lockdown Skeptics >>

Voltaire Network
Voltaire, international edition

offsite link Russian music censored in Ukraine Tue Jun 28, 2022 21:18 | en

offsite link Alain Benajam passed away Sun Jun 26, 2022 18:18 | en

offsite link Russia to provide Belarus with Iskander-M missiles Sun Jun 26, 2022 18:01 | en

offsite link Zelensky to replace head of SBU Sat Jun 25, 2022 19:07 | en

offsite link USAID and State Department refuse scrutiny of Afghan file Sat Jun 25, 2022 17:43 | 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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