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The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

offsite link Resistance Axis on war alert, to ?openly? target Israel if Iran attacks continue: Hezbollah insider Thu Apr 22, 2021 12:44 | amarynth
Original link: http://middleeastobse... Description:  Senior Lebanese political analyst and editor-in-chief of the Al-Binaa newspaper, Nasser Qandil, says the entire Axis of Resistance is now on war alert and prepared to respond

offsite link Ukraine: Fascism?s toe-hold in Europe Wed Apr 21, 2021 16:51 | amarynth
The tacit support given by the centre-left to the installation of the regime in Kiev should give them cause for concern By Francis Lee for the Saker Blog Politics in

offsite link Say hello to the new multilateral boss Wed Apr 21, 2021 16:12 | amarynth
Xi Jinping’s Boao Forum speech marked his latest appeal for an open global economy and against US-led decoupling By Pepe Escobar with permission and first posted at Asia Times In

offsite link Putin delivers annual address to Federal Assembly Wed Apr 21, 2021 10:44 | amarynth
Putin?s speech comes amid a period of diplomatic confrontation with Western nations and a stand-off over the situation in Ukraine and Russian troop movements. The address to the Federal Assembly

offsite link The deafening sound of silence in the West (OPEN THREAD #15) Tue Apr 20, 2021 16:47 | The Saker
The story about the attempt to murder Lukashenko in much the same manner as Anwar Sadat (during a military parade) broke over the week-end, but even I was too tired

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Public Inquiry
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005

offsite link Declining standards in Irish journalism

offsite link Mainstream media: Failing to speak truth to power Anthony

offsite link David Quinn’s selective tolerance Anthony

offsite link A Woulfe in judges clothing Anthony

offsite link Sarah McInerney and political impartiality Anthony

Public Inquiry >>

Human Rights in Ireland
A Blog About Human Rights

offsite link Poor Living Conditions for Migrants in Southern Italy Mon Jan 18, 2021 10:14 | Human Rights

offsite link Right to Water Mon Aug 03, 2020 19:13 | Human Rights

offsite link Human Rights Fri Mar 20, 2020 16:33 | Human Rights

offsite link Turkish President Calls On Greece To Comply With Human Rights on Syrian Refugee Issues Wed Mar 04, 2020 17:58 | Human Rights

offsite link US Holds China To Account For Human Rights Violations Sun Oct 13, 2019 19:12 | Human Rights

Human Rights in Ireland >>

Lockdown Skeptics

Lockdown Sceptics

Stay Sceptical. Control the Hysteria. Save Lives.

offsite link Mass Covid Testing a ?Waste of Time and Money?, MPs Told Tue Apr 20, 2021 20:13 | Michael Curzon
Biostatistics Professor Jon Deeks has criticised the Government's mass Covid testing plan as a waste of "time and money", highlighting that in some areas only one positive case would be found after 10,000 tests.
The post Mass Covid Testing a “Waste of Time and Money”, MPs Told appeared first on Lockdown Sceptics.

offsite link Civil Service Job Advert Confirms Covid Passports Are In Development Tue Apr 20, 2021 18:12 | Michael Curzon
Michael Gove is visiting Israel to study possibilities for a Covid passport scheme in Britain. But new civil service job adverts suggest that the development of both digital and non-digital passes is already underway.
The post Civil Service Job Advert Confirms Covid Passports Are In Development appeared first on Lockdown Sceptics.

offsite link Warning About Blood Clots Should be Added to Labels for Johnson & Johnson?s Covid Vaccine, Says E.U.... Tue Apr 20, 2021 17:17 | Michael Curzon
There is a "possible link" between the Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine and blood clots, according to the European Medicines Agency. The regulator says that a warning should be added to labels for the vaccine.
The post Warning About Blood Clots Should be Added to Labels for Johnson & Johnson’s Covid Vaccine, Says E.U.’s Medicines Regulator appeared first on Lockdown Sceptics.

offsite link Ministers Created Confusion by Not Differentiating Between Lockdown Guidance and Law, Police Watchdo... Tue Apr 20, 2021 11:49 | Michael Curzon
Police have not been given enough notice about changes in the law and guidance relating to Covid, about which ministers added further confusion by not differentiating between the two, says Britain's police watchdog.
The post Ministers Created Confusion by Not Differentiating Between Lockdown Guidance and Law, Police Watchdog Says appeared first on Lockdown Sceptics.

offsite link More Than 810,000 UK Workers Have Lost Jobs Since March 2020 Tue Apr 20, 2021 09:13 | Michael Curzon
56,000 Brits lost their jobs last month, taking the total number of losses to 813,000 over the past year of lockdowns, according to data from the Office for National Statistics.
The post More Than 810,000 UK Workers Have Lost Jobs Since March 2020 appeared first on Lockdown Sceptics.

Lockdown Skeptics >>

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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