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The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

offsite link Moveable Feast Cafe 2021/10/21 ? Open Thread Thu Oct 21, 2021 19:00 | herb
2021/10/21 18:00:02Welcome to the ‘Moveable Feast Cafe’. The ‘Moveable Feast’ is an open thread where readers can post wide ranging observations, articles, rants, off topic and have animate discussions of

offsite link Russian President Vladimir Putin is participating in the plenary session of the 18th Annual Meeting ... Thu Oct 21, 2021 18:46 | amarynth
Russian President Vladimir Putin is participating in the plenary session of the 18th Annual Meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club in Sochi. Theme:  ?Global Shake-Up in the 21st Century: The

offsite link The Grayzone ? Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire with Michael Hudson ? UPD... Thu Oct 21, 2021 14:29 | amarynth
Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton speak with economist Michael Hudson about his book “Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire.” Professor Hudson just published a 3rd edition that updates

offsite link Yellow Vests ?Season 2? begins ? are Season 1?s always better? Thu Oct 21, 2021 13:32 | amarynth
By Ramin Mazaheri posted with permission and cross-posted with PressTV Last weekend, after more than one and half years away, the Yellow Vests hit the streets again for what they

offsite link Joint Statement of the Participants in the Moscow Format Consultations on Afghanistan, Moscow Wed Oct 20, 2021 22:09 | amarynth
Joint Statement of the Participants in the Moscow Format Consultations on Afghanistan, Moscow, 20 October 2021 On 20th October, 2021, the third meeting of the Moscow Format Consultations on Afghanistan

The Saker >>

Public Inquiry
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005

offsite link Are the wheels of justice creaking into action?

offsite link Middle class revolution Anthony

offsite link Allegations of political criminality reported to An Garda Siochana Anthony

offsite link Minister Catherine Martin: Not fit to serve Anthony

offsite link Establishment media and delusional analysis Anthony

Public Inquiry >>

Human Rights in Ireland
A Blog About Human Rights

offsite link 5 Year Anniversary Of Kem Ley?s Death Sun Jul 11, 2021 12:34 | 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

Human Rights in Ireland >>

Lockdown Skeptics

The Daily Sceptic

offsite link Government Officials Continue to Tell Half the Story on Covid Statistics Thu Oct 21, 2021 19:01 | Michael Curzon
The U.K. Statistics Authority says of official misrepresentation of data that "we?ve intervened more during the pandemic and made more comments than in the years before?. So why are the same mistakes made over and over?
The post Government Officials Continue to Tell Half the Story on Covid Statistics appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link Psychology Student Looking For Non-Mask Wearers to Interview For Dissertation Thu Oct 21, 2021 16:22 | Toby Young
A student at the University of Highlands and Islands is looking for mask refuseniks to participate in a research survey for his dissertation in psychology. Click here to find the link and complete the survey.
The post Psychology Student Looking For Non-Mask Wearers to Interview For Dissertation appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link The Threat of Lockdown ?Hangs Like a Sword of Damocles?, Writes Laura Dodsworth Thu Oct 21, 2021 13:34 | Michael Curzon
Laura Dodsworth has written a good piece in which she argues that the threat of lockdown "hangs like a Sword of Damocles", 'nudging' us into courses of action we wouldn't otherwise take.
The post The Threat of Lockdown ?Hangs Like a Sword of Damocles?, Writes Laura Dodsworth appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link If Another Lockdown is Imposed, or Vaccine Passports are Introduced, the Government Will Use the Alm... Thu Oct 21, 2021 11:13 | Toby Young
We're publishing a guest post today by Daily Sceptic regular Dr. David McGrogan, an Associate Law Professor, about the Government's reliance on the Public Health Act 1984 to railroad through all the Covid restrictions.
The post If Another Lockdown is Imposed, or Vaccine Passports are Introduced, the Government Will Use the Almost Unlimited Powers Granted to it by the Public Health Act appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link Rishi Sunak Expected to Extend Covid Recovery Loan Scheme Thu Oct 21, 2021 07:25 | Michael Curzon
The Chancellor is expected to announce an extension to the Government's Covid recovery loan scheme, which was set to end on December 31st, in his budget speech next week.
The post Rishi Sunak Expected to Extend Covid Recovery Loan Scheme appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

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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