New Events

International

no events posted in last week

Blog Feeds

Public Inquiry
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005

offsite link Irish media mote in the eye

offsite link King Hammurabi: Builders law Anthony

offsite link Michael Clifford: low standards in journalism Anthony

offsite link Are the wheels of justice creaking into action? Anthony

offsite link Middle class revolution Anthony

Public Inquiry >>

Human Rights in Ireland
A Blog About Human Rights

offsite link UN human rights chief calls for priority action ahead of climate summit Sat Oct 30, 2021 17:18 | 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

Human Rights in Ireland >>

Lockdown Skeptics

The Daily Sceptic

offsite link Coronavirus is Nowhere Near Endemic, Says WHO Tue Jan 11, 2022 15:46 | Will Jones
The coronavirus is "nowhere near" endemic, the World Health Organisation has said, while Pfizer's CEO says an Omicron vaccine is on its way and admits two doses no longer work. Some people don't want this to end.
The post Coronavirus is Nowhere Near Endemic, Says WHO appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link One in 12 Teachers Absent in First Week of Term as Class Sizes Reach 120 Tue Jan 11, 2022 13:24 | Will Jones
One in 12 teachers was absent from schools in England during the first week of term, according to the latest data, as some class sizes hit 120. Time to end mass testing?
The post One in 12 Teachers Absent in First Week of Term as Class Sizes Reach 120 appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link Supreme Leader Nic Sturge-on Tells Scots They May Have to Wear Masks For Years Tue Jan 11, 2022 11:05 | Toby Young
People in Scotland may have to wear masks in public places for years to come, Nicola Sturgeon has warned. This is in spite of masked-up Scotland having a higher number of Covid cases per 100,000 than England.
The post Supreme Leader Nic Sturge-on Tells Scots They May Have to Wear Masks For Years appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link Some Healthcare Workers Have Pre-existing Immunity to Covid, Study Finds Tue Jan 11, 2022 08:58 | Noah Carl
Researchers identified a group of healthcare workers who did not become infected during the first wave. They found evidence of pre-existing T-cell immunity, suggesting that not everyone is equally susceptible to Covid.
The post Some Healthcare Workers Have Pre-existing Immunity to Covid, Study Finds appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link How?s He Going to Get Out of This One? Fresh Allegations Emerge That Boris Attended Drinks in the No... Tue Jan 11, 2022 07:00 | Will Jones
Fresh allegations have emerged that Boris Johnson attended a social gathering during the first lockdown, described in an email from his PPS as "socially distanced drinks in the No 10 garden... bring your own booze!?
The post How’s He Going to Get Out of This One? Fresh Allegations Emerge That Boris Attended Drinks in the No. 10 Garden During Lockdown appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

Lockdown Skeptics >>

Voltaire Network
Voltaire, international edition

offsite link Fanaticisms at the service of the United States, by Thierry Meyssan Tue Jan 25, 2022 10:00 | en

offsite link US bombings in Syria and Iraq violate US Constitution Thu Jan 20, 2022 08:28 | en

offsite link Hillary's comeback? Thu Jan 20, 2022 07:56 | en

offsite link NATO expands its membership unwittingly (Ben Wallace) Thu Jan 20, 2022 06:52 | en

offsite link In the 1980s, the Pentagon was preparing a nuclear war in Iran Wed Jan 19, 2022 17:06 | 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


© 2001-2022 Independent Media Centre Ireland. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Independent Media Centre Ireland. Disclaimer | Privacy