Tell us what you think

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Why do you want to see public services run for people not profit? Tell us your story here.

We'll use your comments to help make the case for public ownership - look out for your thoughts on our homepage!

Thanks for telling us what you think.

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John Branscombe replied on Permalink

Water companies should be renationalised AFTER all necessary repairs to sewage systems is completed ,paid for by shareholders.

David replied on Permalink

I thought I would share my thoughts on the forthcoming general election, I HAD been a lifetime Labour voter, I decided this week I will be defacing my ballot paper by writing the reasons I don’t want to vote for any party.

As I’m sure The Canary knows these papers get collected and they do get noticed and even read, I know this because I worked for a local council so with that knowledge I want all parties to realise I am unhappy to condone any one party into government, they lie and until a law is passed to punish them for making false promises I will not vote.

We know who ever gets into government will raise our taxes, no party is going far enough to save our NHS, no party has really said it would reverse all privatisation, in fact the worst I have heard is from the Labour camp, it seems Wes Steeting is happy to put the NHS into more private profiteering hands, I do hate politicians like that.

My vote is for "NONE OF THE ABOVE" and it will my very first time ever I do not vote.

David a politically orphaned 59 year old.

Adam Hiley replied on Permalink

The Social Democratic Party is the only alternative to the uniparty LabCon

Pat Brandwood replied on Permalink

I was furious when public services were privatised. I could see that it was to offload commitments from the governor and that it would allow the private companies to make large profits for themselves and shareholders to the detriment of the public. I continue to be furious when I hear that my fears are confirmed. Private companies ( often Tory supporters) have profited enormously. Leaving the taxpaying public shortchanged.

Michael Still replied on Permalink

Totally agree with your comments.

Ian replied on Permalink

Our airports should be nationalised, we need to be in control of our national infrastructure and security, it shouldn’t be used as a cash cow to send billions of pounds abroad to foreign investors who want the airports run on minimum wage staff with little concern for the safety and security of the users.

M. Lansbury replied on Permalink

I've an inquiry regarding Labours alleged action of moving our rail system into public ownership.

They state the 'rolling stock' will NOT be part of the moving the rail system into public ownership.

Surely the rolling stock is a SIGNIFICANT and vital part of our rail system.

Why does Labour choose to keep rolling stock in the hands of greedy, profit motivated corporations?

Average person ... replied on Permalink

If the politicians don't give us our water back, we should take it by force.

Neville Paul Jones replied on Permalink

What really gets me is that if we renationalise some private companies we might have to pay compensation. The way round this as I suggested some years ago regarding rail is to wait for the contracts to come up and cancel them. But it is still very galling that we would have to wait.

I need to take a full look on your website but I agree with you that water companies such as Thames Water having fallen foul of their contracts, could be renationalised immediately.

With public ownership we need to go further. Around 2009/10, Gordon Brown had a great opportunity to nationalise all of them not just the ones in trouble. Isn’t weird that those were taken over having made losses were sold back at a low price once they made profits again? I think the answer is to leave the independent “mutuals” like Nationwide etc alone but encourage or force cooperatives on the others.

The same could apply to the big high street retailers such as Next, M and S etc. Cooperatives are a great way to have a form of public ownership even socialism without full nationalisation and potential drawbacks. This is why I am not only a Labour Party member but a Cooperative Party member. This isn’t easy to achieve but we must find a way.

We do need to bring public utilities back into public ownership but we need to learn from the past so we avoid the disadvantages of having large public corporations which are unaccountable and alienate both the public and their workers. Of course, there is no perfect solution but having public utilities run as cooperatives with public stakeholders and some genuine industrial democracy is the way forward and 10 times better than what we have.

The same should apply to private companies run as cooperatives.

By the way, public ownership is good for the economy, take Sweden which has real workers rights and high trade union membership and of course a high proportion of public ownership. In 2010, following the crash, their economy was the same as ours. Now, they are one of the most prosperous countries on the planet. No to mention Norway who nationalised North Sea Oil. Thatcherism which we still suffer with was not only wrong it was polar opposite to what is good.

Des replied on Permalink

i have just sent this to my local councilor for Guildford Borough on the subject of medical care, council workers on payband 6 and above get FREE MEDICAL INSURANCE as a perk A perk that I do not want to pay for through my council tax. Please read on. How many other councils pay for FREE MEDICAL INSURANCE for tax payer funding.

Dear Councilor Morson,

It's some weeks since my last email to you enquiring about the benefit to Guildford borough council employees of FREE MEDICAL INSURANCE, a benefit I feel should be stopped, an inappropriate use of council tax payers money. I am enquiring about any knowledge, thoughts or observations you have on the subject thus far? Why should I, as a council taxpayer, pay for this benefit for employees? It does not benefit me. Do the employees in receipt of this benefit declare to HMRC, this benefit in kind? I understand the Free Medical Insurance is only available to pay band 6 and above this makes it discriminatory and another reason to discontinue the benefit. We are all covered by the NHS no additional cover should be required, it only serves to weaken the reason for the NHS to continue.

Rgds Des McGuinness,

Angela Craft replied on Permalink

Many pensions have invested in utilities. How do you propose ensuring they can re invest their money as profitably?

Kate replied on Permalink

Have a look at We Own It's webpage on energy which has a section further down about pensions.

Ian Sandeman replied on Permalink

British Gas have chosen Fujitsu to provide their main software for billing etc. This should be stopped.

Brian Wilson replied on Permalink

Try taking action against a government department when they have behaved illegally. Why is it that it takes so long to receive justice when a supposedly accountable government body is involved? Politicians of all parties immediately act against private bodies because they have nothing to lose whereas public bodies are protected.

Land Registry takes ridiculous amoounts of time to register properties.

Those who died in the Sheffield Liverpool match received no justice.

Grenfell victims tried to complain before they died in a fire caused by goverment failures.

The list is endless. It takes decades to get compensation for haemophiliacs given contaminated blood.

Liz Moylett replied on Permalink

Our PPE stock management is outsourced to private firms by the government

Now, in 2023, The Public Accounts Committee is highly critical of the repeated governance and financial failings at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), which was set up under Boris Johnson during the pandemic.

Our PPE stock management is outsourced to private firms by the government. In 2018 Movianto, a subsidiary of US health company won the £55 million contract. In 2020 ( during the pandemic ) the contract was taken over by French company EHDH holding group

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), which oversees UKHSA, lacks a strategy for reserves of PPE, vaccines and medicines despite its mandate to protect our health security.

The government owns the PPE stock, but outsources its management to private firms. What possible justification is there for this ?

John Wilson replied on Permalink

Though a British citizen I'm not allowed to sign your petition because I live abroad. I'm potentially allowed to own UK utility companies though, or be a shareholder of such.

John B Harries-... replied on Permalink

Hi. I'm 89. I knew when Thatcher was in power. They had no legal right to sell our Utilities. . Government owns Nothing. We the People invested all our lives. In using our Utilities.

But it is difficult. To stop Capitalists stealing What is Not theirs.

We are not a Democracy. We are controlled by Capitalists. In all Political Parties.

Michael Still replied on Permalink

Totally agree with all these comments. Can we bring about change. It’s going to be hard work.

Patricia Whitworth replied on Permalink

I am sick to death of hearing about all the massive profits these private companies are making and the huge bonuses that are being given to the CEOs and shareholders. It is time everything that was publicly owned is once more publicly owned. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

Tracey replied on Permalink

We need a huge demonstration so people know you exist. I only found it by accident.. I've been thinking this stuff for ages. I expect millions of others have been too.. lets be strong and stand up. Afterall the poll tax protests worked.

Hilary Barker replied on Permalink

John Bosco you asked for ideas on how to get the labour party on board with deprivitisation of the NHS in their next manifesto. Use poll data to show how popular the ngs is with the vast majority if people. If there are votes to be ghad that will sway them. Use Gary from Gary's economics to make the economic and socially moral case for it. Hopefully he will make them take back the moral high ground when they rea.ise how popular it is

Pascale replied on Permalink

Thanks so much for sharing these ideas with us Hilary!!

Cook replied on Permalink

I think we should be aiming for a minimum water/energy in a property has to give per week. So people can least have one bath or one cooked meal a week. We have to be sensible and say it is a minimum an energy provider provide for someone regardless if they can afford it. If people go silly and say that is should be completely free the whole point will be lost in the argument.

A person would have to register their property for say 6 months at time for a minimum water/energy per week and then have to be re-evaluated every six months.

The point is help people not make Rich Labour Charlie arguments or quotes will living in 4 bedroom house, where lots of people will be divided.

A bare minimum for those that are struggling seems a sensible start, so they have some human comfort per week.

The energy providers would bare most of the costs,

We must say to them people before profits, less suffering before dividends

Rauf replied on Permalink

All the majority of people are interested in is immigration. As long as they (wrongly) believe the Tory lies (Johnson, Truss, Braverman), they will keep voting for them. The Tories want to privatise everything and turn the majority of us into Serfs. They don't care about this country or the common people. All they are interested in is how much money they can make. And ironically the most immigration ever has happened in the last twelve years of Tory rule.

Sahar replied on Permalink

In Luxemburg transportation is free; you just step onto the train without buying a ticket or using a travel card. They have a complex tax system and I wonder if it would be a good option for us to consider. I personally wouldn't mind paying a little bit of tax to use TfL for free all day every day.

Alan replied on Permalink

I'm so busy now that I've started to write my book, and today I write. "...It does not follow that owning does much good, if any, without control…" Now what I want to ask you, at We Own It, is, what do you think? I hope that you will not tell me that you have no need to control what you own? Because if you own; even just a stick, but then I and not you control that stick; so that I beat you hard; and more so with each day, with your own stick; then, please tell me what good you get, if any, from owning it. Oh, but that somewhat over-simplifies, you may say, but it does full justice to the realities of life, and work, for those, like nurses, who have to work for hospitals which you own. And so, the more I think of it, I cannot see why my book should leave out that line, which has to do with control, can you?

Martin Bruce replied on Permalink

UK Citizens have become slaves of the Globalists, rich investors who milk our country dry. £Billions flow overseas while the UK's £Trillion debt mountain grows. Thatcher started selling off the Family silver, and the Tories continued with the rot to line their own greedy pockets. Property and land is rented out by overseas investors who don't even live here, while our own Citizens cannot get a foot on the property ladder.

Frances Bell replied on Permalink

My lovely neighbours tell me, from their daily reading of the Daily Mail, that everything the Labour Party says is lies and that I am stupidly believing these lies and actually the government is doing a brilliant job and growing the economy means I will have double my old age pension any time soon. We must shoot down these lies

Stuart Mulholland replied on Permalink

I am sick to death witnessing over the last 40 years our governments not standing up for the citizen (not subject of the Crown) being ripped off by private vested interests instead. It is fascial that so much of our vital infrastructure is owned by foreign companies and governments. Our politicians seem incapable of agreeing a future vision for our nation! Why? Is it because they are part of the vested interests associated with the theft of the peoples assets - in other times this would be with thier heads!

Mike Fuller replied on Permalink

I am all for nationalising the utilities, including Bulb, but to suggest nationalising Bulb will lead to lower prices is wrong, unlike EDF (in France), Bulb is not and energy generator, they are an energy seller. Even in public hands they would still have to by leccy and gas on the open markets. Only by nationalising UK gas and energy production could prices be brought down.

Blair Corral replied on Permalink

I would also like to see public money being used to install solar panels on public and municipal property,as well as council and private houses.

Adele Tinman replied on Permalink

EDF - I moved into an over 55's flat, informed EDF and received no acknowledgement. I received bills in the name of previous tenant but none in my name, despite having written to inform EDF. Years ago, before electricity was privatized, there were meter readers; you moved into a new flat, informed the local electricity board and someone would be round to read the meter - simple. Our local electricity board in Walthamstow is now flats. Three years after I moved in, someone from EDF actually came round ! He quoted the name of the previous tenant of the flat...nothing he said indicated they knew the tenancy had changed hands. The bill I received was for £900. Having done some renegotiation, assisted by Clarion Housing, Landlords, the bill was quoted as £600. This I duly paid by instalments. EDF were supposed to fit a "smart meter" but it has never worked ! My flat is very small and very warm and I'm lucky not to feel the cold so quite how the original bill was £900 I'll never know!

Bob Rien replied on Permalink

How does the message get out there? Intelligent people are completely ignorant of the facts. Many don't believe public ownership is a "thing" anymore anywhere in the world. Also, a person whose sole goal is to make money is driven in a way that mere mortals who just want to do the right thing more often than not cannot match - 20 years in the City working for fund managers has show me that. The distribution of information is key here... look at the oil industry and climate change. How much does a TV advert cost?

Pete Gorman replied on Permalink

Why can't the tory government see that privatisation of previously nationally owned, essential services such as energy, transport, health services is not the answer. More people have suffered since all the family silver was sold off to profiteering foreign corporate investors. Short term profit for some, but big business gains the most in the end, all of this nations lifeblood has been sold off and sacrificed for the benefit of the already wealthy, with the less fortunate paying the price, the wealthy do not care because it doesn't affect them, apparently there was a better standard of living during the second World War than we are expected to endure today. How is this right? Why don't we get the priveleged 4% of this country, or the world, try to live in the real world and worry about how they are going to feed,keep warm, clothe, and protect their families, instead of worrying about who's got the biggest yacht or most successful football club!!! Capitalism doesn't work, unless you are an already exploitative, unscrupulous, selfish, uncaring, profiteering, tax avoiding, offshore registered corporation, we need a revolution to stand up to the greedy,'profit first, and bugger all matters' FAT CAT' B*****DS'

Bob replied on Permalink

I'm an Octopus customer. I like Octopus, they're a decent enough company, I raise an issue, they deal with it, but they seemed to struggle after "adopting" 250,000 customers a while back.

My bills were just not right. At first, they assured me they were, but eventually they had to concede that my "Smart" meter wasn't communicating properly. I benefited, in that I was being less than I owed, but imagine, had someone living on the financial edge been billed low, and been obliged to repay a shortfall? As it is, I've doubled my monthly payments this year and am about to raise the payment beyond that...

Really a good company, I like them, but I fear they haven't got the resources to handle another 250,000? customers, and...they need public money to do it?

Their billing is fairly opaque too. They take money from my positive balance at odd times, not simply monthly, and it makes my life difficult analyzing my costs per month. With BG, a company I hate with a vengeance at least that analysis was simple... And...I cannot separate out the cost of charging my electric car from the "general" electrical cost. I have to trust the car's data, displayed quite simply on the dash. Would be handy to have Octopus' data separated out for comparison...

Rod Leach replied on Permalink

I have been sent your campaign to renationalise public transport and whole heartedly agree.

David Foxen replied on Permalink

I've just read the piece by Cat Hobbs in the Guardian regarding current Labour policy towards public ownership and agree wholeheartedly with the comments. I now live in Austria where nearly all the public services are still owned by the State. Not even the Austrian Tories (OEVP) would contemplate privatising although they taken some small steps in that direction. I hope that is all it is.

At dinner the other night, I spoke with a friend who had just installed solar panels on his roof to generate electricity. He will shortly have power for nothing and hopes to sell any surplus to the grid. To my mind, this is a perfect example of what a 'green' utility owned by the State could help out with by providing grants and advice whilst helping to grow the green economy. Other householders could get together and supply houses in the area forming a self sufficient hub of power generation. Simples, right?

Keep up the good and important work.


Mr James Henry ... replied on Permalink

Thank you Cat for your article in today's Guardian. Yes, the simple fact is that citizen's are currently being defrauded by the systematic abuse of deregulated capitalism. Capitalism has at heart the idea that one can invest in an enterprise, and that the value of one's shares might go up or down. Apart from the ethical issues raised by investing in fossil fuels or guns for example, the real problem in the case of privatisation has arisen from the extractive nature of dividends. In the case of UK water companies, i understand that the payment of dividends closely matches the cost of infrastructure needed to fix the appalling routine discharge of raw sewage into waterways.

Mike replied on Permalink

While I personally agree with a vast majority of arguments against privatisation of UK's public services while at the same time improving the level of efficiency of management of these and reducing the waste of public money, I also believe that only essential public services should remain public which includes infrastructure, health and education.

To go even further, most if not all already privatised public services should be reverted back to become public, including for example trains, communication infrastructure and care for people with learning disabilities.

Having said that, television including Channel 4 and BBC do not count as essential public services with the exception of parts of BBC responsible for education, culture (in educational sense) and information (BBC News) mission. Please do not push for these to remain public as we are talking about taxpayers money spent on entertainment programs at the benefit of people watching these but at the expense of everyone else.

Kate replied on Permalink

We believe that public services paid for by the public should not be sold. People have a different view on what is essential and what is not. Channel 4 does ground breaking work, doesn't cost the tax payer a penny and contributes to our economy.

Best wishes Kate and the We Own It team.

pauline colledge replied on Permalink

I didn't send letter because this is Islington North,they know. Every time there is a gov reorg of the NHS eg. 2012 they are sneakily bringing it ever closer to a US model. I bet the money they profess to spend on NHS is also used to build and establish an ever increasing number of private facilities. Is this a losing battle.?. The Euroean model where the state runs non profit insurane scheme with built-in protections worth studying. Campaigning for this could achieve more and alarm a profiteering greedy govt. Campaigning for something rather than reacting and never catching up with gov's machinations.

I am partially sighted

Steffy Cairns replied on Permalink

There's no excuse for privatisation, as there's absolutley no fat left to be cut off from services such as the NHS. The privatisation movement is very covert. As far back as 2015, letters to our local social services were sent to ' the People Group ', but no - one could tell me who they were?

The ' levelling up agenda ' is farcical, when services are increasingly being put into private hands, so that the lowest paid workers receive even less. eg. Lab workers in private testing cos. compared to NHS. Have you seen what the Directors of CareUk receive in remuneration? It's sickening!

Steven Corcoran replied on Permalink

It's much worse

“Capital must protect itself in every possible way, both by combination and legislation.   Debts must be collected, mortgages foreclosed as rapidly as possible.  When, through process of law, the common people lose their homes, they will become more docile and more easily governed through the strong arm of the government applied by a central power of wealth under leading financiers.   These truths are well known among our principal men, who are now engaged in forming an imperialism to govern the world.   By dividing the voter through the political party system, we can get them to expend their energies in fighting for questions of no importance.   It is thus, by discrete action, we can secure for ourselves that which has been so well planned and so successfully accomplished.”

Montagu Norman – Governor of the Bank of England – addressing the United States Bankers’ Association, New York City, 1924


Graham blake replied on Permalink

Sexual health (GUM) clinics now operated by serco, tht et al . Profits out of nhs to serco mostly. This applies to east of england. Should be back to full nhs cover

Eddie Dougall replied on Permalink

You say "privatisation is not wrong per se", well it is when applied to strategic requirements of the UK nationally, or people individually, in terms of services/goods essential to life. I never imagined that water, energy, rail, housing (selling off of council houses), health care would ever be privatised, I thought the public would not stand for it. However offer shares at a low enough price, or houses at about half price or so, and thoughts of the future consequences were ignored. Very sad what people can be bribed to do.

James Nicholson replied on Permalink

A long overdue review of offshore tax havens should be undertaken to prevent the very wealthy domiciled in this country from paying their UK taxes. Clearly not an action for a Selfservative government, but for a meaningful polical opposition - if we have one.

Devinder singh replied on Permalink

All energy companies must be under UK government so that it should be make as cheaper and the profits should go the government not into the private hands.....thanks.

Dermot Killingley replied on Permalink

Government incompetence isn't an accident, it's part of Tory ideology. To maintain the fiction that the market yields the best outcomes, the government has to show itself to be both inefficient and lacking in benevolence.

Lynn replied on Permalink

It's time that the public had a say in energy suppliers and our water companies

Patricia Simpson replied on Permalink

My GP surgery has been taken over by a private company, you can’t get appointments (you can’t even get someone to answer the phone), everything is prioritised by money and services have been steadily reduced. Dental services have been decimated and our local hospital has been rendered impotent nearly leading to the death of my son. It’s time to halt the rot.


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