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.

Photo used under Creative Commons licensing, thanks to anw.fr.

Comments

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.

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 treason....off 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.

D.

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

Scary

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.

Eddie Dougall replied on Permalink

Same goes for 'Academy' schools, with US and other interests collecting together groups of them and giving megabucks to the new-style CEO who has absolute control of where the money goes that the schools get from government. Piecemeal

privatisation.

Geoff Clarkson replied on Permalink

An animated fairy I have just made tale about how privatised water is polluting our rivers.

STINKY STORY https://vimeo.com/664337462

Colin Bennett replied on Permalink

I am fully in agreement about public services being run for the good of the country rather than for private profit.

I would, however, stipulate that they should be run independently of micro-management by any Government and not interfered with for political advantage.

Any Government should only be allowed to make general guidance as to the way the service is run.

Sarah Dent replied on Permalink

Private companies equate 'cost saving' with efficiency. Even if a service is ostensibly cheaper - eg hospital cleaners - it is not efficient to employ people on wages which are so low they need in-work benefits to top up their earnings. This is a ridiculous and if the cost of providing the benefits - administration and payments - were added to the cost of the service, I bet it would be seen to be what it is. An expensive and hugely inefficient way to divert taxpayers' money into the hands of corporate profiteers, and increase inequality.

Maryan Hadley replied on Permalink

These shysters would sell off their own children. Absolutely devoid of integrity.

Adam Hiley replied on Permalink

I implore my fellow Britons to wake up about this government and this Lame Prime Minister and remove them from office forget Labour Starmer will offer no alternative to this rogue Government the NHS deserves to be fully funded now We are over the worst of covid19 the NHS must never be run down by severe funding cuts by Labour or the Tories ever again Johnson has no respect for the British public he must go now

Sue Longrigg replied on Permalink

Thank you for the presentation today. It was clear and easy to follow. In principle I agree with nationalisation and socialism. I live in Wales where the only water supplier available in Welsh Water who claim to be a not for profit organisation however the prices are still high and we still have a big sewerage discharge problem. Obviously there is some kind of corruption going on and I think you would strengthen your case if you could point to this as one of the possible dangers of nationalisation and explain measures that could be put in place to root this out.

Jacqueline Savill replied on Permalink

I believe that the opposition parties in H of C should be campaigning now on saving certain services completely in the NHS from privatisation. This will bring the matter to public attention and make them realise there is a problem. (Even the most self centre journalists use them!)

I would start with campaigning on the specialist children and cancer hospitals, organ donation, blood donation, the ambulance service and antenatal and obstetric care. If people realised what was at stake they might be more responsive to listening.

John Harries - ... replied on Permalink

Hi. To be paying the same amount,. We must all be taxed. 1 percent of our earnings. NO OPT OUT BY THE WEALTHIEST.

Laureen Sherry replied on Permalink

The NHS should not be a marketplace. Health should be on the basis of need. There is already a two-tier system.

Paul Flynn replied on Permalink

I believe in public ownership for all utilities, buses, trains, NHS etc

My only proviso is that union power should be partially curtailed by law to prevent the excesses of the 70s

Alan Digweed replied on Permalink

Privatisation of the bus services was and is a myth. The Government, well tax payers spend millions each year on subsidizing the services in the form of fuel duty rebates (FDR). Council. already struggling with austerity subsidize oerators to run non commercial services. The big operators have no interest in providing a service but only in generating profit, profits which could belong in the public purse and not the shareholders

maurice clive bisby replied on Permalink

1. Wonderful that you exist.

2. Glad to discover you.

3. Disgusted with uk political corruption I joined the throng exiting Britain last year. I think that if you target British Expats in the EU, like me, you will gain further support.

We are still entitled to vote in UK national elections..... M

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