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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Sedley Bryden replied on Permalink

It's quite basic, really. Human beings have a few basic needs, but unlike our ancestors we cannot go out and cut down trees to provide heat, they all belong to someone else. Likewise the water we need for hydration. We cannot catch or grow our own food, the land, rivers all belong to people who will stop you from sustaining yourself and you family. Thus no one should profit from providing the basic necessities of human existence. We should all own the means of producing what we need.

C replied on Permalink

As public services become delivered by multiple providers under complex contractual arrangements, who do you hold accountable for poor performance or service failings? The risk is that challenge will be lost over under a cloak of 'client confidentiality'. Why does big business want to provide public services? Let's not kid ourselves that it is through some altruistic impulse. First and foremost it is because they see a healthy profit margin or opportunity for future expansion. Their accountability lies to their share holders, not to the public body and certainly not to the service user.

Brian McNeil replied on Permalink

A Public Service is one where the aim is to provide the best-possible service for the lowest cost.

A Business, regardless of what it may throw at you as a 'mission statement', exists to provide the bare-minimum service, for the maximum profit.

Look at every single thing sold-off since Thatcher's time. All of our services are worse, and we are paying much more for them.

christina sosseh replied on Permalink

I already pay income tax, national insurance, council tax, and VAT on virtually everything I buy. All these taxes are for public services, that does not mean they should be provided by private companies who only want to make a profit, there should be no profit in these type of services, if there is, it should go back into the service to make is sutainable. These services should be provided for peoples need and should be accessed equally by all. if people want a different type of service, fine they can pay for it.

OUR hospitals etc, which this government are giving away to private companies, are not theirs to give away, they belong to the people, we are the ones who have paid for them.

Mart 44 replied on Permalink

Privatised from the civil service to an American firm. Terms & conditions under constant threat. Redundancies EVERY quarter for the last 7 years. Compulsory redundancies at the same time as they hire (non unionised) new graduates. Work that was done for nothing now paid for in multi million pound contracts by the taxpayer, with all profits going OUT of the country. You are lied to and cheated by this privatisation

Jenny Hnriques replied on Permalink

Why should share holders or private companies benefit financially from public services? I think that services for the public should be in the hands of the public, and should not be based on any profit making enterprise.

You only have to look at what's happening to our utilities, rail services, care homes, etc to see what a messy free for all privatisation and competition has made of people's basic needs.

Brigitte Lechner replied on Permalink

I cannot see why state ownership of, say, the car industry or the steel industry, would be preferable to private ownership. That sort of nationalisation was ideologically driven, for sure. Private and profit-driven ownership of essential public services like clean water, education,energy, transport or health reproduces inequalities on a massive scale. There is no justification other than greed. Businesses make very liberal use of such services, directly or via their workforce. If they want the workforce adequately and equitably reproduced they should pay for it with higher taxes.

Robin Watts replied on Permalink

To my mind, it's simple. The utilities & services we all use, should not be required to generate income & profit for shareholders & consortia (who mostly aren't even in Britain, or have any interest in the service, or standards we experience). We should hold them in common, to service our needs, and ours alone. That requires them to be nationally owned

Andy replied on Permalink

It's simple.

- public services service the public.

- they exist as services to keep the country running: to facilitate people getting on with life.

- they therefore cannot be run for profit. If run for profit, the service is not run for the public, or the country, or to facilitate the daily life of the country. They are then run for profit: and therefore the core reason for the service is lost.

What comes from private business running private services? Everything you see now.

High prices

Low staff morale and no identification from the public of the importance of the jobs done by public services

Low standards of service

Major mistakes (deaths etc) with post-accident analyses done in the corporate style - no accountability

Endless business "bottom line" style rationalisation and justifications for lowering standards

Frankly, the inevitable end point is that the country descends into hell.

Nick Hawkes replied on Permalink

I would not like someone to have access to my testicles and access to a hammer and a perverse financial incentive. Same principles.

Jim Hutchon replied on Permalink

We pay taxes for clean water, public transport and heat and light, not for vanity projects in Afghanistan. These are the inalienable duties of Government. It cannot handover these duties so we have to pay twice for what we rightfully expect in a civilised society. These pillars of life are not to be bandied about for profits. They are too important.

John Dakin replied on Permalink

The point about public ownership is that services are owned by the people for the people--all the people; this ideal has been lost sight of by all three main parties since the Thatcher era; but it is an ideal which has been betrayed, most recently by the privatisation of the Royal Mail and of the NHS; neither of these were discussed at the last election: this is outrageous, yet the Coalition seem so far to have gotten away with it; nor am I convinced that privatisation lead to better services: quite the contrary: the performance of Atos and G4s are lamentable.

Alan Cummings replied on Permalink

Public ownership is about providing a quality, cost-effective service to the public. It is a way of providing a benchmark that demonstrates care and concern for the quality of life everyone experiences.

Private ownership is about creating as much profit as possible - period.

The two concepts are both necessary - but incompatible when mixed.

Government SHOULD recognise this and stop forcing everything down the private side.

Utilities, health care and education, for example, simply do not work in private hands as the profit motive get in the way. Incompetent management and inappropriate government interference in public sector organisations is designed to encourage the "privatise it" mentality. What we really need is government that recognises the value of the private sector and makes sure that it can function effectively and efficiently for the benefit of us all. For this to happen we must fight to make sure the spivs do not win.

Roger Drion replied on Permalink

We are always told that these services are not profitable, so why are these people so hell bent on getting hold of them to privatise them?

Simon Linskill replied on Permalink

For too long the debate about public/private has tried to make a false dichotomy: one side being ungainly, slow and badly managed and the other as enterprising and efficient. It only takes a short holiday to continental Europe to ride on some clean cheap trains, a glance at your energy bills, a ridiculously long wait at a bus stop or sheer rage at one's overflowing bins to know that some things are public goods and not commodities.

I wouldn't ask that Creepy Overbearing Govt Inc. runs all of my life, but I want some accountability from my politicians. I want to know that ultimately they are in charge of vital services, and we are in charge of them, rather then them being managers who purchase services at the lowest cost (and quality) every few years... until they go wrong and we bail them out and prove to run them better. *cough* East Coast Mainline *cough*.

It's about time our professional policians restarted running running our services for the benefit of citizens, not shareholders. If anything, privatise the monarchy and make them work for us.

Andy Kemp replied on Permalink

It strikes me as self-evident: public services should be in public ownership and control. Wherever profit becomes a factor we inevitably see those services undermined, a lack of accountability and a serious breakdown in the very notion of the social good. Our common inheritance is not for sale! For a society to hand over such functions as the provision of fresh water and the imprisonment and rehabilitation of offenders to parties whose vested interests are inimical those of society as a whole, is morally bankrupt and the sign of a deep malaise.

Cormac McCarthy replied on Permalink

An excellent example of how public services and democracy work in a wealthy country is Norway. And in emerging countries in South America there are a number of excellent examples on the same model. An example of the nightmare model that we in Britain are being led to, is the USA. The will of the people needs to be reasserted. We want our democracy back.

Christopher Wellard replied on Permalink

I support everything you stand for, but all this propaganda goes out to the committed. We should be forming local groups to leaflet people, and/or houses and out side the relevant premises, factories, offices,large shops and supermarkets, outdoor and indoor meetings as well as colleges and universities. I am old and this is the job of the young as well as the old.The young in particular because they will have original and unique ideas and it ias their futures. I'm not suggesting a single nationwide organization, but a series of small autonomous groups. Emails are fine to start a movement, but it is only a mass movement which will force change. AND CHANGE THERE MUST BE.

Calum McGregor replied on Permalink

Successive governments have claimed that privitisation of essential public services offers greater choice to the 'consumer' increased competition and value for money. What is has actually meant is that our public services have become shrouded in commercial confidentiality agreements, obscured from public oversight by complex tendering agreements, and driven up prices whilst simultaneously offering a worse service to the public. All outsourcing achieves is to hand vital public services to private companies, who exploit their monopoly position to raise prices and divert our money into the hands of private shareholders. Essential public services such as energy, water, transport and the like should be transferred back to public ownership, so we can have a say in how they are run, and so that they operate with the public good in the forefront of their minds, rather than secondary to turning a profit. We should also be recognised not as consumers, but as users and collaborators in these services. Co-operation is the key! Thanks for your campaign

Clare England replied on Permalink

Privatised monopolies can be bought by private equity companies, loaded with debt ensuring they pay as little tax as possible, and can hide behind commercial confidentiality. Regulators appear to have no meaningful sanctions and, even when services are demonstrated to be unsafe and inadequate the CEOs still receive massive bonuses and shareholders receive dividends. Companies that fail to deliver properly (G4S, Serco, A4E, Atos) on one contract still receive other government contracts and the public, whose services are being sold off, who are ultimately paying for all of this in the form of huge subsidies and increased prices have no say in the process.

This week it was revealed that the privatised water companies are responsible for over 1000 incidents of water pollution. These are companies that are meant to protect the environment but instead the need to make profits overwhelms all other considerations as is the case for all of the various privatised monopolies and services. There is no evidence that privatisation of the NHS and Royal Mail will turn out any differently. The public will just end up paying more to companies that lack accountability.

We Own It is a hugely important campaign because privatisation affects the nature of our democracy.

mike watkins replied on Permalink

The unconstrained free market only works for the benefits of the multi-national companies, the already wealthy, shareholders, hedge fund managers, etc, the rest of us are simply a human revenue stream to be tapped at will.

Hugh Daniels replied on Permalink

Wherever you look you can see the so-called market failing our fellow countryman and taking away our freedom. Prices are no longer under proper control, and our right to a say in how national services are run is being sold off to foreign and multinational companies, who have no commitment or loyalty to the people and values of this country. To them we are just customers to be manipulated and dictated to in a monopolised market. As for their policies on taxation, it is just an inconvenience to be got round rather than an essential income to fund basic services and facilities here.

Thank you for your campaign.

Kandy replied on Permalink

Failures at Winterbourne View show that staff working in residential social care need supervision and training. Pay and career structures must reflect capabilty. To promote inclusion facilities provided for those in residential care need to be in the community not on a remote industrial estate where rent and rates are cheap. Care homes need to be run in a way that safeguards care and not profit. The ethos must be public service not private gain.

Kevin Meaney replied on Permalink

I want public services. Services that are not contracted out but provided publicly and paid for out of our taxes.

This is the most efficient and equitable way to provide essential services.

By keeping the services public there is greater democratic accountability. Freedom of Information means there is greater transparency and excuses like commercial confidentiality etc. can't be used to fob off requests for information.

I do not wish to see tax payers money being used to subsidize corporate profits.

Keep up the good work.

Jane Lennie replied on Permalink

I'll pay taxes for public services provided by adequately waged public workers. I don't agree with my taxes lining the pockets of shareholders when they use workfare, zero hours and temporary contracts for their workers.


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