Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Privatising Ireland

Well, we know they want to privatize water, which is not a commodity but a human right.
But other state assets are being sold to create a short term solution to bail out banks - in an effort that will fail, that is, the bank bailout.

Already our natural resources have been sold, as with gas and oil resources - or with coillte, will be sold.
We as a country do not have the best track record with privatization. Our Eircom flotation was a failure, Sugar and Steel went to the wall. Sugar in particular was a very bad deal, very short sighted and caused real loss.
Aerlingus shares fell from over 2 euro to just over 60 cents. Aerlingus landing slots are worth more than flight revenue - this is a service, not a business.
Now the ESB- the very foundation of our socio-economic structure is now up for sale. The ESB is a strategic company. The plan is not to retain any of the ESB but flog it.
Control of the network grid is where the money is, and with our shabby history of regulation, better a public than private monopoly.

It is a bad time to sell, the buyers know we are in a bind, it's like going to the pawn shop instead of the antique stores.

Pat Rabbite talks about giving an assurance to the potential buyers that we could sell in the future. This neglects the point that this will hamstring future governments.

The ESB and rural electrification was the jewel in the crown of the early free state. We need to think in creative terms, as they did - ambition on behalf of the nation, rather than assisting the private debts of banks.

We need to look at visionary projects like Spirit of Ireland , keeping control of distribution, improving the grid and generating jobs and income - rather than that the current Government want to sell off an asset that has the real potential to really do something radical and creative and create work, improving the lives of the majority.

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