In light of your recent excellent coverage in the Big Read on Thames Water: the murky structure of a utility company l find your editorial on Corbyn’s misguided bid to turn the clock back (12th of May) out of line with your tone of your reporting of private utilities like Thames Water who’s fines over river sewage were dwarfed by £ 1billion plus payment to owners.
Most of the private utilities are monopolies by their very nature and making them private has not bode well for the customers of water, energy and transport. You say quite clearly “….. privatisation was designed to bring greater efficiency into the management of utilities. But in the case of Thames Water, it has become an experiment in complex financial engineering.” And add ex-OFWAT Head Regulator, Sir Ian Byatt saying “The public interest is so easily forgotten and consumers are paying more for their water bills because of it.”
Indeed many of those bidding and taking a stake in our utilities are state owned monopolies from aboard, so incredibly the profits go to public utilities aboard. Its not something the market consensus since Thatcher has much to say about? In the case of Thames Water its China & Abu Dhabi and we have a similar pattern in the rail industry.
Moreover with the Tories advocating also for the energy company prices to be capped in a not too dissimilar manner to what Ed Milliband had proposed in GE2015, if anything the thinking has shifted greatly on how to manage the future of these private utilities.
So there may well be a case of “back to the future” with private utilities in our economy more so than your editorial will let on.