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Renationalisation or mutualisation June 11, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Here’s an interesting report from the Guardian:

Labour has insisted it is not toning down its nationalisation plans despite claims from a water company chief that a mutualisation-style approach has been discussed with opposition leaders.

Labour has made forceful public statements on renationalising water – along with energy and rail – in recent months but a FTSE 250-listed utility claims the party is looking at alternative means of gaining control over the industry.

Susan Davy, the chief financial officer of Pennon, which owns South West Water, said that although Labour was publicly talking about full nationalisation, she had noted a more emollient position during discussions with the party.

What’s odd is that so much has been predicated on nationalisation only being possible (according to some in Labour and outside it on the left) within the context of Brexit. This is inaccurate, nationalisation is possible inside the EU but it’s certainly a trope that has gained legs. But interestingly mutualisation is even easier inside the EU.

Perhaps there’s no link at all. Most likely there isn’t. And by the by the water companies are self-serving in the extreme in their thoughts on all this. But my own sense is that a range of forms of social ownership should be examined, including but not limited to nationalisation. Indeed a plurality of social ownership forms could be a strength rather than a weakness.


1. FergusD - June 11, 2018

Whatever happened to co-operative? Also, nationalisation without workers’ control and management, and public planning, would lead to the same old problems as before.


WorldbyStorm - June 11, 2018

I’m all for cooperatives. I think they’re part and parcel of any left project. I get how mutualisation might be a step, though why stop there? Or how about a nationalisation with a mutualisation element, or…


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