Socialist Worker

As Tories attack Royal Mail - the truth about privatisation

Issue No. 2371

The bosses claim that privatisation can help workers and ordinary people.

But the reality of selloffs by the Tory governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major was very different.

  • British Telecom - has cut 100,000 jobs since it was privatised in 1984
  • British Steel - had cut 20,000 jobs by the time it was privatised in 1988
  • Water - prices have risen, and profits too, since the network was split into competing firms in 1989—and hosepipe bans come in the same year as floods
  • British Rail - fares have rocketed since privatisation in 1996—so much so that in 2011 then transport minister Philip Hammond called rail travel “a rich man’s toy”. There have also been safety failures and several firms have had to be renationalised
  • British Gas - the selloff in 1986 is often cited as the successful face of privatisation. But British Gas has been split into three  parts. One of them is Centrica, which has repeatedly threatened its staff with redundancy and culled 850 jobs in 2011

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Tue 17 Sep 2013, 16:06 BST
Issue No. 2371
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