Wednesday, 1 October 2008

EDF Buy Out of British Energy: Yet More Free Market Folly




I have to say in these days of supposed concerns over the security of energy supply I find it incredible that no one should question the wisdom of selling a major essential service provider in effect to a foreign power i.e. the sale of British Energy to EDF - the nationalised French power organisation. Even as an avid Francophile I have to say it makes me a little uncomfortable to think of the leverage that this could give the French government when our two nations may have our occasional ideological differences. The thing I find most amazing about all of this is the British as a nation have so willingly been spoonfed and then swallowed the idea that free market market economics are the universal elixir that there should be no mention whatever voicing these concerns in the UK Press across their whole spectrum from the right to ultra right.

4 comments:

Mo said...

Not just electricity. The problems with British rail are a direct result of privatisation. What now. Nationalise the banks then sell them again?

BarkerBitesBack said...

Absolutely and that finally did for the Tories, I honestly think that was a step to far even for the British public who are naturally right-leaning. Look at the price of gas now - we were promised that privatisation would be good for the consumer, but would a nationalised gas industry have been allowed to raise prices by 40% one year and then another 40% rise on top of that not even a year later? And look at all the problems with our water industry and how prices go through the roof and leaks are never fixed. But my point in this case is that it is a foreign government which now owns the service provider and not just a foreign company. And not only that but we can choose to use the train or not - if the British government have a falling out with the French government the latter can now threaten to turn the power off and then where would we be? The privatisation lie was one big con and millions gleefully fell for it with the promise of a quick profit bribe. But now what are we left with? Second and third standards of services, constantly rising prices and absolutely no accountability.

Aileni said...

I seem to remember MacMillan saying something about sellin the family silver.
I think the EDF thing is because Britain no longer has engineers capable of building nuclear plant and they are looking to the French to provide the expertise... but at what price.

BarkerBitesBack said...

Yes it was McMillan - a Tory, but one from the days when the Tories were way to the left of any of today's parties, including New Labour. Even Adam Smith warned against unbridled capitalism. What Thatcher managed to do was sell greed as a 'good' thing to the people of Britain and things have gone from bad to worse ever since.