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Emma B BS: Selling England By The Pound (28) RE: BS: Selling England By The Pound 01 Sep 10


Seconded Kevin, the recent proposal to privatize the Port of Dover is only one end of a long process - where were the emotive highly dramtic protests such as "that proud history is up for sale and the leading bidder is revealed as the former age-old enemy France"
when 'Sid' was being encouraged to make a killing by buying shares in privatised gas?

In the UK, privatization started under Margaret Thatcher at the beginning of the 1980s

Cable & Wireless: Oct 81,
Amersham International: Feb 82,
Britoil: Nov 82,
Associated British Ports: Feb 83,
Enterprise Oil: Feb 84,
Jaguar: July 84,
British Telecom: Nov 84,
British Gas: Dec 86,
British Airways: Feb 87,
Rolls-Royce: May 87,
BAA: July 87,
British Steel: Dec 88,
Regional water companies: Dec 89,
Electricity distribution companies: Dec 90.

At the same time, Thatcher introduced Compulsory Competitive Tendering (CCT) which started the sell off of national and local government.
John Major renamed this Private Finance Initiative (PFI) in 1992, and the policy continued unabated under Tony Blair

There has been wide coverage on the use of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) in health and education, but PPPs are also being used in a diverse range of projects like helicopter simulators for the Ministry of Defence and the redevelopment of the main Treasury building.
When Chancellor, Gordon Brown said that "there should be no principled objection to PFI expanding into new areas, such as the provision of employment and training services, the renovation of schools and colleges, major projects or urban regeneration and social housing

N. M. Rothschild & Sons website boasts

"1985 saw N. M.Rothschild & Sons win the 'beauty contest' to advise the British Government on the sale of British Gas.
This was the most significant piece of privatization work to be undertaken by N. M. Rothschild & Sons, pioneers in such business from 1971.
Further advisory roles were taken with regard to the privatization of British Steel and British Coal as well as the regional electricity and water boards."

Lord Wakeham was the Conservative Chief Whip from 1983 to 1987 and Secretary for Energy from 1989 to 1992.
He authorized Enron to buy into the privatized water and electricity systems, and then, in 1994 when he resigned as leader of the House of Lords, he joined Enron as a non-executive director and sat on its audit committee.
Lord Wakeham had also awarded a contract to N. M. Rothschild to advise the Government on coal privatization.
In 1995 he became a director of N. M. Rothschild.

In November 2003, Oliver Letwin resigned his directorship of N. M. Rothschild, which he had held since 1991, to become Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer for the Conservative party.
He is author of the book 'Privatizing the World' and has worked as an adviser to foreign governments on privatization

AND don't get me started on STEPS - the 1.5 billion Strategic Transfer of the Estate to the Private Sector (STEPS) PFI deal entered into by Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise with a private sector consortium known as Mapeley STEPS.
The deal incorporates the transfer of the ownership and management of the Departments' estates to the consortium

The National Audit Office at the time found that the parties had 'yet to achieve a sufficient level of partnership, for example there are on-going problems with the performance measurement system outlined in the contract'

Ironically, Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles has announced plans to disband the Audit Commission - its in-house audit practice, which is the fifth largest audit practice in the country, will be transferred out of public ownership.

A range of options will be developed for converting the audit practice into a business independent of Government which could be sold or otherwise transferred into the private sector.


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