Rail News


September 30 , 2021

Support common ownership of rail, mail, energy and water

The Guardian 
29 September 2021 (UK)

How do we avoid an expensive winter? Take energy back into public ownership
Cat Hobbs

Pressing ahead with a green new deal that reverses decades of privatisation is the key to better utilities

  • Cat Hobbs is the founder of We Own It, an organisation that campaigns for public ownership of public services

hen Keir Starmer stood for election as Labour party leader, he pledged to continue the party’s support for public ownership. One of the 10 promises he set out was that “public services should be in public hands, not making profits for shareholders. Support common ownership of rail, mail, energy and water; end outsourcing in our NHS, local government and justice system”.

The privatisation of public services is a 40-year failed experiment that voters have had enough of. Recent polling shows that 74% of potential Labour voters now support a greater commitment to public ownership. Evidence suggests that Labour’s public ownership policies were always popular with the general public, and became even more so from 2017 to 2019. Brexit and the party leadership were the stated factors that stopped people from voting Labour. Even Conservative voters support public ownership of railways and water utilities. That’s because in general, people want to see profits reinvested into better services rather than leaking out to shareholders.

On Sunday, Labour conference delegates voted for a green new deal motion that included support for public ownership of energy and public transport. They were backed by shadow energy secretary Ed Miliband, who has repeatedly confirmed Labour’s support for public ownership, as has shadow transport secretary Jim McMahon.


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