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PRI VATI SATI ON ROBBI NG THEPEOPLE’ S WEALTH

COLI N WHI TSTON J I MMY NOLAN

DUBLI N: TRADEUNI ON LEFTFORUM 2012


Tr a deUni onLe f tFor um c / o6Ga r di ne rRow Dubl i n1 www. t ul e f t f or um. c om

Cov e rde s i g nbyKe v i nSqui r e s

P RI NT E DI NI RE L A ND by


I nt r oduct i on Thi si st hefir s tpubl i c a t i onoft heTr a deUni onLe f tFor um.Wehope i twi l lc ont r i but et oade e pe runde r s t a ndi ngoft hepol i t i c sne c e s s a r y t or e v i t a l i s et het r a deuni onmov e me nt ,de f e ndourme mbe r s ’r i g ht s , a nd he l pi n bui l di ng t hene c e s s a r yc oa l i t i on off or c e st or e s i s t pr i v a t i s a t i on—t hes e l l i ngoft hepe opl e ’ swe a l t ht opr i v a t ec or por a t e i nt e r e s t s ,mos tofa l lt omonopol i e sbe y ondna t i ona lorde moc r a t i c a c c ount a bi l i t y . Thefir s ts e c t i onoft hepa mphl e tde a l swi t ht heunde r l y i ngpol i t i c s ,t hei de ol og yofpr i v a t i s a t i ona se mbr a c e dbyt hema i npol i t i c a l pa r t i e si nDá i l Éi r e a nna ndr e i nf or c e dbyt heEur ope a nUni ona ndi t s a g e nc i e s .I ts howshow t hes y s t e mi sdr i v e nbyi t sowni mpe r a t i v e s a nds t a g na t i ont or e duc et hes pa c ea ndt her ol eofpubl i ce nt e r pr i s e , f ur t he ri nc r e a s i ngt hec ommodi fic a t i onofe v e r ya s pe c tofpe opl e ’ s e c onomi c , s oc i a l , pol i t i c a l a ndc ul t ur a l ne e ds . Thea na l y s i sdr a wsonbot hI r i s ha ndi nt e r na t i ona le x pe r i e nc eof pr i v a t i s a t i ona ndi t ss oc i a li mpa c tonwor k i ngpe opl e .I tpr e s e nt s c l e a r l yt hea r g ume nt sa g a i ns tpr i v a t i s a t i ona ndwhyi ti si na l lour i nt e r e s t s —me mbe r sa ndt hepubl i c —t ooppos ei tf ort hec ommon g ood. Thes e c ondpa r toft hepa mphl e tdr a wsont hepr a c t i c a le x pe r i e nc eoft heESBa nds howst hei mpor t a ntr ol eoft heESBa ndt he de t r i me nt a lee ffc tt ha tt hepol i c yde c i s i onsoft hepr e s e nta ndpa s t g ov e r nme nt sha v eha d on t hec ompa nya nd on t hewi de rI r i s h s oc i e t y . St a t ea nds t a t e s pons or e dc ompa ni e sha v epl a y e dav e r yi mpor t a ntr ol ei nc r e a t i ngj obs ,i ns t a bi l i s i ngur ba na ndr ur a lc ommuni t i e s , i nde moc r a t i c a l l ys pr e a di ngde v e l opme nt ,a ndi ns l owi ngt hewa v e s ofma s se mi g r a t i ont ha tha v ebe e nadomi na ntf e a t ur eofours oc i e t y s i nc et hef ounda t i onoft heI r i s hs t a t e . Thes t a t ea nds t a t e s pons or e dc ompa ni e spr ov i de doppor t uni t i e s f ort e nsoft hous a ndsofpe opl et og a i ne mpl oy me nt ,a ppr e nt i c e s hi ps a ndoppor t uni t i e sf ore duc a t i ona la dv a nc enota v a i l a bl et owor k i ng 1


pe opl ei nt hepr i v a t es e c t orore v e nwi t hi nt hee duc a t i ona ls y s t e m pr ov i de dbyt hes t a t e .The s ef a c i l i t i e sha dahug ei nu fle nc eont he i r f a mi l i e sa ndt he i rc ommuni t i e s . Anot he rf e a t ur e ,a ndamuc hne g l e c t e dr ol eoft hepubl i cc ompa ni e s ,wa st her a i s i ngoft hes k i l lba s eofi t swor k e r s .Notonl ydi d t hi sbe net fit hos ewor k i ngi nt he s ec ompa ni e sbutwhe ns omeoft he m mov e di nt ot hepr i v a t es e c t ort he ybr oug htwi t ht he mt hos es k i l l s , t hi s i nt e r g e ne r a t i ona ls k i l la ndk nowl e dg eba s e ,t ha tt he yha dbe net fie d f r om,t he r e by r a i s i ng t he e duc a t i ona la nd s k i l l s mi xa v a i l a bl e t hr oug houtt hee c onomy . Wor k e r si ns t a t e s pons or e dc ompa ni e sa l s ol e dt hewa yi na c hi e v i nge qua loppor t uni t i e s ,e qua lpa y ,a ndt hepr ov i s i onofc hi l dc a r e , s e t t i ngs t a nda r dsi nwor k i ngc ondi t i onsa ndwa g el e v e l st ha tbe ne fit e dwor k e r si nt hepr i v a t es e c t or . I fpr i v a t i s a t i oni ss uc c e s s f uli twi l lae ffc ta l lwor k e r s ’wa g e sa nd c ondi t i onsa ndc a nonl yl e a dt of ur t he rdownwa r dpr e s s ur ef r om e mpl oy e r se a g e rt oi nc r e a s et he i rpr ot fis . St a t ea nd s t a t e s pons or e dc ompa ni e sa l s o pr ov i de i mpor t a nt s e r v i c e sa ndane c e s s a r ys oc i a li nf r a s t r uc t ur e ,be c a us et he yha v epr ov i de dwha ti ss oc i a l l yr e qui r e d,notme r e l ys e r v i c e sf r om whi c ha pr ot fic a nbema debypr i v a t ec or por a t i ons .The ybr oug hte l e c t r i c i t y , g a s ,wa t e ra ndpos t a ls e r v i c e st or e mot ec ommuni t i e sori ndi v i dua l s , de v e l opi ngr e s our c e st ha tbe net fie dt hewi de rc ommuni t y .The y f or me dpa r toft hec ol l e c t i v ee x pe r i e nc et ha tma k eusc i t i z e nsofa c ount r yr a t he rt ha nme r ec ons ume r s ,wi t houra c c e s st os uc hs e r v i c e s ba s e donl yonoura bi l i t yt opa y . Thepr e s e ntdr i v ef orpr i v a t i s a t i oni sbe i ngs ol dt oourpe opl eon t heg r oundst ha twec a nus es omeoft hemone yt or e i nv e s ti nj obc r e a t i on,t hr oug hs omef or m ofs t i mul uspa c k a g e ,whi c hwi l lbea i me d pr i ma r i l ya tt hepr i v a t es e c t or ,whi l et hebul koft hemone ya c c r ui ng f r om t he i rs a l ewi l lg ot obr i ngdownt he“ na t i ona lde bt . ”Thi si si n f a c tat hr e e wa yr obbe r yofourr e s our c e s :fir s t l yt hr oug ht hes a l eof ourpubl i ca s s e t s ,s e c ondl yt hr oug ht heha ndi ngov e rofs omeoft ha t mone yt opr i v a t ee nt e r pr i s ea sa“ s t i mul us , ”a ndt hi r dl yt hr oug ht he us eoft her e s tt opa yoffpr i v a t eba nkde bt . 2


Thi sde bti snott hepe opl e ’ sde btbuti st heout c omeofas t r a t e g y ofr e c k l e s sbor r owi ngc a r r i e doutbyba nk i nga ndfina nc i a li ns t i t ut i ons , i nc oope r a t i onwi t ht hee c onomi ca ndpol i t i c a l e l i t e . Thefir es a l eoft he s ea s s e t st ha tbe l ongt oa l lourpe opl e —notj us t t ot hewor k e r se mpl oy e di ns uc hc ompa ni e s —wi l lnotbe net fi our pe opl e .Ase x pe r i e nc ei not he rc ount r i e sha ss hown,t hous a ndsof j obswi l lbel os ta ndpr i c e swi l lg oupa st hepr i v a t ec or por a t eowne r s pus hf org r e a t e ra ndg r e a t e rpr ot fis . I nt e r na t i ona le x pe r i e nc es howst ha tt het r a deuni onmov e me nt ne e dst obui l dwi de rc oa l i t i onsa monga l l ourpe opl et opr e v e ntpr i v a t i s a t i on.The r ei sac l e a rde moc r a t i ca r g ume ntt obema det ha ti ti s noti nt hepe opl e ’ si nt e r e s t st oha v ei mpor t a ntpubl i cc ompa ni e sa nd publ i cs e r v i c e spr i v a t e l yowne d.I ti snotj us taba t t l ef ort hewor k e r s i nt he s ec ompa ni e s ,nors houl di tbes ol e l yl e f tupt ot he m:i ti si nt he i nt e r e s t soft hewhol eoft hewor k i ngc l a s sa ndwor k i ngpe opl et os t op pr i v a t i s a t i on. Weha v et og e tbe y onds e c t or a li nt e r e s t sa ndl ooka tt hec ommon g ood,t ode f e ndt hev e r yi de aofs oc i a lowne r s hi pa sa na l t e r na t i v et o t hea na r c hya ndc ha osofc or por a t emonopol yc a pi t a l i s m. ThePr og r a mmef orI r e l a nds i g ne dwi t ht heEU,ECBa ndI MF byt hepr e v i ousc oa l i t i onofFi a nnaFá i la ndt heGr e e nPa r t yi snow be i nge a g e r l yi mpl e me nt e dbyt hepr e s e ntc oa l i t i onofFi neGa e la nd t heLa bourPa r t y .Thi s ,i nc onj unc t i onwi t ht her e v i e wunde r t a k e nby Col m Mc Ca r t hy , put st hef ol l owi nga tr i s kofpr i v a t i s a t i on: •St a t ee ne r g yc ompa ni e s ,i nc l udi ngt heESB,AnBor dGá i s ,a nd Bor dnaMóna •Por t s , por ta g e nc i e s , a nda i r por t s •Dubl i nAi r por tAut hor i t y ,Ae rLi ng us ,a ndt heI r i s hAv i a t i on Aut hor i t y •Coi l l t ea nds t a t ef or e s t s •CI E, RTE, TG4, a ndAnPos t •I r i s hNa t i ona l St ud, Hor s eRa c i ngI r e l a nd, a ndBor dnag Con •I nt a ng i bl ea s s e t s , s uc ha sfis hi ngquot a sa ndr a di of r e que nc i e s . Ast hee c onomi cs i t ua t i onc ont i nue st ode t e r i or a t e ,t hef ul ls c a l e ofpr i v a t i s a t i onwi l l puta l l t he s ea tr i s k . 3


Wor k i ngpe opl ea r ebe i ngc r us he dbyac oa l i t i onoft hee x t e r na l t r oi k aoft heEU,ECBa ndI MFa ndt hei nt e r na lt r oi k aofFi neGa e l , La bourPa r t y ,a ndFi a nnaFá i l .The i rpr i or i t yi st oma k et hepe opl e pa yf ort hede e pe ni ngc r i s i soft hes y s t e ma ndt hes oc i a l i s e dc or por a t e de bt .TheEUECBde btr e pa y me ntha sbe c omet hepr i ma r yr e s pons i bi l i t yoft heI r i s hg ov e r nme nt , a bov ee v e r y t hi nge l s e . We k now f r om e x pe r i e nc et ha ts t a t ea nd s t a t e s pons or e d c ompa ni e sha v ebe e n us e da sf e e di ng t r oug hsf ort hepa r a s i t i c e l e me nt st ha tha v er unourc ount r yi nt ot heg r ound.The yha v ebe e n us e dt opr ov i dec he a ps e r v i c e sa ndas k i l lba s ef ort r a ns na t i ona lc or por a t i ons .Wor k e r sha v eonl ybe e ng i v e nt ok e nr e pr e s e nt a t i onon t he i rboa r ds , whi l eus e r soft hes e r v i c e sha v ebe e ne x c l ude d. Wea r enota r g ui ngf or , nordowede f e nd, t he i re x i s t i ngs t r uc t ur e s , s t ue ffda st he ya r ewi t hpol i t i c a lpa r t yha c k s ,v i e we da spl a y t hi ng sby c or r uptpol i t i c i a ns ,ort hel e e c he soft hepr i v a t ec or por a t i ons .Ra t he r wee nv i s a g eamor edy na mi cr ol ei nbui l di ngamor es us t a i na bl e e c onomy ,t opr ov i det het e nsoft hous a ndsofj obsr e qui r e df orour y out h,t os t opt heha e mor r ha g eofe mi g r a t i on,t os t opt hede popul a t i on ofourt ownsa nd v i l l a g e s ,t og i v et hos ewor k i ngi nt he s e i ndus t r i e s ,a swe l la st hos ewhor e l yupont he i rs e r v i c e s ,ar e a la nd me a ni ng f ul s a yi nhowt he ya r er un. The s ec ompa ni e sc a nf or mt hebe dr oc kf ort hede v e l opme ntofa mor es us t a i na bl ee c onomi cs y s t e m.Mor ej obsc a nbec r e a t e da nd s us t a i ne dwi t ht hee x pa ns i onofpubl i cc ompa ni e si nt owi de re c onomi ca nds oc i a l de v e l opme nt . Pr i v a t i s a t i onha sf a i l e dt hepe opl ee v e r y whe r e .I tha sl a i dwa s t e t hepubl i cwe a l t h,i tha se nr i c he d ami nor i t y ,a nd ha sc os tt he ma j or i t yav e r yhe a v ypr i c e . Thec ha l l e ng enowf a c i ngt het r a deuni onmov e me nti st obui l d a ndl e a dape opl e ’ sa l l i a nc et opr ot e c tt hec ommong ood,whi c hc a n onl yde e pe nt hepe opl e ’ sunde r s t a ndi ngoft hene e df ormor er a di c a l e c onomi ca nd s oc i a lc ha ng e s .Thi swa st hea g e ndat ha tt e nsof t hous a ndsofuni oni s e dwor k e r sl ongbe l i e v e di n,s t r ug g l e da nds a c r i fic e df or .Thet r a deuni onmov e me nti snowf a c i ngas t a r kc hoi c e :t o be c omer a di c a l orr e dunda nt . 4


Neol i ber al i sm andpr i v at i sat i on Whe nPe t e rMa nde l s ona s s e s s e dt hepr os pe c t sf ort heBr i t i s hLa bour Pa r t y ’ s“ Thi r dWa y ”pol i c i e si n2002hea r g ue dt ha t , i nt hi ss t r i c t l yna r r ows e ns e ,a ndi nt heur g e ntne e dt or e mov e r i g i di t i e sa nd i nc or por a t efl e x i bi l i t yi nc a pi t a l ,pr oduc ta nd l a bourma r k e t s , wea r ea l l “ Tha t c he r i t e ”now. “ Tha t c he r i s m”wa spr e s e nt e da st hei ne v i t a bl eout c omeofg l oba l i s a t i ona ndc onr fime d,f ort hos ewhof ol l owe dt he“ Ne wLa bour ”l i ne , t ha ti nde pe nde nts t a t e snol ong e rpos s e s s e dee ffc t i v el e v e r sofpl a nni ngore c onomi cr e di s t r i but i on.I ns t e a d,pr og r e s s i v epol i t i c swa s l i mi t e dt oma k i nge c onomi e s( a ndpe opl e )fitf org l oba lc ompe t i t i on. I twa st hema r k e tt ha twoul dde c i det hef a t eofna t i onsa ndpe opl e . Ne ol i be r a l i s mi st het he or ya ndi de ol og yofde r e g ul a t e dma r k e t e c onomi e s .I ti st heor t hodox yoft hea g ea nds t i l ldomi na t e spol i c y ma k i ng ,e v e ni nt hewa k eoft heg l oba lc r a s h.Pr i v a t i s a t i on—a ndi t s ba s t a r dc ous i n“ out s our c i ng ” —c a nnotbeunde r s t ood,noree ffc t i v e l y f oug ht , unl e s st hi si de ol og yi sc onf r ont e dwi t ha na l t e r na t i v e . Pr i v a t i s a t i oni snow fir ml yont hea g e nda .I twi l lbepr omot e d l a r g e l yont heg r oundst ha ts a l e swi l l g e ne r a t ei nc omef orpa y i ngs t a t e de bta ndg e ne r a t i ngs omefina nc ef orj obc r e a t i on.Andwhi l ei ti s t r uet ha tt he“ Tr oi k a ”i snoti mpos i ngpr i v a t i s a t i ona sac ondi t i onof t he“ ba i l out , ”pr i v a t i s a t i on i sde e pl ye nme s he di nt hee c onomi c a ppr oa c hoft heEur ope a nUni on—ourdome s t i cne ol i be r a l sbe i ng s ubor di na t ec og si nt hei nt e r na t i ona l ne ol i be r a l pr oj e c t . So,whi l et he“r fies a l e ”a s pe c toft hepol i c yi sr e a le noug ha tone l e v e l ,pr i v a t i s a t i onha sbe e nont hea g e ndaf oral ongt i me . I ti spa r tof amuc hde e pe rde v e l opme nti nc a pi t a l i s te c onomi e s ,a ndha sg one muc hf ur t he re l s e whe r e ,notl e a s ti nBr i t a i n.Tomountac ohe r e nt oppos i t i onweha v et owor koutwhyt hi si ss o,a nddi s e nt a ng l et he v a r i ousa r g ume nt st ha twi l lae ffc tpubl i ca nd,mor ei mpor t a nt l y , wor k i ng c l a s sopi ni on.

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Whati spubl i c,andwhy ? Pr i v a t i s a t i oni st hedi s pos a lofs t a t e owne dorpa r t l ys t a t e owne dpr oduc t i ona nds e r v i c e s ,whe t he rc omme r c i a lorf r e ea tt hepoi ntof de l i v e r y ,a tt hena t i ona la ndt hel oc a ll e v e l .So,weha v et oa s k ,Wha t i spubl i c , a ndwh yi si tpubl i c ? Forne ol i be r a l s ,t hec a s ef orpr i v a t i s a t i oni ss t r a i g ht f or wa r d:t he s t a t es houl dha v enoha ndi nt hepr ov i s i onofpr oduc t sors e r v i c e s , whi c hi swhyt hee ndpr oduc tofna t i ona l i s i ngt heI r i s hba nk swi l lbe t he i r“ s a f e ”r e t ur nt opr i v a t eha nds . Thec a s ef orna t i ona lowne r s hi pha sa l wa y sbe e nmuc hmor e v a r i e d,a nddr a wss uppor tf r om die ffr e nts our c e s .Publ i cowne r s hi p a nds e r v i c epr ov i s i oni swi de s pr e a di na dv a nc e dc a pi t a l i s tc ount r i e s , e s pe c i a l l yi nEur opes i nc et hee ndoft heSe c ondWor l dWa r .I ns ome c a s e s ,s uc ha sRe na ul ti nFr a nc e ,i twa sama t t e rofdi s pos s e s s i ng Na z i sorc ol l a bor a t or s .Thee duc a t i ona l a ndhe a l t hr e f or msi nBr i t a i n we r eapol i t i c a l r e s pons et ope r c e i v e ds oc i a l ne e dsa ndt hef ounda t i on oft he“ we l f a r es t a t e ”a nda t t r a c t e dpol i t i c a l s uppor tf r om t hr oug hout t hes pe c t r um.I nmuc hofEur ope ,powe r ,ut i l i t i e sa ndt r a ns por t s ue ffr e dc hr oni cunde r i nv e s t me nta nda na r c hi cde v e l opme nt ,unde r mi ni ngc a pi t a l i s tpr ot fia bi l i t yi ng e ne r a l .Whe r epr i v a t ei nv e s t me nt c oul dnotr e me dyt he s ede f e c t st hes t a t ei nt e r v e ne d.The r ewa sof t e n s t r ongs uppor tf r om wor k e r sa ndt he i ror g a ni s a t i onsf orna t i ona l i s a t i on, ba s e donahi s t or yofa bus i v el a bourpr a c t i c e s . St a t e owne r s hi pa nd pr ov i s i on i n ma nuf a c t ur i ng a nd ot he r s e r v i c e sha sha damor ec ompl e xhi s t or y .Publ i copi ni onha sus ua l l y be e nc ool ,a sna t i ona l i s a t i onha sof t e nbe e ns e e n( r i g ht l y )a saba i l outf orf a i l e dc a pi t a l i s t s .Uni ons uppor tha sus ua l l ybe e napr a g ma t i c de f e nc ea g a i ns tj obl os s e sr a t he rt ha npa r tofas t r a t e g yf orde v e l opi ng s oc i a l i s m. I n mos tr e s pe c t s ,na t i ona l i s a t i on ha spr ov i de dr a t he rl i mi t e d oppor t uni t i e sf orwor k e r sa ndc ons ume r st opl a na ndhol dt oa c c ount t hes e r v i c e sa ndg oodspr ov i de d—t hemor es ot hef ur t he rpubl i c owne r s hi pi sf r om c or ee duc a t i ona la ndhe a l t hpr ov i s i on—a nds uc h 6


oppor t uni t i e sha v e be c ome we a k e r ,nots t r ong e r ,ov e rt i me .I n Br i t a i n,f ore x a mpl e ,t heNa t i ona lHe a l t hSe r v i c ei ss e e nbymos ta s t hepe opl e ’ s ;t heRoy a lBa nkofSc ot l a nd,ont heot he rha nd,i s wi de l yr e g a r de da sas ha m,muc hl i k et hena t i ona l i s a t i onofAng l oI r i s hBa nkhe r e .

Publ i cowner shi p andt hemanagedeconomy Thepubl i cowne r s hi pa ndpr ov i s i ont ha ti snowunde ra t t a c kc ha r a c t e r i s e d as pe c i ficpe r i od ofc a pi t a l i s m—of t e nc a l l e dt hema na g e d e c onomy .I twa sf oundi ns omef or m orot he rt hr oug houtEur ope f r om 1945unt i l t hel a t e1970s .I tbe g a ne a r l i e r ,wi t ht heNe wDe a l i n Ame r i c a ,f ore x a mpl e ,a ndwa sa s s oc i a t e dwi t ht hee c onomi ci de a sof Ke y ne sa nds i mi l a rt hi nk e r s .I tbe c a met hema i ns t a yofLa boura nd Soc i a l De moc r a t i cPa r t i e s ’ pol i c i e s . Thes t a t ebe c a mer e s pons i bl ef orf ul l e mpl oy me nt ,s t a bl epr i c e s ,a pos i t i v et r a deba l a nc e ,a ndt hepr ov i s i onofs oc i a lwe l f a r e .Fr om t he c a pi t a l i s tpoi ntofv i e w,t hi sme a ntt hea v oi da nc eofdi s a s t r ouss l umps i npr ot fi,a ndpr ot e c t i ona g a i ns twor k e r s ’r a di c a l i s m—i nc l udi ngc ompe t i t i onwi t ht hes oc i a l i s tbl oca f t e r1945.Wene e dt or e me mbe rt ha t Ke y ne spr opos e dhi spol i c i e ss oa st ounde r mi nede ma ndsf ort he “ s oc i a la l l oc a t i on ofc a pi t a l , ”bywhi c h heme a nts omef or m of s oc i a l i s m. Butma na g e dc a pi t a l i s mi sonl yonepos s i bl ef or m ofwha tMa r x i s t sha v el ongc a l l e ds t a t emonopol yc a pi t a l i s m,whe r et hes t a t e powe ri sdi r e c t l ye ng a g e di ne c onomi ca c t i v i t y ,wi t hl i mi t e dpl a nni ng a ndg ua r a nt e e i ngt hei nt e r e s t soft hemos tpowe r f uls e c t i onsoft he c a pi t a l i s tc l a s s . Thepe r i odofma na g e dc a pi t a l i s mi snows e e nbyma nyont hel e f t a ss ome t hi ngofa“ g ol de na g e , ”ba s e dong r owi nguni onme mbe r s hi p a ndmi l i t a nc y ,ag r owi ngs ha r eofna t i ona li nc omeg oi ngt owor k e r s , r i s i ngl i v i ngs t a nda r ds ,t hes hor t e ni ngoft hewor k i ngwe e k ,a ndr i s i ng l e v e l sofhe a l t h,e duc a t i on,hous i ng ,a nds oc i a ls e r v i c e sg e ne r a l l y . The s ev e r yr e a l g a i nsf orwor k e r st hr oug houtEur opebe c a mei nee ffc t 7


t hee ndg a mef orl a bour ,s oc i a l i s t ,s oc i a l de moc r a t i ca nde v e nma ny c ommuni s tpa r t i e s .Ev e ns omee mpl oy e r sa ndc a pi t a l i s tpa r t i e s ,a s we l la spol i t i c a l l yc ons e r v a t i v euni onsa nduni onf e de r a t i ons ,c oul d “ j oi ni n”i nwha twa sof t e nc a l l e dt he“ pos t wa rs e t t l e me nt ”be t we e n c a pi t a l a ndl a bour . So,how di dweg e tf r om t he r et oMa nde l s on’ sa c c e pt a nc et ha t “ wea r ea l l Tha t c he r i t enow” ?

Theneol i ber alr ev ol ut i on I ta l lf e l la pa r ti nt hel a t e1970s .I na flt i on,une mpl oy me nt ,t r a de c r i s e sa ndde i ndus t r i a l i s a t i on( I r e l a ndwa sapa r t i a le x c e pt i on—f ora whi l ea tl e a s t )t hr e wt hepos t wa rs e t t l e me nti nt oane wc r i s i s . The r ei sa nor t hodoxe x pl a na t i onf ort he s ede v e l opme nt s ,whi c h a r g ue st ha tma na g e dc a pi t a l i s m ha d“ s t oppe dwor k i ng , ”be c a us eofa numbe rofne wde v e l opme nt s . Fi r s t l y ,t heg l oba l i s a t i onofma r k e t sf orbot hg oodsa ndc a pi t a ll e d t ot heg r owi ngpowe roft r a ns na t i ona lc or por a t i ons ,whi c hi nc r e a s i ng l ybe c a medi v or c e df r om t he i rna t i ona lba s ea ndr e l a t i onswi t h “ t he i r ”na t i ona ls t a t e .St a t e si nc r e a s i ng l yha dt oc ompe t ef ori nwa r d i nv e s t me nt ,a nd t r a ns na t i ona lc or por a t i onsha dt hewhol eoft he de v e l opi ngwor l da sas our c eofc he a pa ndunr e g ul a t e dl a bour . The s et r e ndswe r ea mpl i fie dbyt hel i be r a l i s a t i onoft r a de ,whi c h wor k e da g a i ns tt hepr ot e c t i onofna t i ona li ndus t r i e s .Bot ht r e nds i nc r e a s e dt hemobi l i t yofc a pi t a li ni nv e s t me nta ndt hepe ne t r a t i onof pr oduc tma r k e t s .I nt hi swa yt hel e v e r sofe c onomi cpowe rwe r es a i d t os l i pf r om t heha ndsoft hes t a t e . Se c ondl y ,ne w me t hodsofpr oduc t i on a nd ne w pr oduc t sa nd s e r v i c e se me r g e dwi t ht hede v e l opme ntoft hec omput e ra nda s s oc i a t e dt e c hnol og i e s ,a mount i ng ,i ns omea c c ount s ,t oas e c ondI ndus t r i a l Re v ol ut i on.The s et e c hnol og i e sha dt hec a pa c i t yt or e v ol ut i oni s e t hepr oduc t i onofe x i s t i ngpr oduc t si nma nuf a c t ur i ng ,wi t hdr a ma t i c i nc r e a s e si npr oduc t i v i t ya ndt hedi s pl a c e me ntofl a bour . Thi r dl y ,t he r ewa st hewe a k e ni ngofc l a s sa sapol i t i c a lf or c ea s s oc i a l i s ta nd l a bourpa r t i e sl os tme mbe r sa nd v ot e sa nd uni on 8


me mbe r s hi pa ndor g a ni s a t i ona lc a pa c i t ywe r ee r ode dbyune mpl oy me nta nda ni na bi l i t yt os uc c e s s f ul l yc onf r onte mpl oy e r sont hene w g r ound. Ther e e me r g e nc eofl a r g e s c a l eune mpl oy me nta l ong s i dei na flt i onf a t a l l yunde r mi ne dt hec ond fie nc eofma nywor k e r si nt hepol i t i c sa ndpol i c i e soft hepos t wa rboom,a nddr ov ec a pi t a l i s t st or e j e c t t hec ompr omi s eoft hos ey e a r si nade e pe ni ngc ompe t i t i v es t r ug g l et o r e t a i npr ot fisa nddomi na nc ei nma r k e t s . The s ede v e l opme nt swe r ea c c ompa ni e dbyar i s ei npol i t i c a la nd e c onomi ct he or e t i c a la s s a ul t son ma na g e dc a pi t a l i s m—f r om t he r i g ht .Thee ndoft hepos t wa rs e t t l e me nts a wt hee me r g e nc eofane w br e e dofne ol i be r a lpol i t i c i a nsa ndi de ol og ue s ,s uc ha sTha t c he r , Re a g a n, Ha y e k , a ndFr i e dma n. El e c t or a la nd bus i ne s ss uppor tf ort he s e ne w pol i c i e sbr ok e t hr oug ht hel og j a m ofe c onomi cc r i s i s ,“ r e s c ue d”e c onomi e sf r om t he di s t or t i onsofc ol l e c t i v eba r g a i ni ng ,we l f a r i s m,a nds t a t ei nt e r v e nt i on i ni ndus t r y ,a nde s t a bl i s he dane w,ne ol i be r a lor t hodox y .Thi sor t hodox yha sbe e nwi de l ya c c e pt e dbys oc i a l i s ta ndl a bourpa r t i e s ,by uni onsa ndt he i rme mbe r s , a swe l l a sbyawi de rpubl i c . So i n Br i t a i n,i fTha t c he rwa st hene ol i be r a ls ol ut i on t oa n e x ha us t e dc ons e ns ua lc ons e r v a t i s m,Ne wLa bourwa st hene ol i be r a l c ol oni s a t i onoft hel a bourmov e me nt . Al t houg ht hi ng spl a y e doutr a t he rdi ffe r e nt l yi nI r e l a nddur i ngt he pe r i odof“ s oc i a lpa r t ne r s hi p, ”ne ol i be r a li de a sa ndpol i c i e sc a met o domi na t et heFi a nnaFá i l PD c oa l i t i on,a nds t i l ldomi na t et oda y .We mus ta l ll e a r nt oc ompe t ei nt hebr a v ene w wor l dofope nma r k e t s a ndmobi l ec a pi t a la ndt obur ya sunpr oduc t i v ea ndba c k wa r dl ooki nga nyt a l kofbui l di nga ne c onomyt os e r v et hene e dsoft hema j or i t y oft hepe opl e .

Abet t erwayofl ooki ngati t The r ei sabe t t e rwa yofunde r s t a ndi ngt he s ec ha ng e s ,a ndawa yt ha t c a nma k eag r e a t e rc ont r i but i ont ounde r s t a ndi ngwha ti sme a ntby pr i v a t i s a t i on, a ndhowuni onsma yr e s pondt oi t . 9


Thepr e s e nte c onomi cc r i s i sc a nnotbet hepr oduc tofov e r r e g ul a t i ona ndt he“ na nnys t a t e , ”norwa st hec r i s i soft he1980st ha t unl e a s he dne ol i be r a l i s m.Bot ht he s ee c onomi ct s una mi sa r os ef r om t heov e r pr oduc t i onofc a pi t a lr e l a t i v et opr ot fia bl ei nv e s t me ntoppor t uni t i e s —t hec l a s s i c ,s e l f de s t r uc t i v edy na mi cofc a pi t a l i s te c onomi e s di s s e c t e dbyMa r xs ome150y e a r sa g o.Whe r e ,a f t e rt heSe c ond Wor l dWa r , t hes t a t ewa ss e e na st hea bs or be rofe x c e s sc a pi t a l —i fa ta pol i t i c a lpr i c e —byt he1980si tc oul dnol ong e rpl a yt hi sr ol e .Buti t c oul dpl a ya not he rr ol e —i nt hei nt e r e s t sofc a pi t a li thadt opl a y a not he rr ol e —a ndi tdi d. The r e s ol ut i on ofc a pi t a l i s tc r i s e sofov e r pr oduc t i on a l wa y s i nv ol v e st woma i ne l e me nt s .Thefir s ti st hede s t r uc t i onofol dc a pi t a l v a l ue sa ndt he i rr e mov a lf r om t hec ompe t i t i v es t a g e .Me mbe r soft he c a pi t a l i s tc l a s si nc urhug el os s e si nt hi spr oc e s s ,buti tc l e a r st he g r ound f orne wc a pi t a l i s ta dv a nc e s .Se c ondl y ,t hec ondi t i onsf or r e ne we d pr ot fia bl e pr oduc t i on a r ec r e a t e df orne we rpr oduc t s , s e r v i c e sa ndt e c hnol og i e sa st hec os t sofpr oduc t i ona r er a di c a l l y r e duc e d. I nEur opea f t e r1945bot ht he s ee l e me nt swe r ea c hi e v e dbyt he de s t r uc t i onofwa ra ndt her e or g a ni s a t i onoft hee c onomyi nr e c ons t r uc t i on;a ndt hepol i t i c soft hepos t wa rs e t t l e me ntc a nbebe s t unde r s t ooda st heha r ne s s i ngoft hes t a t et ot hi spr oc e s si nt hec ont e x tofar e s ur g e ntl a bourmov e me nta ndt heons e toft heCol dWa r . Thec r i s e soft he1980sa ndt he2000sa r ec l os e l yc onne c t e d. I ft he s ol ut i on t ot heg r e a ts l umpoft he1930si nc l ude d pl a nni nga nd we l f a r i s m,t hene ol i be r a ls ol ut i onsoft he1980sa r ebe i ngde e pe ne d r a t he rt ha na ba ndone d,a st hepr e s e ntc r i s i sr e pr e s e nt sunn fii s he d wor kf ori nt e r na t i ona l c a pi t a l . I ti sf ort hi sr e a s on t ha ta t t e mpt st or e i nt r oduc eKe y ne s i a n s ol ut i onst ot her e c e s s i on,f ore x a mpl ei nt heUni t e dSt a t e sbyt he De moc r a t i cPa r t yunde rOba maa ndot he r s ,ha v epr oduc e ds ol i t t l e r e s pons e . Thus ,t hee s s e nt i a lc ompone nt soft her e s ol ut i onoft hec r i s i sof t he1980sr e a ppe a rt oda y ,onl ypr e s e nt e ddie ffr e nt l y ,t ot hee x t e nt t ha tt he ymus ta ddr e s sa l s ot hede v e l ope df or m oft hec r i s i si nt he 10


ba nk i nga nd s ov e r e i g n de btde ba c l e s .Thee s s e nt i a lc ompone nt s i nc l ude —buta r enotl i mi t e dt o—t hef ol l owi ngf e a t ur e s . Fi r s ti st hedr i v i ngdown ofc os t sf ore mpl oy e r s ,pa r t i c ul a r l y t hr oug ha t t a c k sonor g a ni s e dl a boura nds t a t er e g ul a t i onofpa ya nd c ondi t i ons .Thi sa l s or e j e c t suni oni nv ol v e me nti ns t a t epol i c yon bot hi ndus t r ya nde mpl oy me nt .TheEur ope a ndi me ns i onc a nc l e a r l y bes e e ni ns uc hpol i c i e sa sr a i s i ngr e t i r e me nta g e s ,r e duc i ngmi ni mum pa ya ndunde r mi ni ngpa yr e g ul a t i on,e s pe c i a l l ya tt hel owe r e nd oft hel a bourma r k e t ,a nd a t t a c k son we l f a r epa y me nt st o i nc r e a s et he“ i nc e nt i v et owor k , ”a swe l l a st hec ons e que ntde moni s a t i onoft heune mpl oy e d. Se c ondl y ,c a pi t a l i s t sr e qui r et hea c qui s i t i onofne wma r k e toppor t uni t i e s ,whi c hme a nsc ont i nue dt r a del i be r a l i s a t i ona ndt hee ndof na t i ona lpl a nni ng ori ndus t r i a lpol i c y .The s e oppor t uni t i e sa r e r e qui r e di nbot hi nv e s t me nta ndpr oduc tma r k e t s .Wea r ef a mi l i a r wi t ht hepr ov i s i onofa i di nde v e l opi ngc ount r i e sbe i ngl i nk e dt o a c c e s sf ori nt e r na t i ona lc a pi t a la swe l la sf ori nt e r na t i ona lg oods .I n “ a dv a nc e d”e c onomi e st hec ons t r uc t i onofr e g i ona lbl oc ss uc ha st he Eur ope a nUni oni nv ol v e ss i mi l a ri ni t i a t i v e s ,nowr e i nf or c e da s“ c ondi t i ona l i t y ”i nba i l out s . Thea c qui s i t i onofne wma r k e t si mpl i e sa l s ot hea c qui s i t i onofne w l a bours our c e s ,byl a bourmi g r a t i onorc a pi t a lmobi l i t y ,orbot h.For e x a mpl e ,t heg l oba lr e a c hofe ne r g yc ompa ni e s ,a l ong s i dec omput e r t e c hnol og i e si ns a l e sa nds e r v i c e ,c a nnotr e a c ht he i rf ul lpot e nt i a l wi t houtdi s ma nt l i ngs t r a t e g i cna t i ona l e ne r g ypr ov i s i on. Ont heoneha nd,na t i ona l i s e de ne r g yc ompa ni e sc a nnotc ompe t e on c os t swi t hc ompa ni e st ha tc a n“ os ffhor e ”ma nye l e me nt sof ma r k e t i nga ndc us t ome rs e r v i c ea ndc a nmonopol i s ee ne r g ys uppl i e s . Ont heot he rha nd,t he s epr i v a t et r a ns na t i ona lc or por a t i onsc a nnot r e a c ht he i rf ul lpr ot fi pot e nt i a lwi t houtt hede s t r uc t i onofna t i ona l e ne r g ypr ov i de r s . Thi sme a nst ha tt he a c qui s i t i on ofne w pr ot fi oppor t uni t i e s t hr oug hpr i v a t i s a t i onc ome si nt wof or ms .Thefir s ti si nr e t ur ni ng na t i ona l i s e da s s e t st ot hepr i v a t es e c t or ,bot ht oc utc os t sa ndt o a c c ommoda t et hef ur t he ri nt e r na t i ona l i s a t i ona ndr e s t r uc t ur i ngof 11


pr oduc t i on.Thes e c ond i st hr oug ht ur ni ngs oc i a lpr ov i s i on i nt o ma r k e tpr ov i s i on.Ca pi t a l i s ma l wa y ss e e k st odot hi si nt hepr i v a t eor f a mi l ys phe r e ,t ur ni nga sma nyhuma nr e l a t i ons hi psa spos s i bl ei nt o c ommodi t i e s .I nt hi sc a s epr i v a t i s a t i oni sdi r e c t l yg e a r e dt ot r a ns f or mi ngs oc i a lc ons umpt i oni nt opr i v a t ec ons umpt i oni nor de rt o ope nupne wfie l dsofi nv e s t me nt . La s ty e a ri nTe x a sane wa nddr a c oni a ns t a t el a wwa spr opos e df or t hec ont r olofi l l e g a la ndundoc ume nt e di mmi g r a t i onf r om Me x i c o, i nv ol v i nge x t e nde dpol i c er i g ht st os t opa nds e a r c ha ndt hes t a t e ’ s r i g ht st oi mpr i s on.Thec a mpa i g nf ort hi sc ont r ov e r s i a ll a w—whi c h wa sde s i g ne dt oi nc r e a s et hepr i s onpopul a t i on—wa ss pons or e d,a nd i nl a r g epa r tpa i df or , byac ons or t i um ofpr i v a t epr i s onpr ov i de r s . Pr i v a t i s a t i on i st he r e f or eone —v e r yi mpor t a nt —pa r tofane ol i be r a la g e nda .Thes t a t ene v e r“ g otout ”ofe c onomi cma na g e me nt : i tg oti nt oi ti nane w wa y ,bot ha tt hena t i ona la ndt her e g i ona l “ s upe r s t a t e ”l e v e l ,wi t ht heEU,NAFTA,e t c .Whi l et hena t i ona l i s a t i onoft heba nk si nI r e l a nd“ s oc i a l i s e s ”c a pi t a l i s t s ’l os s e s —pa s s e s t he m ont oy oua ndme —pr i v a t i s a t i onde s oc i a l i s e sbot hpr oduc t i on a ndc ons umpt i on,t r a ns f e r r i ngs oc i a lv a l uei nt opr i v a t epr ot fi.The “ c ol oc a t i on”ofhos pi t a l sa ndpr i v a t efina nc ei ni t i a t i v e sa r eape r f e c t e x a mpl eoft hi s .

Theneol i ber alagenda andt hepubl i csect or Pr i v a t i s a t i oni st hepoi nta twhi c ht hene ol i be r a la g e ndac ome sup a g a i ns tpubl i cpr ov i s i on.Thene ol i be r a la g e ndac ov e r st hewhol eof publ i c s e c t ore mpl oy me nta ndpr ov i s i on:pr i v a t i s a t i onma ybet he e ndg a mebuti snota l wa y spos s i bl e ,e i t he rbe c a us eofpol i t i c a lr e s i s t a nc eorbe c a us es pe c i fics e r v i c e sorma r k e t sdonotoe ffrs uffic i e nt a c c e s st opr ot fisa ndt he r e f or ea r el e f tt opubl i cs ubs i dy —orc ut s . I ne i t he rc a s et hene ol i be r a la ppr oa c hi sba s e dont hea s s e r t i on t ha tt hes t a t e( na t i ona lorl oc a l )i si nhe r e nt l yi ne ffic i e nta tpr ov i di ng g oodsa nds e r v i c e s ,be c a us e( 1)i tl a c k st hes purofpr ot fi,a nds t a t e e nt e r pr i s ei si ne flx i bl ea nds l owt oc ha ng e ,a nd( 2)be c a us et hos ewho 12


s t a ffi t( ma na g e r sa swe l la swor k e r s )ope r a t es e r v i c e sont he i rown t e r msf ort he i rownbe net fi,be c a us et he ya r enota c c ount a bl et o c us t ome r s . Ne ol i be r a l i s mt he r e f or epe ddl e s“ c us t ome rc hoi c e ”a st hea ns we r t ot he s epr obl e ms ,a ndpr oc l a i mst he“ e mpowe r me nt ”ofwe l f a r e r e c i pi e nt sa ndhos pi t a l pa t i e nt s . The“ out s our c i ng ”( i . e .pr i v a t i s a t i on)ofDubl i n’ sr e f us ec ol l e c t i oni sag oode x a mpl e .Thea r g ume ntg oe sl i k et hi s :Cl e a r l yt hes t a t e ( orl oc a lg ov e r nme nti nt hi sc a s e )mus tg ua r a nt e ewa s t ec ol l e c t i on a nd di s pos a l ,on publ i c he a l t hg r ounds .I nr e c e nty e a r swi de r e nv i r onme nt a lc onc e r nsha v ebe e na dde dt hr oug hEU r e g ul a t i on. Le a v i ngt hepr ov i s i ona ndma na g e me ntoft he s es e r v i c e si nt heha nds oft hec i t yc ounc i ls l owst hea dopt i onofc ha ng e ,a nde x t r a c t sapr i c e f r om t hepubl i ci nl a bourc os t st ha twoul dc omec he a pe rf r om c ompe t i ngpr i v a t ec ompa ni e s . Hous e hol de r swa ntt he i rbi nsl i f t e d, butwhys houl dt he yc a r ewho doe st hej ob?J us tbe c a us ey ouha v et oha v ey ourr ubbi s hr e mov e d, whys ubs i di s et hewa g e sofc ounc i lwor k e r st odoi t ?Whynotl e tt he c ounc i lc o mmi s s i o nc he a pe rpr ov i s i onbyt hepr i v a t es e c t or ,a ndt he n r e g ul at et hepr ov i de r ? Thi sl e a dsust oc ons i de ra not he rAme r i c a ni mpor t ,s oc a l l e d “ ne w publ i cma na g e me nt . ”I fy ou c a n’ tpr i v a t i s ei t ,t he na ppl y ma r k e tdi s c i pl i ne sa ndg i v eoppor t uni t i e sf orf a k ec ompe t i t i onbyt he pr i v a t es e c t or :c ol oc a t i ona ndpubl i c pr i v a t efina nc ei ni t i a t i v e s . Av a r i a t i oni nI r e l a ndi st heus eoft heCr ok ePa r ka g r e e me nta f t e r t hepa yc ut s ,whe r euni onsa r es t i l lt oos t r ongt obede s t r oy e dbutt oo we a kt or e s i s tee ffc t i v e l y .Thewhol epur pos eoft hea g r e e me ntwa st o a c ta sa“ pr oduc t i v i t yde a l ” —notonei nwhi c hpr oduc t i v i t yg a i nsa r e s ha r e dbywor k e r sa ndt hepubl i cbutonewhe r ec ha ng ei sde l i v e r e d “ g r a t i s , ”a tg unpoi nt , whi l es e r v i c e st ot hepubl i ca r es t i l l c ut . Butt hi sha sbe e nbr e wi ngf ory e a r s :t heOECD pr a i s e dI r e l a ndi n 2006 f or pr og r e s si na dopt i ng “ ne w publ i c ma na g e me nt . ”I t c he a pe nspr ov i s i onbyt hes t a t ea nda tt hes a met i mepr e pa r e st he g r oundf orf ur t he rpr i v a t i s a t i on.

13


Mar ket s,democr acy , “ ” andal lt hat gu Theni ne t e e nt hc e nt ur ySc ot t i s hhi s t or i a nThoma sCa r l y l ede s c r i be d e c onomi c sa st he“ di s ma ls c i e nc e ” ;t oda y ’ sne ol i be r a lv e r s i onc oul d bec a l l e dt he“ s t upi ds c i e nc e . ” Cons i de r :awoma nha sa na c c i de nta ndbr e a k she rl e g .Shei s t a k e nt oapubl i chos pi t a lt oha v et hef r a c t ur es e t ,a ndr e c e i v e sa f t e r c a r ef r om aphy s i ot he r a pi s t ,e na bl i nghe rt or e s umenor ma ll i f e .He r c a r ei spr ov i de dbypubl i c s e r v i c ewor k e r s ,pa i d( orov e r pa i d)by publ i ct a x e sa ndi s ,j us tnow,a nunbe a r a bl ec os tont hes t a t et ha t i nc r e a s e st hepubl i cdec fii t .I ft hi swoma nwa st r e a t e dwhol l yi nt he pr i v a t es e c t or ,a ndpa i df orhe rownc a r e ,t hi swoul da ppe a ri nt he na t i ona l s t a t i s t i c sa sac ont r i but i ont oout puta ndg r owt h. Soc i a l i s t sa r g uet ha tt hee c onomy , f r om t hepr ov i s i onofbur g e r st o be dpa ns ,i sa bouthowwes a t i s f yi ndi v i dua la nds oc i a lne e ds .I nt he c a pi t a l i s te c onomynot hi ngi spr ov i de de x c e ptwhe r eapr ot fic a nbe ma de .I nones e toft r a ns a c t i ons ,c a pi t a l i s tpr oduc t i ons ubor di na t e s t hec ons ume ra nde x pl oi t st hewor k e r . Wec a ns e et ha tt he“ he a l t hs e r v i c e si ndus t r y ”i nt heUni t e dSt a t e s i soneoft hemos te x pe ns i v ei nt hewor l d,e x c l ude smi l l i onsf r om c a r e ,a ndg i v e spr i or i t yt odr ug s ,t r e a t me nt sa ndt e c hnol og i e st ha t pr oduc et heg r e a t e s tr e t ur nf orc or por a t i onsa ndpr of e s s i ona l sa tt he e x pe ns eofpa t i e nt s . I twi l lc omea snos ur pr i s e ,t he r e f or e ,t ha tt heUni t e dSt a t e s —t he “ pr e f e r r e ds uppl i e r ”ofne ol i be r a l i s ma ndne wpubl i cma na g e me nt — i sa l s ot hes i t eoft hemos tv i r ul e nta nds c a r e mong e r i ngpol i t i c a l a t t e mpt st os c uppe rl i mi t e dr e f or m ofhe a l t hc a r ea ndofpubl i cpr ov i s i onmor eg e ne r a l l y .I nEur opet hede ba t ei sl e s sdi r e c t .Ma nyl e a di ngfig ur e si nLa boura ndSoc i a l i s tPa r t i e st e l lust ha towne r s hi p doe s n’ tma t t e rbutc ont r oldoe s .I nt hi swa y ,pr i v a t i s a t i oni sa c c ompa ni e dbyapr ol i f e r a t i onofpubl i c l yf unde dc ont r ol bodi e s . I nf a c towne r s hi pma t t e r sv e r ymuc hi nde e d—whi c hi st hebi g r e a s on whyc a pi t a l i s towne r sg e ts oe x c i t e da boutpr i v a t i s a t i on. 14


Publ i cowne r s hi p—a ti t sbe s t ,r a t he rt ha na sar e s c uepa c k a g ef or l a me duc kc a pi t a l i s m—c a n putt hei nt e r e s t sofc ons ume r sbe f or e t hos eofpr ot fig e ne r a t i on,c a nr e g ul a t epa y ,c ondi t i ons ,t r a i ni nga nd pa r t i c i pa t i on by e mpl oy e e s ,a nd c a n pr ov i de di r e c ta nd publ i c a c c ount a bi l i t yf ort hewor kofpubl i ce nt e r pr i s ea nds e r v i c e s . J us tbe c a us eAng l oI r i s hBa nkRe s ol ut i onCor por a t i onLt di sa v e hi c l ef orr e s c ui ngpr i v a t ec a pi t a la tt hee x pe ns eoft hepubl i cpur s e doe snotme a nwes houl d“ g i v ei tba c k ” :i tme a nswes houl dbr i ngi t unde rde moc r a t i cc ont r ol a ndus ei ta same a nsofpl a nni nga nde c onomi cde v e l opme nt .Suc ha na ppr oa c hwoul dbeofk e e ni nt e r e s t ,of c our s e ,t oe mpl oy e e si nt he ba nk —a nd,i ts houl d be s a i d,t o e mpl oy e e sf a c i ngt heme l t downoft he i rj obpr os pe c t si not he rI r i s h ba nk s —buti ti sa l s oofr e a l i nt e r e s tt ot hewhol ec ommuni t y .

Uni ons,pr i v at i sat i on,andr es i st ance So wha ta boutt hepr i v a t es e c t or ?Ne ol i be r a lpol i c yi snotj us t “ di v i dea ndr ul e ”be t we e npubl i ca ndpr i v a t e ,howe v e ri mpor t a nt t ha tha sbe e ni nt hel a s tc oupl eofy e a r s :c ha ng ei nt hepubl i cs e c t or c a na l s oa c ta sal e v e rf ort hepr i v a t es e c t or . Pr i vat i s at i o n+de r e g ul at i o n=r e d i s t r i b ut i o no fp o we r ,a ndt hi sr e di s t r i but i one x t e ndsdi r e c t l yi nt ot hepr i v a t es e c t or . The“ r e f or m”oft hej oi ntl a bourc ommi t t e e sa nde mpl oy me nt r e g ul a t i onor de r s ,f ore x a mpl e ,wa spr e s a g e dbyc ut si nune mpl oy me ntbe net fia ndpa yi nt hepubl i cs e c t or .Publ i c l yf unde dhos pi t a l s , f ore x a mpl e ,c a nnotbea l l owe dt opa yr a t e st oc ook st ha tma k e e mpl oy me nti nf a s t f ood out l e t ss e e m una t t r a c t i v e ,a nd r a t e si n ne i t he rs e c t orc a nbeunde r mi ne dbyt hee x t e ntofwe l f a r epr ov i s i on. I funi onsi npa r t i c ul a r ,a ndt hel e f ti ng e ne r a l ,oppos epr i v a t i s a t i on onl yi nde t a i l —unf a i rt owor k e r s ,orc r e a t e se v e npoor e rs e r v i c e —t he n t he ywi l l c e r t a i nl ybebe a t e n,a ndwi l l notbui l daba s i sf orr e c ov e r yof t hes oc i a l i s tc a s ef orpubl i cpr ov i s i on. I funi onsa ndt hel e f tfig htpr i v a t i s a t i onp o l i t i c al l yt he yma ybe be a t e n—s t oppi ngag ov e r nme ntt ha tr e pr e s e nt si nt e r na t i ona la swe l l a sdome s t i cc a pi t a li snota ne a s yt hi ng —butt he yma ya l s obui l da 15


ne w ba s i sf ors uc h ar e c ov e r y .The e x pe r i e nc e ofourne a r e s t ne i g hbour si nBr i t a i n—a ndl i mi t st owha tuni onsc a ndoa l one —t e l l ust hi s . I npa r tt hi si sbe c a us et hei mpa c tofpr i v a t i s a t i ononwor k e r sc a n bev e r yv a r i e d:s ome( i ft he ys ur v i v e dt hee mpl oy me ntc ul l )di dqui t e we l l .Themobi l i s i ngofuni onme mbe r st e nde dt oc onc e nt r a t eoni mme di a t et e r msa ndc ondi t i ons ;butt hi sof t e ni s ol a t e dwor k e r sf r om br oa de ropi ni on,a nde v e ndi v i de dwor k e r sbe t we e nwi nne r sa nd l os e r si nwha tc oul dbes e e na sj us ta not he rj obc hoi c e . Whe r et hel e f ti ns i s t e dt ha tpr i v a t i s a t i onc oul dbes t oppe dby i ndus t r i a l a c t i ont he yus ua l l yc a pi t ul a t e dont hepol i t i c a l a r g ume nt s — t hec l a s sa r g ume nt s —i nf a v ourofr e l y i ngons e c t i ona li nt e r e s t s .The a r g ume nt wa s qui c k l yt r a ns f or me di nt o one t ha t pr i nc i pa l l y a ddr e s s e dt hee mpl oy me ntt e r msoft het r a ns f e rt ot hepr i v a t es e c t or —a na r g ume ntt ha tc oul de ndonl yi na ni ndus t r i a lr e l a t i onsc ompr omi s et ha tl e f tt hebr oa de runi ona ndl a bourmov e me nt ,a ndt he publ i ci ng e ne r a l , out s i det hel oopa l t og e t he r . Unwi l l i ngt or e c og ni s et hi sdy na mi c , ma nyont hel e f tpos e doppos i t i ont opr i v a t i s a t i ona sat e s tofuni onl e a de r s ’“ wi l l i ng ne s st ofig ht , ” wi t hl i t t l ec onc e r na boutwha tt hewor k e r swhowe r es uppos e dt obe doi ngt hefig ht i ngt houg ht .Ther e s pons i bi l i t yofs oc i a l i s t si st ofig ht out s i dea swe l la si ns i det heuni onsf orapr og r a mmet ha ta ddr e s s e s t hene e dsofwor k e r sa sawhol e , a ndnotj us tpubl i c s e r v i c ewor k e r s . Foruni onsa ndt he i rme mbe r s ,ofc our s e ,s uc c e s s f ulpr i v a t i s a t i on oe ffr sac ha l l e ng et ha te ndsupbe i ngf oug htonl i mi t e de c onomi c g r ounds .I nBr i t a i nt hec a pa c i t yofwor k e r sa nduni onst ode f e nd t e r msa ndc ondi t i onsv a r i e de nor mous l y .Thepr i v a t i s a t i ona nddi s me mbe r me ntoft her a i l wa yi ndus t r ywa sme tbyav i g or ousa nds uc c e s s f ulfig ht ba c kby( i npa r t i c ul a r )t heRa i l ,Ma r i t i mea ndTr a ns por t Uni on, unde rBobCr ow’ sl e a de r s hi p. Foruni onst he r ec a nbel i f ea f t e rpr i v a t i s a t i on,a ndt he i rme mbe r s k nowi t ;f ors oc i a l i s t s ,e v e r ypr i v a t i s a t i oni sabl owt ot hepol i t i c sof c ommuna le c onomi cde v e l opme nt .Buti fs oc i a l i s t s —i nc l udi ngt hos e i ns i deuni ons —donota r g uet hec a s ef orpubl i cowne r s hi p,pl a nni ng , a ndde moc r a c y , whowi l l ? 16


Acas est udy :t heESB Si nc ei t se s t a bl i s hme nti n1927t heEl e c t r i c i t ySuppl yBoa r dha s pl a y e das t r a t e g i cr ol ei nt hee c onomi cde v e l opme ntoft hi sc ount r y . Thec ons t r uc t i onoft heSha nnonHy dr oEl e c t r i cSc he mea tAr dna c r us ha ,Co.Cl a r e ,br oug htr ur a le l e c t r i fic a t i on,wi t ht heESBpr ov i di ngs a f ea nds e c ur ee l e c t r i c i t yg e ne r a t i ona ndas uppl yt oe v e r y c or ne ra ndpa r i s hi nt heRe publ i c .TheESBha sne v e rr e c e i v e das ubs i dyf r omt hes t a t ea ndha sbe e ns e l f fina nc i ngs i nc ei t si nc e pt i on. Ma nyy e a r sa g oi twa ss a i dt ha tt heonl yr e a s ont hes t a t es e tupt he ESB a sas t a t ec ompa nywa st ha tt he r ewa s n’ tt hec a pi t a li nt he c ount r yt ofina nc es uc hapr oj e c t .Al t houg ht hi sma ybet r uet os ome e x t e nt ,t hes t a t edi dc ons i de ri nv ol v i ngt hepr i v a t es e c t or ,i . e .f or e i g n c a pi t a l . Ac c or di ngt oMi c ha e l Shi e l ’ sbookTheQui e tRe v o l ut i o n: The El e c t r ic fiat i o no fRur alI r e l and ,1946–1976( 1984) , t hepos s i bi l i t yofa t t r a c t i ngf or e i g nc a pi t a lwa si nv e s t i g a t e da nd di s mi s s e da si twa sobv i oust ha tf or e i g ni nv e s t or swoul donl y bea t t r a c t e dont he i rownha r dnos e dc omme r c i a lt e r mswhi c h woul dnotha r moni s ewi t ht hes oc i a la nde c onomi cobj e c t i v e s oft hes c he me . Wha t ’ sne w?Anot he ri nt e r e s t i ngpa r a g r a phi st hef ol l owi ng : Ba nk i nga ndbus i ne s si nt e r e s t sa nde v e nt heFa r me r sPa r t y we r ev oc a li na dv oc a t i ng pr i v a t ee nt e r pr i s e .To ma nyt he c onc e ptofas t a t e r ununde r t a k i ngwa sa na t he ma .Onene ws pa pe rde s c r i be di ta s“ t hefir s tf r ui t sofbol s he v i s mi nt hi s c ount r y . ” Howe v e r ,t heESB we ntont og r ow a nda ti t spe a ke mpl oy e d 13, 500 pe opl e .Ci t i z e nson l i mi t e di nc ome swe r ea bl et oobt a i n a c c e s st or e a s ona bl ypr i c e de l e c t r i c i t ya nda l s ot og e tc he a pc r e di tf or e l e c t r i c a lg oodsa st hee c onomyg r e wa ndde v e l ope d.I na ddi t i on, i ndus t r ybe net fie df r om apubl i c l yowne dg r i dne t wor kt ha ta l l owe d t hee c onomyt og r owna t i ona l l y .TheESBwa si nt e g r a lt ot hi se c onomi cpr og r e s s . 17


I n2002ama r k e t dr i v e ni de ol og ypur s ue dbys uc c e s s i v eg ov e r nme nt s ,us i ngt hee x c us eofa nEU c ompe t i t i ondi r e c t i v eone ne r g y , l e dt ot hes e t t i ngupoft heCommi s s i onf orEne r g yRe g ul a t i on, whi c h wa st oc ha ng et hee ne r g yi ndus t r yi nI r e l a ndbe y ondr e c og ni t i on. I tmus tber e me mbe r e dt ha ti n2002,whe nt heESBg e ne r a t e d, t r a ns mi t t e d,di s t r i but e da nds uppl i e da l lt hee l e c t r i c i t yi nt heRe publ i c ,e l e c t r i c i t ypr i c e swe r et hel owe s ti nt hefif t e e nme mbe r s t a t e sof t heEur ope a nUni on.Thi sf a c t ,howe v e r ,di dnotpr e v e ntag ov e r nme nts pok e s pe r s onde s c r i bi ngt her e g ul a t i onst ha twe r et obei nt r oduc e da sne c e s s a r yt opr ov i de“ c he a pe re l e c t r i c i t y . ” TheESBwa sr e g ul a t e dbyt her e g ul a t or ,whi l et hema r k e twa sde r e g ul a t e dt oe nc our a g ene we nt r a nt si nt ot he“ e l e c t r i c i t yma r k e t . ” TheESB’ spr i c e swe r es e ta t14pe rc e nthi g he rt ha nwa sne c e s s a r y , t oe nc our a g es oc a l l e dc ompe t i t i on. TheESBwa spr e v e nt e df r om bui l di ngne wg e ne r a t i ngs t a t i ons ,a t at i mewhe nne ws t a t i onswe r ene e de d,whi c hf or c e di tt ohi r emobi l e g e ne r a t or s , a tg r e a tc os t , t opr e v e ntbl a c k out si nwi nt e r . Si nc et he n,ot he rg e ne r a t i ngc ompa ni e sha v ee nt e r e dt hema r k e t , s uc ha sVi r i di a n,Ty na g hEne r g y ,a ndAi r t r i c i t y ,a swe l la sa not he r s t a t e owne dc ompa ny ,AnBor dGá i s .TheESBnowg e ne r a t e sonl y 40pe rc e ntoft hee l e c t r i c i t yi na na l l I r e l a ndma r k e t .Tor e duc e c a pa c i t yi twa sc ompe l l e dt os e l ll ong e s t a bl i s he dg e ne r a t i ngpl a nta t Ta r be r t ,Co.Ke r r y ,a ndGr e a tI s l a nd,Co.We x f or d,t ot heSpa ni s h ut i l i t yENDESA. Somewoul da r g uet ha tdi v e s t i ngt hec ompa nyofs omepowe r s t a t i onswa snotonl yt oe nc our a g ec ompe t i t i oni ng e ne r a t i onbuta l s o t or e duc et hepowe roft het r a deuni ons . I nt hee l e c t r i c i t ys uppl yma r k e tt heESBwa see ffc t ua l l yf or c e dt o ha ndov e r800, 000c us t ome r si ne i g ht e e nmont hs .Thi swa sdoneby f or c i ngi t —t hr oug hr e g ul a t i on—t ok e e pi t se l e c t r i c i t ypr i c e s14pe r c e nthi g he rt ha ni t sc ompe t i t or sAi r t r i c i t ya ndAnBor dGá i sf or e i g ht e e nmont hswhi l et hos ec ompa ni e sr a na g g r e s s i v ea dv e r t i s i ng c a mpa i g nsa i me da tt a k i ngESBc us t ome r s . Weha v enowa r r i v e da tas i t ua t i onwhe r ei name r et e ny e a r st he ESBha smov e df r om 100pe rc e ntg e ne r a t i ngc a pa c i t yt o40pe rc e nt , 18


t her e s tbe i nghe l d byc ompe t i t or sa nd pr i v a t e s e c t ora nd i nt e r na t i ona li nt e r e s t s .Thec ompa nyha sl os tmor et ha nat hi r dofi t s c us t ome r si nt hes uppl ybus i ne s swhi l et henumbe rofe mpl oy e e si s downf r om ape a kof13, 500t oha l ft ha tnumbe r ,6, 500,whi c hi t pr opos e st or e duc ebyaf ur t he r1, 000. El e c t r i c i t ypr i c e s ,t hel owe s ti nt heEU15i n2002,we r et hehi g he s ti nt hee x pa nde dEU25by2009;a ndwhi l et he yha v ef a l l e n s l i g ht l ys i nc et he n, t he ya r es t i l l a r t i fic i a l l yhi g h. TheESBi ss t i l l 95pe rc e nts t a t e owne d, wi t h5pe rc e ntowne dby e mpl oy e e s .I ti ss t i l lav e r t i c a l l yi nt e g r a t e dut i l i t y ,wi t hg e ne r a t i on, di s t r i but i ona nds uppl ybus i ne s s .I ti samul t i mi l l i ona s s e t ,wi t ha n e s t i ma t e dv a l ueof€5t o6bi l l i on,a ndha spr ov i de da bout€2bi l l i on t ot hes t a t eov e rt hel a s tt e ny e a r si ndi v i de ndst ot heg ov e r nme nt .I t s t i l lha s6, 500s k i l l e dwor k e r s ,a l lofwhom pa yt a x ,onapa y r ol lof €635mi l l i on. I r e l a ndi sac ount r yi na ne c onomi cme s s ,whi c hne e dsi nv e s t me nt ,g r owt hi ne mpl oy me nt ,a ndr e s e a r c ha ndde v e l opme nti nr e a l i s t i cr e ne wa bl e s ,s uc ha swi nd,wa v ea ndt i da le ne r g y .TheESBha s t hee x pe r i e nc e ,k nowl e dg e ,s k i l la ndr e s our c e snota l onet oc ont i nue t os e r v et hec i t i z e nsoft hi sc ount r ybuta l s ot ohe l pi tmov eoutofi t s e c onomi cdic ffi ul t i e sa ndt oane w pha s eofba dl yne e de dde v e l opme nt . I twoul dbena t i ona l e c onomi cs a bot a g et opr i v a t i s et heESB. The r ea r er umour st ha ti ti snott obes ol doffbutt ha tAnBor d Gá i sa ndCoi l l t ewi l lbe ,t or e a l i s ea bout€2bi l l i on.Butt he“ Tr oi k a ” a r el ook i ngf or€5bi l l i onofs t a t ea s s e t st obes ol d,s ot heESBi snot outoft hewoodsy e t . Theque s t i onf ort hel e f ti s ,Howdowemountac a mpa i g na g a i ns t t hes a l eofs t a t ea s s e t s ?How dowemobi l i s ei ndus t r i a l ,publ i ca nd pol i t i c a l s uppor tf orourpos i t i on? Atame e t i ngofmor et ha nt wohundr e dESBs hops t e wa r dsi nJ ul y 2011ar e s ol ut i onwa spa s s e dt ha ts a i d: I nnot i ngt her e c e ntmot i onspa s s e da tt hebi e nni a l I CTUConf e r e nc er e l a t i ngt ot heSa l eofAs s e t st hi sc onf e r e nc edi r e c t st he g r oupa nda ffil i a t e duni onst oba l l ota l l uni onme mbe r si nESB f ori ndus t r i a la c t i onupt oa ndi nc l udi ngs t r i k ea c t i oni nt he 19


e v e ntofs t e psbe i ngt a k e nt oi mpl e me nta nyf ur t he ra s s e ts a l e , di s pos a l ,t r a ns f e rordi v e s t me nta spr opos e di nt hePr og r a mme f orGov e r nme ntont heMc Ca r t hyr e por t . Pe r ha pst heuni onsi not he rs t a t ec ompa ni e st ha ta r eme nt i one da s be i ngduef ors e l l i ngone e dt oc ons ul tt he i rme mbe r s ,i ft he yha v e nota l r e a dydones o,t or a i s ea wa r e ne s sa ndt oc a mpa i g na g a i ns tt he s a l eoft he s ea s s e t s ,whi c hi snoti nt hei nt e r e s t soft hes t a t e ,t hec ons ume r s ,ort hewor k e r se mpl oy e di nt he s ec ompa ni e s .A de ba t eon t hi sque s t i onmi g htpr oduc es omei de a sa bouthow wemi g htr a i s e a wa r e ne s swi t hi nt het r a deuni onmov e me nt ,wi t hi ns oc i e t y ,a nd a mongpol i t i c a l a c t i v i s t swhowoul ds uppor tt hi spos i t i on.

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Col i n Whi t s t oni sSe ni orLe c t ur e ri nI ndus t r i a lRe l a t i onsa tt he Na t i ona lCol l e g eofI r e l a nd.Pr e v i ous l yhewa sSe ni orLe c t ur e ri n I ndus t r i a lRe l a t i onsa tKe e l eUni v e r s i t yi nSt a ffor ds hi r e .Her e c e i v e d as c hol a r s hi pf r om t heNa t i ona lUni onofGe ne r a la ndMuni c i pa l Wor k e r st os t udya tRus k i nCol l e g e ,Ox f or d,whe r ehewa sa wa r de da Di pl omai n La bourSt udi e s .Aswe l la st e a c hi ngi nI r e l a nd a nd Br i t a i n,Col i nha st a ug hts pe c i a l i s e dc our s e si ni ndus t r i a lr e l a t i onsi n Ge r ma nya ndSl ov a k i aa ndha spubl i s he dwi de l yont r a deuni on or g a ni s a t i on,pol i c y ,a ndme mbe r s hi p.Heha swor k e di na ndbe e na uni onr e pr e s e nt a t i v ei nt her ubbe r ,e ng i ne e r i ng ,c ons t r uc t i ona nd t r a ns por ti ndus t r i e s . J i mmyNol an,c ha i r pe r s onoft heTr a deUni onLe f tFor um,wor k s f ort heTe c hni c a l ,El e c t r i c a la nd Eng i ne e r i ngUni on a sNa t i ona l Or g a ni s e rwi t hr e s pons i bi l i t yf ort heESB a ndi sSe c r e t a r yoft he I a r nr ódÉi r e a nnGr oupofUni onsa ndBusÉi r e a nn.

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Tr adeUni onL ef tFor um Thepur pos eoft heTr a deUni onLe f tFor um i st oe nc our a g ea nd i ni t i a t es e r i ouse x a mi na t i ona ndde ba t ef r om al e f ta ndc l a s sv i e wpoi ntoft hema j orque s t i onsf a c i ngt hel a bourmov e me nti nI r e l a nd. TheFor um wi l lbeaf oc usf ors oc i a l i s tt houg htont he s eque s t i ons —nott opr ov i der e a dy ma dea ns we r st oc ompl e xpr obl e msbutt o pr ov i deaf or um f ordi s c us s i ona ndde ba t e . TheFor um wi l lt husa s s i s tt r a deuni ona c t i v i s t si nma k i ngpr a c t i c a li nt e r v e nt i onsi nt he i rownwor k pl a c e sa nduni onsa st he yf e e l a ppr opr i a t e . TheTr a deUni onLe f tFor um wi l li ni t i a l l ybeadi s c us s i onf or um; i tma yde v e l opa nda c qui r eawi de rr ol et ot hee x t e ntt ha tpa r t i c i pa nt s f i ndi tofbe ne fita ndha v ec onfide nc ei ni t . Pr i nc i pali s s ue s •Pr i v a t i s a t i ona ndt hene ol i be r a l a g e nda •Thede bt a us t e r i t yl i nk :EUa ndI MFc onne c t i on •Tr a deuni ona ndc ommuni t yc a mpa i g ni ngl i nk s •Tr a deuni one duc a t i on:pol i t i c s , i de ol og y ,pol i t i c a l e c onomy .

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Communi s tPa r t yofI r el a nd


I r el andi sgoi ngt hr oughi t sgr eat es t economi candsoci alcr i s i ssi ncet he f oundat i onoft hes t at e.Thedomest i c el i t e,i nal i gnmentwi t ht hei mper i al desi gnsoft heEur opeanUni onandi t s banki ngi ns t i t ut i ons,ar econt entt omake wor ki ngpeopl eandt hei rf ami l i espay unsust ai nabl edebt st heynev eri ncur r ed. Ther espons eoft het r adeuni on mov ementt ot heneedf orcont i nui ng count er of f ensi v esagai ns taus t er i t ycut s andf ort hepr oj ect i onofanal t er nat i v e s t r at egyf orwor ki ngcl as si nt er es t shas beendi sappoi nt i ng,t osayt hel east .Thi s pamphl etexami nest her easonsf ort hese l i mi t at i onsandput sf or war d r ecommendat i onsf ort het r adeuni on mov ementt oshi f tdi r ect i onandpur suea mor ei magi nat i v eandmi l i t antcour se.

Tr adeUni onLef tFor um www. t ul ef t f or um. com


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