Private utility companies

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Utilities such as water, gas, electricity, and such like, should be part of the publicly owned portfolio of a nation. On no account, in my opinion, should any of such vital industries be ever foreign owned, regardless whether owner be private or government.

But in the UK this is the case and the entire country can be held to ransom by foreign powers and entities. Everything from power over water to municipal services are owned and run by foreign companies, some which have links to the governments of the countries.

This, as far as I see it, is a real serious and even dangerous situation and can be seen on a nearly annual basis as regards to the threats of the gas supplies being cut from Russia, via the Ukraine, with Russia always blaming the Ukraine for this and the supposed non-payment by the Ukraine for the gas that they consume.

We should have learned – in Britain – from the two world wars as to dependence on food, etc. from abroad.

Too much of our food still comes from abroad and government officials are even saying that they cannot understand all the fuss we make as to dairy farmers packing up because they cannot make a living at 18pence or less a liter when milk costs about 80pence a liter in the stores. Those officials say that there is no problem: we will simply import milk from abroad. Sorry, run this past me again.

When it comes to utility companies the situation is about the same; that is to say, the country and the people, with most of the utilities being in foreign hands, are dependent on the good will of foreigners and those foreign companmies that own our vital infrastructure.

Important industries, and here especially vital utilities such as water, gas, electricity, should never be foreign owned, whether by private companies or governments, as is the case in some instance, regardless of whether those are friendly countries or not.

In the same way as the railroads and the postal service should be national and publicly owned.

The problem is, though, that the leaders of country and industry do not seem to see it that way as all they seem to be interested in is money, and, in the case of government, to rid themselves of public businesses that may require the input of some tax monies.

It would very much appear that we have not learned the slightest thing from the two world wars and the problems that can be caused by the reliance on imports.

The same is true also with having foreign interests and powers in control of the country's vital industries and infrastructure, and this does, obviously, include the utilities.

In the UK most utilities, ever since Margaret Thatcher and her government, are foreign owned. Electricity and gas b y the likes of EDF (France) (Energie de France is probably government owned), E-On (Germany), N-Power (German parent company; RWE), etc., while many of the water companies are owned by US American and other foreign entities.

While those countries where those owners come from, presently, are allies and “friends” being beholden to their good will is still, as far as I see it, a very bad idea.

We must, methinks, rethink things, and that pronto.

© 2009