Video: How Energy Privatisation Bankrupted Britain


Today was a good day for writing, but as it was all fiction, all I have for you, my dear readers, is this video of Tom Nicholas explaining how privatizing power is bankrupting Britain. The solution? Public ownership, of course.


  1. Ichthyic says

    well, of course this is just one small sample of the results of neoliberalism. and not just in the UK, but EVERYWHERE it was embraced in the Western World. Communism nothin’. The failure of democracy, as predicted long ago, would always be the rationalization of sheer greed. and go figure… that’s what happened. Only took 50 years too. about 10 years less than I would have predicted if asked in the 80s after the re-election of Reagan.

  2. says

    Even after the fall of the Iron Curtain when the disillusion with the so-called “socialist” regime in which I grew up kicked in, I have maintained the belief that some things just cannot be privatized and still function properly. Those things are: policing, firefighting, army, education, healthcare, energy, infrastructure, public transport and scientific research. All of these are either natural monopolies (infrastructure, energy), wide open to abuse (policing, army, healthcare), highly inefficient at serving the public when financial barriers are introduced (education, research), or – most of them – a combination of all of these factors and more.

    That belief that I formed shortly after University when I was still voting for center-right politics, was in the meantime confirmed multiple times over. Thatcher and Reagan introduced into politics and normalized some extremely harmful and downright stupid ideas. Right-wing parties that adopt those ideas slowly drift into the Nonsense land.

    Tom Nicholas makes excellent videos about politics and philosophy.

  3. John Morales says

    OK, Abe. I know I’m irritating you.

    I’m just a reader, but one who is not inclined to watch a video with a clickbaity counterfactual claim as its title. It bodes poorly for the actual content.
    I know damn well it’s not about Britain being bankrupted by Energy Privatisation, because I follow global financial issues (think Sri Lanka) where actual default is either at hand or near-at-hand..

    Anyway, sure: You acknowledge Britain is not and has not been bankrupt, and the claim is now that the people of Britain are being impoverished by the Thatcherite and subsequent austerity thinking.
    And presumably that’s the content, though I suspect that it’s totally skewed and hyperbolic just on the basis of that clickbaity title alone. Simple heuristic.

  4. says

    Attention-grabbing headlines are part of the job for people who are trying to make their living this way. I’m sorry it annoys you, but that’s the economy in which we’re forced to work.

  5. says

    @John Morales, I do not get what your beef is? Headlines are supposed to summarise the contents of an article/video etc. in a concise, easy-to-understand way that incentivizes the reader of the headline to read/watch the whole thing in order to learn the details. As such it almost inevitably contains some shorthands and hyperbole, to reduce space and spur curiosity.

    Where I live and in my native language, in day-to-day use, the word “bankrupt” is regularly used to denote a significant-to-nearly ruinous loss of money even if the strict legal definition for bankruptcy has not or cannot be met. In the same way, the short-hand word for a state/country is frequently used for the state of that state’s population and not for what the state does as an abstract entity as defined by international law.

    English is not my first language, yet despite that (because?) I had no problem understanding, even before watching the video, that the title is a compressed version of “How privatizing the production and distribution of various sources of energy as used in households has led to significant financial damage to many, if not most, individuals and households in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”. However that sentence is not so much a title as it is an abstract. Compressing it to “How energy privatization bankrupted Britain” seems perfectly reasonable and OK to me.

    The title is not supposed to be legally precise for the purpose of summing it up to a court of law, it is supposed to be succinct and it only needs to be colloquially precise for normal people to understand the gist of it. If it were outright lying, it would be dishonest and clickbaity. In my opinion, it is neither of those things, It is not dishonest, it is just compressed to deliver the most impact with the fewest words.

    And judging by your posts, you understood this perfectly. I think you are confusing a desire for precision in communication with being a deliberately obtuse nitpicker.

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