The question popped into my mind, "why is our NHS, our social housing and our publicly owned industries so vulnerable to being privatised, and how do we protect them?
Well, we know that they are 'public assets' and as soon as we let the tories anywhere near them, they are broken up and get sold off, or 'asset stripped'. It's been this way for the last 40 years.
But it also occurred to me, that just the act of privatisation is not necessarily going to be damaging for that industry and may, just may provide it with a degree of protection. The real damage begins, by how that industry is managed.
Give the industry to people intent on making profit (conservatives/neo-liberals), and invariably employee terms and conditions are reduced, the customer service experience is diluted and prices go up. We can see this happening today as our hospitals fail to meet demand and the unaffordability of housing, which is displacing so many families. However if managed correctly (non profit) and there is no reason why employees cannot be looked after and customers given 'world class' service at great value for the tax payer.
A similar train of thought I recently explored with housing, suggested that the best way to protect the social housing market could be to achieve 100% home ownership essentially ending the need for social housing, an idea which is not beyond the realms of possibility. People can enjoy the benefits of home ownership and can practically choose the level of repayment starting above a set minimum of 2% or 3%. This would bring the affordability of a decent home within the grasp of even the smallest of budgets. It would be possible to pay as little as £250pcm for a £150,000 home. The finance is supplied by the tax payer who essentially becomes a mortgage provider and shareholder, where all profits are directed back to the tax payer.
People get quality, affordable housing and the next time the tories get into power, they can't touch it because it isn't a state owned asset. The social housing market has been privatised with a little piece of it owned by everybody.
After all, it is unlikely that the neoliberals new best friend will be to re-nationalise industry.