Selling Dover to the French

Well, it\’s not quite Dover, just the port, but sure, flog it off:

The Port of Dover is being recommended by Government advisers for sale to the French authorities.

It\’s not like they\’re going to try and pack it up and take it home now, is it? The value of a port lies in, umm, where that port lies.

But much more fun is this:

Chief executive Bob Goldfield said: ‘The time is right for the voluntary privatisation of Dover. We want to invest around £400million on a second terminal and need to invest in the existing terminal, but are unable to because of public sector borrowing constraints. We want to throw off the shackles.’

One of the arguments used about government ownership of things is that only government will invest the right amount in them. You know, business is all too short term, the lust for profits means no one thinks beyond the end of their nose and only government, those wise and omniscient beings who run it, can properly take the long view.

Well, yes, but: that\’s not how it works out in practice, is it?

The water companies were constrained in their investment plans by the amount being borrowed and splurged on paying for redundant miners. BT ditto….and here the Port of Dover is constrained by the amount Gordon Brown has pissed away over the years. Even under a Prime Minister who still ran a deficit at the peak of the boom (on the basis that government could and should invest in infrastructure) couldn\’t provide the cash to expand a port.

The truth is, you see, that government has a much shorter investment horizon than business: what money there is needs to be spent on winning the next election, not building the infrastructure the country might desire or require.

One of the arguments in favour of privatisation is exactly that government does not think long term.

3 thoughts on “Selling Dover to the French”

  1. On privatisation, BT was deliberately barred from the cable television market. The government feared that BT would stifle competition and effectively sold off cable TV rights on a regional basis to small companies which subsequently merged to form the current market. There was occasional lifting of the BT restriction in the 1990s to permit BT to participate in technology trials.

    But when we lament the limitations of BT broadband — and BT are the biggest infrastructure provider outside major conurbations — we have to question whether the restriction was beneficial in the long run.

  2. wake up britain, get your backbones back, your grandads will be turning in their graves. britain belongs to the brittons and its time we fought for what is ours by right,down to the last stone,to the last drop of blood,we must fight before the govenment sells it all–STAND UP AND FIGHT FOR BRITAIN NOW

  3. WHEN I HEARD THIS REGARDING DOVER, I THOUGHT WHAT ELSE ARE OTHER COUNTRIES GOING TO TAKE FROM GREAT BRITAIN.
    IT SEEMS NOT MUCH OF ANYTHING IS BRITISH OWNED ANYMORE.
    THE GOVERMENT AS RIPPED OFF THE COUNTRY TO LINE THEIR OWN POCKETS,
    PEOPLE ARE DYING BECAUSE THEY CAN NOT GET THE MEDICINE FOR THEM TO LIVE, PEOPLE ARE STILL GOING HUNGRY IN THIS COUNTRY, BUT THE GOVERMENT STILL SENDS MONEY TO OTHER COUNTRIES; IN MY BOOK YOU TAKE CARE OF YOUR OWN FIRST.
    THE GOVERMENT BUILDS STATE OF THE ART PRISONS,PRISONERS LIVE BETTER THAN MOST PEOPLE ON THE OUTSIDE.
    NO DETERRENT TO STOP MISDEAMERS OR FELONIES.
    THE COUNTRY IS GOING TO THE DOGS
    NOW THEY WANT TO SELL A PORTION OF IT.
    ELIZABETH I MUST BE TURNING IN HER GRAVE RIGHT NOW. TOO BAD ELIZABETH THE II GAVE UP HER RIGHT TO PARTICIPATE IN WHAT HAPPENS TO HER COUNTRY.
    NO TO SELLING DOVER

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