Ritchie doesn’t even understand his own argument

Undoubtedly errors have been made in that process of choice in the past. I very much doubt that the UK government did need to own British Leyland. Equally, it does need to own our railways. Car manufacture is not a natural monopoly; from the very onset of the railway era it was recognised that they always had that characteristic and had to be regulated to prevent abuse.

So, why not regulate the railways rather than own them?


16 thoughts on “Ritchie doesn’t even understand his own argument”

  1. The railways were not automatically a monopoly – there are several towns which had competing railway services prior to nationalisation.

  2. As john77 says monopoly isn’t a natural state for railways. As so many people do when commenting on this subject he forgets that rail competes with other transport modes, so needs to be doing different things which are sometimes done best by different companies, freight being an obvious example or does he think that the TOCs should be operating freight services too as BR did ? That didn’t work out well, separating them has been one of the success stories of rail privatisation.

    What regulation is he talking about anyway ( I cant find the post on his blog ) ?

  3. Because the real issue is Control. Total Control.

    And the Murphatollah wants to be the Fat Controller.

  4. Privatisation, bringing in all that legendary private sector expertise, works wonders: we used to have a steel industry . A bit of regulation would have kept Tata in business, hein!!(The whole point of the Common Market was to prevent undercutting by cheap Asiatic labour: the Economic Suicide Cult that has got hold of this country relies on it as British people can only afford “globalised” products.
    Even dimwit economic journalists recognise that having strategic industries nationalised stops them being destroyed overnight by the “sacralised” (Pope Francis’s word) financial markets .

  5. @DBCR And, equally, we could keep all of the now ex-steelworkers employed by paying one half to dig holes and the other half to fill them in. An economic miracle in the making (don’t tell Ritchie, for $DEITY’s sake).

    Slightly more realistically we could stop pretending that windmills are a great way to produce energy and cut the cost/MWh in half, which would encourage energy-intensive industries like steel-making and aluminium smelting. But it’s still unlikely that the output of blast furnaces with operators on UK wages could compete with those in India or China.

  6. @CM
    You appear to be making the original Common Market’s point for it : that it had to be big enough to provide a huge market but of countries with similar wage levels so there was no wage undercutting. It was not supposed to import or export outside its own boundaries at all .

  7. Thorn, Theo, yes. I spent a couple of years working on a public rail project. I doubt I’ll ever see a bigger bunch of tossers in my life. They couldn’t care less about competition from road transport. As long as the gravy train kept running, and the political gaming went on.

  8. Really DBC? I thought the point of the Common Market was classic mercantilism, intended to create a behemoth to challenge the US. If the idea was to create an internal market it’s failed pretty badly, because, tomatoes.

  9. No wage competition in the EU. No, of course not. Greece and Germany are in exactly the same position.

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha (pause for breath) ha ha. At least the UK had the sense to stay out of the Euro, and with any luck will go with Brexit.

  10. It was not supposed to import or export outside its own boundaries at all .

    Except for gas and oil. Just let me put my kneepads on, Mr Putin.

  11. Ltw
    Greece was not part of the original European project; don’t you
    know that? You appear to be saying that Europe shouldn’t ever challenge the US, even when refugees from Charlie Wilson’s War spreading jihadism into Middle East overwhelm Europe’s humanitarian assistance.

  12. @ DBC Reed
    “Greece was not part of the original European project;”
    If you are talking about the European Coal and Steel Community which Attlee’s government refused to join then no, Greece wasn’t – it didn’t have significant coal or steel industries.
    Quite how is that relevant?
    On your earlier point – Attlee & co nationalised “the commanding heights of the economy”. They progressively declined under the state’s benevolent care, despite the vast sums of taxpayers’ money spent on them. The new commanding heights are insurance, banking, pharmaceuticals, engineering which were left in the private sector as relatively unimportant.

  13. As I pointed out on another thread, I live in the third largest Greek city in the world – Melbourne, Australia. Sorry, we got all hard working ones who pay their taxes. You’re stuck with the rest.

    Greece was not part of the original European project

    So what?

    refugees from Charlie Wilson’s War spreading jihadism into Middle East overwhelm Europe’s humanitarian assistance

    More laughter.

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