Polly Toynbee wants to convince us all that privatisation was a very bad idea, that those businesses sold off would have been much better left in hte bosom of he State. We do need to point out, however, that she would be well advised to pick her examples in a rather better fashion. For example:

The state sold off its assets at knock-down prices, with an average increase in profits of 419% in nine companies from privatisation to 2010, compared with an FTSE100 average of 206% in the same period.

Lessee: companies in the bosom of the State make low profits. Companies freed from said embrace make much better profits. How is this a criticism of freeing companies from that clutch? It is, rather, evidence that when run along political lines, as anything owned by the State will inevitably be, an organisation will be run in an inefficient manner. For Polly to choose as an example of why privatisation is bad exactly the evidence that it works as advertised on the tin is possibly careless of her.

And again:

The pay of privatised staff has stagnated while 170,000 jobs were lost.

So the nationalised companies were grossly overstaffed and the workers paid too much in wages. Privatisation corrected both these errors. Again, this is something most odd to use as an argument against privatisation.

The dogma driving these privatisations wilfully ignores past experience.


Dogma is a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true. It serves as part of the primary basis of an ideology, nationalism or belief system, and it cannot be changed or discarded without affecting the very system’s paradigm, or the ideology itself.

Exactly who is guilty of that here Polly?