Margaret Thatcher just gave Britain a huge kick from beyond the grave

Support us and go ad-free

Margaret Thatcher has backhanded Britain from beyond the grave. The former Prime Minister’s privatisation of the UK’s vital infrastructure has now resulted in the states of China and Qatar, along with other foreign corporations, securing a majority stake in our gas pipe network. And much of the world will profit from this, straight from the pockets of people in Britain.

Thatcher

In 1986, Thatcher privatised British Gas. The publicly owned institution’s responsibilities included maintaining the nation’s gas pipes. Until a deal announced on 8 December goes ahead, for-profit company National Grid plc enjoys full control of the natural monopoly. Soon, however, a 61% stake (valued at £13.8bn) will be sold to a consortium of companies [paywall]. These include German firm Allianz Capital Partners, the China Investment Corporation (CIC, a state-owned wealth fund), the Australian bank Macquarie, and the state-owned Qatar Investment Authority.

A kick in the teeth

A variety of foreign nations and companies will benefit from the deal, at the ongoing expense of Britain. Thanks to Thatcher’s privatisation and her predecessors continuing the policy.

Britain loses out because the gas distribution service is guaranteed to profit with fixed returns, as asserted by public service union Unison in The Guardian. Foreign states and corporations offered a “stupendous price” because it’s a risk-free investment.

The privatisation of essential services looks like a straight-up scam. The net income of National Grid plc in 2015 was £2.1bn. Rather than being reinvested to benefit people in the UK under public ownership, these profits are feathering the nests of rich shareholders.

Privatisation of essential services like healthcare, our railways, or gas pipes is the gift that never stops giving for the new owners. We still need to use these services, so are forced to rent them back at a higher price. Tollgates are set up between us and the infrastructure and services we need to exist in a modern economy. Rather than paying for our energy together, we are handing money to wealthy shareholders. Let’s end the con.

Get Involved

Read more from The Canary on the Conservative government.

Support The Canary so we can keep bringing you the news that matters.

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed