Readers' letters: Labour’s broken promise on public ownership

Sir Keir Starmer has broken Labour’s promise to bring energy, water and now transport - all public goods - back into public ownership.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 28th July 2022, 7:00 am

He’s siding with private companies, currently profiteering and driving up inflation, rather than working people struggling to pay crippling bills.

Take energy prices, a main driver of UK inflation. The TUC is calling for renationalising energy.

It contrasts the UK with France that owns its energy company, EDF, and has capped price increases at just 4 per cent.

EDF made profits of £106 million in the UK in 2020. So UK consumers are paying their energy bills to the French government, benefiting French citizens. Makes sense, right?

This year the UK energy price cap will soar 150 per cent to an average of £3200 per household.

The TUC estimates that bringing the Big Five energy firms back into public ownership would cost £2.85 billion. For perspective, the UK government spent £2.7 billion bailing out the 28 collapsed energy companies.

The UK privatised energy system is a shambles. Poorer households pay disproportionately more for energy, there is no home insulation programme that would significantly reduce demand and increase efficiency, private firms have suppressed wages to maintain profits, and there is underinvestment in renewables to replace fossil fuels that are destroying our life support systems.

Labour long ago betrayed its working-class values. By embracing the neoliberal Tory playbook, it has lost what remained of its soul.

That’s why Scotland is headed for the exit door.

Leah Gunn Barrett, Edinburgh.

Make the law clear on use of e-scooters

E scooter by-laws should include the wearing of helmets, a speed limit and minimum age.

I live in a small square next to sheltered housing and we regularly have people, children and adults go through on these e-scooters at some speed and they are on you before you are aware of it.

One woman had to jump aside to let one pass and got the shock of her life.

They go on the roads and pavements but don’t seem to get stopped by the police. I thought they were only legally allowed to be used on private land, so we need it to be made clear where they can be legally used.

People are being hurt and even killed by these scooters, so its time the police did something about it and more to the point the law should be more clear so everyone, including the people who sell them, know the law.

Mrs Susan Smart, Penicuik.

Greens are growing self-destructive

I note the Greens in Scotland are debating whether or not to break all ties with their counterparts in England and Wales. Apparently the cause of friction and possible fracture centres on gender identification.

Perhaps someone could explain to me what that subject has got to do with climate issues – supposedly the raison d’etre of Green parties everywhere.

It puts the Scottish Greens in a new light and it is not a flattering one.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh.

Scexit damage

SNP MP Angus MacNeil has tweeted a photo of the current chaos at the Dover crossing, commenting 'for those who wanted a hard border'.

His party's ambition to break up the UK would end a 300-plus-years political, social and cultural union and create a hard border between Scotland and England. massively more damaging than Brexit. Scexit is Brexit on steroids.

Martin Redfern, Melrose.

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