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John Drake

Royal Mail privatisation

Are you in favour of Royal Mail privatisation?   28 members have voted

  1. 1. Are you in favour of Royal Mail privatisation?

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140 posts in this topic

The thing that's missed so far by most commentaries on this is that despite the public share of the sell off being vastly over-subscribed, the government withheld a substantial number of shares for investment banks and other institutional investors called "priority investors".  The excuse was that they were more likely to hold the shares and provide stability when in reality of the 16 priority investors, 10 sold up entirely within a very short period to cash in on the share price surge.  A bit of a nasty whiff about that one...

This was mentioned alot to be fair on Radio 4's Today this morning.

 

Doesn't sit right at all, I've no problem with joe bloggs taking a punt with his 750 quid or whatever the cap was, good luck to them and if they've made a quick profit I'm pleased for them.

 

However, the conflict of interests of firstly advising on the top price and then scooping up a job lot as a "priority investor" really does need to be addressed.

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This was mentioned alot to be fair on Radio 4's Today this morning.

 

Doesn't sit right at all, I've no problem with joe bloggs taking a punt with his 750 quid or whatever the cap was, good luck to them and if they've made a quick profit I'm pleased for them.

 

However, the conflict of interests of firstly advising on the top price and then scooping up a job lot as a "priority investor" really does need to be addressed.

But surely this is what Tory government is all about, no matter how it's spun or dressed up, moving public assets into private hands at the taxpayer's expense.  That's what they've always done.

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Someone should be doing a stretch over this. It's blatant fraud.

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But surely this is what Tory government is all about, no matter how it's spun or dressed up, moving public assets into private hands at the taxpayer's expense.  That's what they've always done.

Except that we don't have a Tory government at present.  Nothing can be done without the agreement of both parties in the coalition.

 

Your statement is also blatantly untrue.  Maggie Thatcher refused to privatise the Royal Mail as she said she did not want to see the Queen's head in private hands and she was the most ardent fan of the free market produced by the Tories in recent times.

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Except that we don't have a Tory government at present. Nothing can be done without the agreement of both parties in the coalition.

Your statement is also blatantly untrue. Maggie Thatcher refused to privatise the Royal Mail as she said she did not want to see the Queen's head in private hands and she was the most ardent fan of the free market produced by the Tories in recent times.

Ah it must be ok then

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Except that we don't have a Tory government at present.  Nothing can be done without the agreement of both parties in the coalition.

 

Your statement is also blatantly untrue.  Maggie Thatcher refused to privatise the Royal Mail as she said she did not want to see the Queen's head in private hands and she was the most ardent fan of the free market produced by the Tories in recent times.

That's the problem... even Labour are to the "right" of Thatcher at her worst these days.  That doesn't make it right though.  If this had been a smaller company or an individual who was disliked by the powers that be then we'd be seeing prosecutions for insider trading.  If this had been in the US then they'd be looking at life prison sentences.

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But surely this is what Tory government is all about, no matter how it's spun or dressed up, moving public assets into private hands at the taxpayer's expense.  That's what they've always done.

You need to be more specific, the last government tried to do this, do we class them as "Tories" as well? 

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Except that we don't have a Tory government at present.  

 

:tongue:  :tongue:  :tongue:  :tongue:  :tongue:

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You need to be more specific, the last government tried to do this, do we class them as "Tories" as well? 

what give the Royal Mail away at less than it was worth,  I don't think so

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what give the Royal Mail away at less than it was worth,  I don't think so

How where they going to value it would they seek the advise of the shysters that would then go on to buy big stakes?

 

Or was it just going to be "better" because it was being done by a Labour government?

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How where they going to value it would they seek the advise of the shysters that would then go on to buy big stakes?

 

Or was it just going to be "better" because it was being done by a Labour government?

Len McCluskey would have picked the floation price.

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The selling off is one issue, the incompetent and (legal advise required here to say what I really think) way it was conducted is breathtaking.

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You need to be more specific, the last government tried to do this, do we class them as "Tories" as well? 

 

That's Labour's ongoing problem. On far too many issues they do appear to try to out-Tory the Tories and in the process, they alienate a lot of their own supporters who cannot understand or agree with this approach.

 

According to David Cameron at PMQs this week, the last Labour government would have privatised Royal Mail, but were prevented from doing so due to the influence of those perennial bogeymen, the trade unions. I think Cameron meant this as a criticism of the trade union role in Labour, but given the lack of public support for Royal Mail privatisation, then and now, some might regard it as having been a positive influence, if that is indeed what happened.

 

None of which detracts from the fact that Royal Mail was privatised by this government and they have done it in such a way that the taxpayer has been right royally fleeced to the tune of £750 million or more by city spivs, and no one in the government seems to think it is their responsibility or that it is worth either an apology or a resignation. Yet imagine what they would have been saying if the last Labour government had engineered a similar state of affairs!

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I can't see how any government could have aimed the price right for the sell off of the Royal Mail.  That's not excusing what has happened by the way - I am and always have been against privatising Royal Mail - but judging the markets, especially at present, was surely always going to be tricky with a company of this size and substance.

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That's Labour's ongoing problem. On far too many issues they do appear to try to out-Tory the Tories and in the process, they alienate a lot of their own supporters who cannot understand or agree with this approach.

 

According to David Cameron at PMQs this week, the last Labour government would have privatised Royal Mail, but were prevented from doing so due to the influence of those perennial bogeymen, the trade unions. I think Cameron meant this as a criticism of the trade union role in Labour, but given the lack of public support for Royal Mail privatisation, then and now, some might regard it as having been a positive influence, if that is indeed what happened.

 

None of which detracts from the fact that Royal Mail was privatised by this government and they have done it in such a way that the taxpayer has been right royally fleeced to the tune of £750 million or more by city spivs, and no one in the government seems to think it is their responsibility or that it is worth either an apology or a resignation. Yet imagine what they would have been saying if the last Labour government had engineered a similar state of affairs!

 

Cameron accused Labour of having the privatisation of Royal Mail in their 2010 manifesto. It wasn't, just some fuzzy words about further investment. Francis Maude the guest on the Politics Show was asked to verify where it appeared in a Labour manifesto but couldn't. Andrew Neil (supported by BBC research dpt. :rolleyes:) confirmed it had never been a Labour manifesto pledge. 

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I can't see how any government could have aimed the price right for the sell off of the Royal Mail.  That's not excusing what has happened by the way - I am and always have been against privatising Royal Mail - but judging the markets, especially at present, was surely always going to be tricky with a company of this size and substance.

 

The government were, apparently, repeatedly warned in advance that the offer price was too low and that it would be massively over subscribed. There's no hindsight involved here.

 

If they didn't also think that themselves, why did they seek investors who would promise not to sell the shares immediately for a fast buck, if there was no fast buck to be made?

 

Now we know most of those 'in it for the long haul' investors lied anyway and despite assurances given, they flogged off the shares as quickly as possible for the maximum available profit, massively ripping off taxpayers in the process who could have had that money instead had the offer price been set more accurately.

 

But hey, it's only £750 million down the swannee. That's nothing for anyone to apologise or resign over these days.

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That's Labour's ongoing problem. On far too many issues they do appear to try to out-Tory the Tories and in the process, they alienate a lot of their own supporters who cannot understand or agree with this approach.

 

According to David Cameron at PMQs this week, the last Labour government would have privatised Royal Mail, but were prevented from doing so due to the influence of those perennial bogeymen, the trade unions. I think Cameron meant this as a criticism of the trade union role in Labour, but given the lack of public support for Royal Mail privatisation, then and now, some might regard it as having been a positive influence, if that is indeed what happened.

 

None of which detracts from the fact that Royal Mail was privatised by this government and they have done it in such a way that the taxpayer has been right royally fleeced to the tune of £750 million or more by city spivs, and no one in the government seems to think it is their responsibility or that it is worth either an apology or a resignation. Yet imagine what they would have been saying if the last Labour government had engineered a similar state of affairs!

I don't disagree.

 

I'm amazed the priority purchasers didn't have anything more than a gentlemans agreement in place, that suprises me.

 

The valuation I guess will always be open for debate, I suspect getting it "just right" is nigh on impossible, to expensive its a flop, to cheap and its undersold and to be honest I wouldn't be to bothered by the underselling if it was average Joe who was cashing in and in effect getting lucky it didn't go the way of others and plummit before boucing back.

 

Presumably other privatisations have suffered the same fate in terms of being undervalued, I was far to young to buy any but I seem to remember my grandparents getting in on British Gas and seemingly making a few quid.

 

Heard the bit about the manifesto on Yesterday in Parliment - I dispair at mistakes like this, its not hard to get right!

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In my industry, and most others, people are fired for incompetence. They are definitely fired and probably face a spell inside if they make mistakes of even a fraction of this magnitude.

But not if you are incompetent in the government, it's no wonder that we are in this mess with people who aren't up to the job running the country.

If they cleaned up their act, they might step up to only being as bent as a nine bob note.

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Presumably other privatisations have suffered the same fate in terms of being undervalued, I was far to young to buy any but I seem to remember my grandparents getting in on British Gas and seemingly making a few quid.

The BT privatisation was the best, possibly because it was the first.  'Average Joes' made a killing on that one.  It was very well done if memory serves although not without controversy given that it was the first privatisation of a cherished nationalised monopoly.  There are still people of a certain age who will, in cheesy jest, say 'it's for yoohoo' when passing the phone on to the right person!

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The government were, apparently, repeatedly warned in advance that the offer price was too low and that it would be massively over subscribed. There's no hindsight involved here.

Perhaps they were warned; perhaps they were not.  Maybe if they were then the warning was ignored; maybe it wasn't.  Maybe had they pitched the price higher the sale would have flopped and people of a certain leaning would now be slating the government for different reasons.  Who knows?  I never know what to believe. 

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You need to be more specific, the last government tried to do this, do we class them as "Tories" as well?

Yes definitely

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How where they going to value it would they seek the advise of the shysters that would then go on to buy big stakes?

 

Or was it just going to be "better" because it was being done by a Labour government?

It wasn't going to be done by a Labour government at all, to quote from the 2010 manifesto "continuing modernisation and investment will be needed by the Royal Mail in the public sector"

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Andrew Neil (supported by BBC research dpt. :rolleyes:) confirmed it had never been a Labour manifesto pledge. 

 

Genuine question - just wondered what you meant about the BBC political research unit..?

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It wasn't going to be done by a Labour government at all, to quote from the 2010 manifesto "continuing modernisation and investment will be needed by the Royal Mail in the public sector"

I didn't make any reference to the 2010 manifesto.

 

I'm actually reffering to the 2009 botched "part privatisation" attempt by Gordon and Mandy.

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I didn't make any reference to the 2010 manifesto.

 

I'm actually reffering to the 2009 botched "part privatisation" attempt by Gordon and Mandy.

But what happened in 2009 doesn't commit the party now to anything, what it promised to do in 2010 doesn't commit them either today but at least is relevant. But Cameron told a lie in Parliament when he said Labour would have privatised the Royal Mail.  Admit it.  They've got form both for lying and selling off state assets to their pals at "mates rates"  That's what the Tories do.

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