From: John G Davies, Alma Terrace, East Morton, Keighley.
YOUR correspondent Arthur Quarmby presents a “false history” of nationalisation by suggesting that the “post-war Labour government nationalised everything within sight”, which “held back Britain’s recovery for 10 years”.
Firstly, contrary to his opinion, the post-war period saw a sustained period of economic growth and near full employment until the late 1970s, bringing rising real incomes, which in turn led to higher tax revenues and falling national debt to GDP ratios.
Across Europe weak, but essential industries, such as railways, steel and power were nationalised.
The result of this is that the “inefficient nationalised industries” of France, Germany and Holland now run large parts of our “privatised” power and transport systems.
The ideological arguments regarding nationalisation v privatisation tend to ignore the weaknesses of their own system. The East Coast Main Line has shown that public ownership is not inimical to efficient management, whilst the history of railways is replete with examples of the inefficiency of competition.
Bradford still doesn’t have a through line to London because of competing companies.