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John McDonnell: Labour's renationalisation plans are 'an economic necessity'

John McDonnell: Labour's renationalisation plans are 'an economic necessity'
2 min read

Labour's plans for mass renationalisations if they win the next general election are "an economic necessity", according to John McDonnell.


The Shadow Chancellor will say that bringing the water industry, energy, the railways and Royal Mail into the public sector is the best way of protecting them for the long term.

Speaking at a conference in London this afternoon, he will also insist that it would not signal a return to the nationalised industries of the 1970s, which were often criticised for being inefficient and delivering poor quality services to the public.

Instead, he will say that the responsibility for running them would be put in the hands of their workers rather than "a remote bureaucracy" based in Whitehall.

Mr McDonnell will say: "The next Labour government will put democratically owned and managed public services irreversibly in the hands of workers, and of those who rely on their work.

"We will do this not only because it’s right, not only because it’s the most efficient way of running them, but also because the most important protection of our public services for the long term is for everyone to have and feel ownership of them.

"We aren’t going to take back control of these industries in order to put them into the hands of a remote bureaucracy, but to put them into the hands of all of you - so that they can never again be taken away. 

"Public ownership is not just a political decision, it’s an economic necessity.

"We’ll move away from the failed privatisation model of the past developing new democratic forms of ownership, joining other countries, regions and cities across the world in taking control of our essential services."

Mr McDonnell will say the Conservatives' opposition to his plans showed they were "not just morally bankrupt but intellectually bankrupt: caught between clinging onto the failing dogmas of the past and offering a pale imitation of the radical change which Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party now offers".

The Shadow Chancellor has previously insisted that Labour's plans would not cost any additional money, and that parliament would decide how much the Government would pay for shares in the privatised industries.

But a report last week by the Social Market Foundation think tanks put the cost of water nationalisation at £90bn.

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