The Falangist Party that goes by the name of Liberal in NSW is presumably in favour of the privatisation plans for the State’s electricity industry. And it might just be the fact that the Falangists are so unelectable that has emboldened the Alternative Liberal Party premier Morris Iemma to flog off the people’s assets without fearing an electoral backlash in a traditional Labor state.

It remains a glaring fault in our constitutional framework, both state and federal, that the people are not consulted by way of referendum about selling off what is rightfully theirs. If that were the case we would certainly be spared the freebooting crassness of Trujillo and his corporate cronies.

When will this madness cease? Is the Labor Party blind to the fact that privatisation is nothing other than redistribution of resources upwards?

It only enfeebles the power of elected governments to act in the public interest.

The very nature of the contract with the people changes under privatisation – from provision of a service to the pursuit of profit.

Anyone who has read Joel Bakan’s The Corporation will understand that the oft-repeated line about corporate responsibility is just another way of saying what Sam Goldwyn was saying: “When you can fake sincerity you can fake anything.”

Bakan writes with insight: “The Corporation’s legally defined mandate is to pursue, relentlessly and without exception, its own self-interest, regardless of the often harmful consequences it might cause to others.”

What do the people really think? And does anyone really care?

Shame, Mr Iemma (but at least it gets Phil Koperberg off the front page).

Peter Fray

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