How Will Public Service Co-ops Operate in Practice?

Let us not forgot that former Tory prime minister, David Cameron, championed, at least rhetorically, co-op’s and ‘social enterprises’ as part of his ‘red Tory’ re-positioning of his party. The John Lewis partnership was often held up as a great example of a co-operative venture, and indeed a former CEO of the company recently became the West Midlands Tory mayor. Is this the kind of thing Labour has in mind?
 
Paul Mason, economic journalist, Labour member and Corbyn supporter has attempted to flesh the thing out a bit, although I’m unsure whether is this just his interpretation, or has been sanctioned by the Labour leadership, as part of the official plan.
 
Mason traces the thinking back to the Keynesian period (1945-1979), when the left in the Labour party advocated workers co-operatives rather the huge state corporations that were the model for publicly owned industries. The new plan involves rail passengers, water users etc, the workers who provide the service and bond holders, who would receive a share of any profits. All would be stakeholders in these industries. McDonnell has confirmed that this would be the case.
 
This has the added advantage, if it works out, of getting control of privatised utilities at no extra cost to the tax payer. Mason says that it could be funded by government borrowing in this way, but it seems to me to be perfectly possible to do it by a form of ‘quantitive easing.’ Hundreds of billions of pounds has been basically created by the government to re-capitalise the banks, so that they can lend it back us, with interest. Why not use this money to buy back public utilities?
 
 
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