State-owned Scottish water far superior to privatised English water companies. Somebody had better remind that Richard Leonard.


After reading today’s piece in the Independent, today – Burst pipe-dreams: Why privatisation hasn’t improved the supply of our water – the Scottish Labour Leader has accused the SNP of failing to keep him up to date and of recklessly not renewing the nationalisation of Scotland’s water, every year, just in case.

In the Independent, we read:

‘Pipes would still burst under national ownership. Public servants are perfectly capable of bungling. Yet it would also be a land without financial engineering, grotesque cash extraction, endemic tax avoidance, and stratospheric managerial pay. Last year Thames Water was hit with a £20m fine for polluting the waterways of Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire with a billion and a half litres of raw sewage between 2012 and 2014. The judge cited a “failure to report incidents” and a “history of non-compliance” by the company. Equipment was unmaintained. Warnings from employees went unheeded by management. Thames’s conduct was branded “disgraceful”, justifying the largest financial penalty for pollution in UK corporate history. While all that was going on Thames’s boss, the aptly named Martin Baggs, received a 60 per cent pay rise, taking his total annual remuneration to above £2m.’

We also read that, in total, the English companies made £2 billion in profits, paid out £1.4 billion to their shareholders, created a web of offshore holding companies to avoid tax and paid their executives ‘beyond the dreams’ of other public service employees.

In contrast, state-owned Scottish water did none of the above, is the most trusted in UK and in 99.91% of tests at taps, recorded ‘high quality water’.

It’s just as well we have Richard Leonard to keep us focused.


9 thoughts on “State-owned Scottish water far superior to privatised English water companies. Somebody had better remind that Richard Leonard.

  1. Alasdair Macdonald March 8, 2018 / 7:49 pm

    The Water companies in England have names like Thames, Anglian, Yorkshire, Northumbrian, Wessex, etc. so to a British/English unionist like Mr Leonard, SCOTTISH Water is just another regional privatised company. When the similarly privately and English educated Jackie Baillie was one of the ministers for education in Scotland, she invariably described the qualification as O LEVELS.

    Liked by 1 person

    • king March 9, 2018 / 9:30 am

      To be fair to Jackie Baillie, I did O levels in Scotland in the sixties and still think of them as such. Maybe she does too


      • johnrobertson834 March 10, 2018 / 11:01 am

        You sure? I did O-grades. Still remember my mother telling the neighbours that I passed them all but only got ‘ordinary’ passes.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ludo Thierry March 8, 2018 / 10:02 pm

    He’s also a wee bit confused about which Trades Union he’s a member of. According to his Scottish parliament info page he’s a member of both the GMB and Unite. He was employed by GMB for a long period. Mind you – when one considers that in Oct/Nov 2017 GMB donated a mere £12,000 cash (and £833 non-cash) towards his ‘Scottish’ labour branch manager campaign whilst Unite donated a whopping £30,000 cash (and £417 non-cash) it perhaps becomes clearer why the ‘double’ TU membership was taken out. Quite why he required donations from Trades Unions of £63,000 during Oct/Nov 2017 to fund an ‘internal’ labour party election campaign is surely something that surpasseth all human understanding? Just what in heck was he spending all that dosh on?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ewan Kennedy March 9, 2018 / 9:05 am

    He’d better not tell any old Boilermakers that he’s also in the Unite Union. Back in the 1970s that was just about a hanging offence.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Ludo Thierry March 9, 2018 / 2:42 pm

    If the Trades Union donations to his ‘Scottish leadership’ campaigns (£63,000 cash, £1250 non-cash – in Oct/Nov 2017) were to cover a research assistant team then, surely, they should have been recorded under that heading? The membership ought to have a right to know how their subscriptions are being used (but clearly don’t).

    The begging bowl apparently needs to be passed around again to allow the research assistant team to be taught a wee bit of Scottish/Trades Union/Scottish Labour movement history as there seems to be great confusion around the spelling of Keir Hardie’s name at today’s ‘Scottish’ labour conference: see the National:

    All a bit strange when – on his Scottish Parlt. Info page Dick Leonard describes himself as: “I am the secretary of the Keir Hardie Society.” Wonder if he’s got mixed up with The Oliver Hardy Society? (Understandable really – he’d be reminded of Ollie Hardy every time he sees Neil Findlay MSP get up to speak!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • William Henderson March 9, 2018 / 6:23 pm

      “Another fine mess!” etc. etc.

      Liked by 1 person

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