Co-operative Party: Democratic Public Ownership for the 21st Century

Ownership matters. Who owns a business dictates in whose interest it is run, who has a say when decisions are made, and who benefits from its success.

Britain’s public transport and utilities are owned by investors and operate for profit. Since privatisation and its “Tell Sid” promise of a share-owning economy, where Sid and any other ordinary citizen could buy their slice of British Gas, ownership of public utilities and transport has become increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few.

Many companies are no longer listed on the stock exchange and have no small or individual investors left at all. They are bought and sold on global markets by overseas companies, sovereign wealth funds, private equity firms and international hedge funds. Those few companies left on the stock exchange are still dominated by larger and private investors.

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