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Our water is not for sale – oppose privatisation

For a Campaign that can Win!

The rally today and the strike by Water Service workers on Wednesday are welcome developments in the campaign against the introduction of water charges.  They offer yet more evidence that the overwhelming majority of people reject water charges as unfair and unjust. 

Despite this the Government is pressing ahead.  Our task now is to translate the broad public sentiment against water charges into a broad public campaign that can stop them. What sort of campaign can do this?

  • It must be open to everyone opposed to privatisation and water charging whatever their views on the tactics of opposition.  It must be a democratic campaign with local structures in the communities, workplaces and union branches.  It must aim at building mass opposition. Today’s rally is called by an alliance, not by a united campaign, and this will lead to different campaigners pursuing different agendas
  • It must seek to unite water workers opposed to attacks on their jobs, terms and conditions with workers in the community opposed to service charges. The water workers have most to lose from privatisation and have the potential power to defeat it if they receive support and solidarity from other workers in a mass campaign.
  • It should not be afraid to say that the key issue is privatisation. It is privatisation that requires the introduction water charges and attacks on water service workers.  It is the principle that unites all the attacks and must be the principle that unites workers and communities in defence.
  • The government’s leaked memo reveals their fear of fighting on the privatisation issue yet trade union leaders are afraid of mentioning the ‘p’ word because they say this goes beyond a purely industrial struggle to a political one.  They are right when they say this is a political issue!  They are wrong when they say we cannot fight back on it!

Everyone at today’s rally opposes the introduction of water charges and will oppose privatisation.  We know that the water service is already paid for by our rates. Additional investment should be paid by charging those who are in the best position to pay – the rich through general taxation and business through charging.  We know that privatisation will lower wages, increase charges and put the difference into the pockets of shareholders.  This is why we should fight privatisation – the government’s leaked memo reveals that ministers are nervous of raising the issue and see it as a battle they do “not need to fight”.   For opponents of water charges it is one they must not be allowed to avoid.

If you agree with our analysis and way forward get involved in the Campaign Against Water Privatisation.  The CAWP was set up in November 2004 by different socialists to oppose the introduction of water charges and privatisation.  Our primary aim is to fight for a principled opposition and for a democratic campaign that can successfully defeat both.

If you agree with us and would like to find more about the CAWP and its activities then contact the e-mail address below.


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