Monday, July 23, 2007

National still wants to sell us out

The Sunday Star-Times had an intersting piece over the weekend on the possibility that Solid Energy would be floated on the sharemarket. Most of it seems to be based on wishful thinking from analysts and stockbrokers, who want more and larger companies on the sharemarket so they don't feel so inadequete (can't they just buy a fast car or something?) - but the bit that makes it interesting is this:

However, the National Party said in the 2005 election that it was willing to consider selling a 30 per cent stake in Solid Energy, and SOE spokesman Gerry Brownlee said that was still the situation. But that may not mean a sharemarket float.

"We were led to believe a big offshore interest could be willing to take a stake, which would guarantee markets and good prices for Solid Energy," Brownlee said.

So there you have it: despite all their efforts to distance themselves from the 90's and disown the privatisation agenda, National still wants to sell us out. Except this time, they don't even have a plausible excuse - Solid Energy is not unprofitable, and it is not badly run. Instead, they simply want to redirect its revenue - which currently benefits the people of New Zealand and helps to pay for schools, hospitals, police and roads - into the private pockets of their corporate cronies and donors. And the only way this is profitable to the latter is if it is done corruptly at less than the market value - just as it was in the 90's.