20 years too late, Spud has announced that the neoliberal privatisation agenda has been a failure. He says we sold the wrong things, sold them the wrong way, got too little money, and created private monopolies. Of course, what we should have done is hold on to our assets, rather than turning them into cash cows for foreign owners.
Bolger is cutting in his assessment of the architect of the neoliberal revolution:
“some of our privatisations were done for a song. Sir Roger Douglas was worse than hopeless at privatising, to be honest.”
While he defended his government’s sale of the railways, he admits that it’s an asset now worth having:
He said that while NZ Post was on the wrong side of history, KiwiRail, despite its well-reported need for new investment, would prove to be on the right side as energy prices inevitably rose.
I guess you’ve got to give the guy some credit for getting it right now – his comments certainly undermine the current National Government’s nascent privatisation agenda. But wouldn’t it have been nice if he had been right back when he was Prime Minister, rather than when he’s a powerless old man?