Bad old days when Britain was sick man of Europe

Reading Peter Kenyon’s letter, you would imagine we lived in some kind of Utopia in the 1970s, before privatisation of most of our utilities.

Friday, 24th January 2014, 6:00 am

Let me point out a few facts regarding the 1970s, when most of our utilities were nationalised. I emphasise these are facts, not Labour party dogma or half or untruths.

Virtually all our utilities lost vast amounts of money and were kept going by government subsidies, funded of course by the taxpayer. This was because of powerful trade unions and weak management. If you wanted a new telephone there was a waiting list of several months or even years.

On any large station you would see gangs of so-called porters, sitting on trolleys, being paid for doing virtually nothing. Mr Kenyon has been involved in politics, as he says, for 40 years. He should then remember the three-day week. I well remember sitting in my office in the centre of Burnley, trying to work by candlelight, without electricity or telephone. And the joys of litter piled up by the side of the roads, and bodies piled up in mortuaries.

Mr Kenyon says it is time to get angry. I agree. It is time to get angry with people like him, who conveniently forget facts to serve their political purposes, and seem to wish to take us back to the bad old days, when Britain was widely acknowledged to be the sick man of Europe.

F.W. Birch

Kingsley Avenue, Padiham