The rules of privatisation are quite simple and quite savage and they always entail people losing their jobs. In case you don’t know the rules – we’ve uncovered them in their vault in London.
It’s comforting for shareholders in privatised companies to realise that today’s news that the recently-privatised Royal Mail is to see 1,600 jobs sliced off it to make it more efficient sticks firmly to the rules. So, here they are…
- Ensure to blacken the reputation of the Nationalised Industry you want to privatise prior to advancing your case. ‘Inefficient’ is alway the best way to go. This way you lessen empathy and provide hope of ‘Efficiency’.
- Ensure that, at the same time as you are blackening the industry’s name, you are making saints of its staff – remember, they are also your voters.
- Ensure that your privatisation strategy includes lots of complexity but one simple statement that shares can be cashed in within a definite and ideally short period.
- Ensure that the offer price is low. The kind of people who buy what they already own in order to make a short term gain are also the kind of people will largely ignore undervaluations as long as the early price trajectory is UP.
- Ensure that the early price trajectory is UP. You can do this by meeting with your speculating pals.
- Ensure that post-privatistion, after the early cash-ups by the everyday folks confused by avarice and the complexity of your offer plus the simplicity of that early sale clause, you announce efficiencies. The quickest way to do this is to reduce the payroll.
- Ensure that you announce efficiencies often without defining too closely what ‘Efficient’ actually means in terms of anything other than share price. You can use the phrase, “Quality of Service” just avoid “Quality of Life”.
Stick to these basic rules and before long the Privatised Industry you’ve gutted and whose services you’ve sold onto other companies owned mostly by yourself will exist only in name. You can then continue to blacken that name as a contrast to the myriad of other companies you’ve set up to over-price and under-deliver the same service you just destroyed.