The Official History of Privatisation Vol. I: The formative years 1970-1987

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2009-03-13
  • Publisher: Routledge

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This first volume of the official History studies the background to UK privatisation, and the privatisations that took place from May 1979 to June 1987. First commissioned by the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, as an authoritative history, this volume addresses a number of key questions:

Author Biography

David Parker is Research Professor in Privatisation and Regulation in the School of Management, Cranfield University, UK.

Table of Contents

List of abbreviationsp. xi
List of figures, tables and platesp. xv
Acknowledgementsp. xvii
Prefacep. xix
Nationalisation to privatisation: 1945-79 - the genesis of a policy ideap. 1
The origins of state ownershipp. 1
The public corporationp. 3
The 1945 Labour Governmentp. 6
Early difficultiesp. 8
Growing disillusionmentp. 12
A dismal performance?p. 15
"We cannot go on like this"p. 17
Privatisation: the economic rationalep. 18
The Conservative Party, nationalisation and the 1979 General Electionp. 27
The Heath Government, 1970-4p. 29
Margaret Thatcher and "The Right Approach"p. 37
Uncertain direction and the 1979 General Electionp. 44
Balancing the books: privatisation and the 1979-83 Governmentp. 52
The first hesitant stepsp. 53
The search for assets to sellp. 60
More early difficultiesp. 64
"The lady's not for turning"p. 68
A lack of progressp. 70
The 1981 Budget and its aftermathp. 74
A new momentump. 77
The CPRS Report on regulating privatised monopoliesp. 80
A privatisation programme takes shapep. 82
Privatising oilp. 89
The beginningsp. 89
A faltering startp. 91
An uncertain future for BNOCp. 95
Continuing delays, the BNOC Revenue Bond and the hazard Reportp. 98
The disposal of Wytch Farm and Enterprise Oilp. 103
Britoilp. 109
Privatising British Aerospace and Cable and Wirelessp. 113
British Aerospacep. 113
Cable and Wirelessp. 124
Privatising Amersham International, the National Freight Corporation and Associated British Portsp. 136
Amersham Internationalp. 136
The National Freight Corporationp. 140
Associated British Portsp. 147
The First Four Years: a retrospectivep. 157
Into the heartlands of the public trading sector: privatisation and the 1983-7 Thatcher Governmentp. 166
Economic and political developmentsp. 167
Privatisation policyp. 172
Competitive tenderingp. 179
The welfare statep. 184
Privatising British Airways, Rolls-Royce, shipbuilding and the Royal Dockyardsp. 189
British Airwaysp. 189
Rolls-Roycep. 198
Shipbuildingp. 202
The Royal Dockyardsp. 210
Privatising bus transport and the Royal Ordnance Factoriesp. 216
The deregulation of bus servicesp. 217
Selling the National Bus Companyp. 222
The Scottish Transport Groupp. 225
Local authority bus services and London busesp. 229
Bus privatisation: an assessmentp. 229
The Royal Ordnance factoriesp. 232
Privatising British Telecom: the decision to privatisep. 240
Background to the decision to privatisep. 240
The coming of competition: Mercury Communicationsp. 244
The Buzby Bondp. 247
Privatise insteadp. 250
The 1982 Telecommunications Billp. 253
An uneasy passage and union and industry concernsp. 256
Negotiating the BT licencep. 262
Privatising British Telecom: OFTEL and regulating profits or pricesp. 266
Founding the Office of Telecommunicationsp. 267
Regulating profits or prices?p. 271
"A substantial degree of risk and uncertainty"p. 279
Finalising X=3%p. 287
Privatising British Telecom: the flotation and repercussionsp. 290
Early planningp. 291
Organising the sale and investor incentivesp. 294
Marketing the salep. 300
Structuring the flotationp. 302
The share flotation and setting the issue pricep. 307
"A good result"p. 317
Results and later developmentsp. 320
Privatising British Gas: the decision to privatise and designing an appropriate regulatory regimep. 330
Early measuresp. 331
The gas showrooms: a privatisation failurep. 335
The decision to privatise British Gasp. 338
The introduction of the Gas Billp. 344
The regulatory regimep. 346
The price capp. 359
A regulatory dwarf?p. 361
Privatising British Gas: the flotation and aftermathp. 364
Planning the salep. 365
The marketing campaignp. 372
The employee share offerp. 376
Profitability, the balance sheet and accounting practicesp. 378
Other difficultiesp. 386
"Tell Sid"p. 388
The Pathfinder prospectus and setting the share pricep. 390
The flotation achievedp. 393
Conclusions and aftermathp. 394
Nationalisation and privatisation 1970-87: an overview and conclusionsp. 398
Managing the privatisation processp. 403
Setting the share price, underwriting the issues and the use of instalment paymentsp. 414
The special sharep. 426
Widening property ownershipp. 430
Employee shareholdings and pension arrangementsp. 434
Economic regulationp. 438
Privatisation and economic performancep. 441
Conclusionsp. 446
Appendix: The privatisations May 1979-June 1987: a listing of the principal advisersp. 450
Notesp. 466
Referencesp. 577
Indexp. 590
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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