State control

Brian Monteith (“Labour has learned nothing from past failures”, Perspective, 10 August) may be right when he says 
that privatisation has benefited several formerly state-owned services, some of which he 

However, he failed to mention one, the electricity supply industry, that has not 

Under state control, the CEGB in England and Wales and two separate electricity boards in Scotland were efficient, as far as we can tell, and provided reliable electricity under all circumstances.

It generated the power, including from nuclear power plants it developed, and was also responsible for its main distribution via the national grid.

Unfortunately, privatisation has led to a proliferation of competing generation companies, including those involved in generation from renewable 


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Generation is also now coming from scattered sources of solar-powered generation.

The latter has led to the need to re-engineer the grid, away from the central generation.

Who could regard all this change as an improvement and a way of reducing costs?

The French have sensibly retained government control of their generation system, including building a series of standard nuclear plants, and they even benefit from exporting 2 GW across the Channel to power-starved UK.


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Electricity supply is a vital public service, the nervous system of our civilisation. It should not be left to be run by private industry.

Let us have state control for a state service.

Steuart Campbell

Dovecot Loan


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