Thursday, August 09, 2007

"Disastrous privatisations"

Yes, the government knows best. Our government ministers are better at running things than any corporate bosses. They can run the army, the health service, education at all levels, the social welfare system, public transport, airports, the phone service, and on and on and on. That's the view of Fianna Fail TD, Niall Collins, although he didn't actually talk about most of those services. Collins criticized the
"disastrous outcomes" of his own party's decision to support the privatisation of State agencies such as Eircom and Aer Lingus.
If he doesn't like the privatization of Eircom or Aer Lingus I presume he'd rather not see any other services privatized.

Both of those decisions were right for the Irish state. I don't believe that the government has any business running a business in a competitive market and I don't believe the government can successfully run such businesses. One of the big reasons governments can't run businesses in the competitive marketplace is that politics often get in the way of making the right decision to allow the company to compete.

I won't pretend to be expert in the operations of an airline, but if ending the service between Shannon and Heathrow is the right move for Aer Lingus then it's the right move. And, if it's not the right move it won't cost me anything (I'm not a shareholder).

That doesn't mean I'm not sympathetic to folks in Shannon, but is there nothing they can do to make it worthwhile for Aer Lingus to continue to serve Heathrow from Shannon?

I've heard many spokesman talk about how those routes were profitable. If that's true, then surely it wouldn't cost much to make Shannon more profitable as a location for a couple of Heathrow slots when compared with some of Aer Lingus's routes to Heathrow. Or is it possible that the routes from Shannon were not actually profitable.