Welsh Water Ripoff

welsh water for walesWater is life and by natural right it belongs to the country it’s found in – but not in Wales. Since 1989 our water has been ‘privatised’.

Crooks, claiming ownership with pieces of paper with numbers and fancy words backed by Banksters, English Law, the police and if need be, the British Army, took exclusive ownership and control of our water resources.

Predictably, things have gone downhill since then. This essential and valuable resource became the plaything of transnational corporate power games. The Welsh nation bowed to this new usurper by paying tribute in the form of sky-high water bills.

By the turn of the century Welsh water’s ‘owner’, Hyder, mismanaged itself into bankruptcy. A hasty Assembly-lead ‘Welsh-solution’ rescue package was cobbled together.

But the facts tell a different story …

Hyder, means ‘confidence’ in Welsh – the name being little short of a confident trick. Hyder was not a Welsh company at all. Not even remotely. (Reports say that Hyder’s bosses insisted employees mispronounce its name as ‘hider’.)  After staggering mismanagement Hyder was flogged off to  Western Power Distribution, an American-controlled conglomerate that picked up our water resources as part of its global public utilities portfolio.

Then the Bansters (NatWest) stepped in to purchase our Water resources using a newly fabricated organisation (which the dummies down in the Assembly were keen to take credit for), It was labeled a “not-for-profit Welsh solution” calling itself Glas Cymru, literally, Blue Wales.

But Glas Cymru’s Welsh credentials are at best window dressing. With regards to its ‘not-for-profit’ spin, the reality is that just about everyone involved makes a tidy profit – except the Welsh.

Glas Cymru’s claimed not-for-profit status is deceitful. Basically, all it means is that the money to bail out Hyder’s inherited debts was borrowed rather than financed through selling shares. This deal now results (2011) in £174 million (or approx. £135 of each and every household water bill) in interest payments every year – essentially a private Bankster’s tax.

In other words, this ‘Welsh solution’ to managing our water now results in a yearly transfer of £174 million from us in Wales to the wealthy banking elites centered in London. And for this privilege all they did was to type a few numbers into a electronic accounts (As we are all coming to realise, borrowed money is fraudelent money created by banks out of nothing at no cost to them.)

This ‘Welsh water solution’ is a scam of mega proportions – but under English law and  slavish Assembly mentality, it’s considered legal and sensible.

The ‘Welsh’ dimension to Glas Cymru is in its selection of members. It was first headed by Lord Burns, a favourite of the Thatcher era (formerly Treasury Permanent Secretary) who as the non-executive chairman (i.e no responsibilities) gets payed £140,000 a year. That was way back in 2002, probably a lot more now. Bob Ayling, below, took over from Lord Burns in 2010.

glas cymru chairman

In addition to the Chairman there are 9 other appointed mainly non-executive directors which is essentially patronage appointments with no responsibility. It’s hard to get a precise figure on how much we are paying them for doing nothing but “Directors’ emoluments” is listed as costing us £1,200,000 in 2011. Divide that by 10 and you get £120,000 each.  To see a list of the latest Glas Cymru “good welshmen” click here.

At Glas Cymru’s inception, “Welsh” Labour was predictably pleased with itself -“I particularly welcome the prospect of Welsh Water being owned once again based, managed and controlled from Wales, based on a principle originated in Wales”, said our then Prif Weinidog Rhodri Morgan.

Although Glas Cymru claims to own and control Welsh water resources, it doesn’t actually run the industry. The real work is contracted out to very-much-for-profit companies.

Although they still use the Dwr Cymru Welsh Water tag, the fact is that the companies squeezing us for profit by supplying us with our own water are not Welsh at all. The business of maintaining the water supply is contracted out to United Utilities, a profit-making English company. Customer service is contracted out to profit-making Thames Water, an English subsidiary of a German-owend conglomerate RWE. Other companies such as Wessex Water also have their fingers in the our water pie.

Unravel the “Welsh not-for-profit” spin and we discover exactly the opposite.

So where was Plaid Cymru “The Party of Wales” when this was all coming about? Should they not have been screaming “bloody murder” from the rooftops and exposing this farce called a ‘Welsh solution’?  Yes, you’d think so … but no, not a murmur. Incredibly, Plaid’s policy on Water was written by a member of Glas Cymru (who also doubled as a member of Plaid). Accordingly, it stated, without any qualification,

We need to recognise that re-nationalisation [of the water industry] is neither feasible or necessarily in the interests of Wales and its various stakeholders.”

What it neglected to point out was that Welsh water resources had never been nationalised in the genuine sense – owned by Wales for the Welsh. ‘Nationalisation’ has always meant controlled by the British State thoroughly dominated by majority English interests. Plaid’s policy also failed to explain who the “various stakeholders” were but we can assume they include the bodies, including members of Glas Cymru, who are pocketing tidy sums of money for their stamp of approval.

With regard to the prospect of Welsh companies managing our own water resources, the paper takes a familiar ploy in talking us down and virtually dismissing Wales’ ability to undertake such operations. “The obstacle”, it stated, “will be in developing a management, technical and systems infrastructure comparable with those developed by incumbent operators.”

No, us Welshies could never manage our own resources as good as the English and Germans do it for us. What demeaning neo-colonialist bunk! – and straight out of a Plaid policy paper!

The policy paper was warmly endorsed by Arweinydd y Blaid Ieuan Wyn Jones who wrote in the forward that the policy paper is “a significant event in the evolution of party policy”. Significant indeed. Who is left to champion natural justice for Wales if not our illustrious  ‘Party of Wales’?

The only saving grace in this policy paper was a meek suggestion that perhaps we should be seeking some return for the water transported to England. Approximately half of all Welsh water resources is exported to England for the grand sum of £0 – dim byd. They get our water, we don’t even get a ‘thank you’ in return.

It’s the British version of free trade – Wales gives, England takes – for free.

Not only that, average domestic water bills in England are substantially lower than in Wales – around £50 less on average. The official excuse for this discrepancy is that it is cheaper to transport Welsh water to England for English consumption than to keep it in Wales for Welsh consumers. Go figure that one out!

If Wales began to charge a fair price of its exported water resources well over £100 million in extra revenue could be generated (or around £100 could be deducted off our annual domestic water charges for every household).

Also, if we cut the Banksters out of their ill-gotten annual take for their fraudulent money creation (i.e. counterfeiting) on a massive scale, our domestic water bills should be close to zero – possibly even get paid a dividend each year.

They call it ‘market rationalisation’. We should call it for what it is – state sanctioned theft on a grand scale.

dwr cymru welsh waterEven if we continued to pay the Bankster’s private tax called interest, a nationalised Welsh Water Industry publicly financed and contracted to Welsh operators, including a fair recompense for our exports, would ensure our domestic water bills could be halved in cost – as well as ensuring a secure economic opportunities for people in our rural communities.

For the sake of our children, if nothing else, it’s time we stared demanding just that.

 

5 comments

  • Richard Walker

    It should be remembered that Dwr Cymru doesn’t supply the whole of Wales, an area of mid-Wales is supplied by Severn Trent. Although superficially counterintuitive, it actually is easier to supply water from mid-Wales to the densely populated West Midlands than to the heavily populated South Wales. Water from the Elan Valley flows by gravity into England and would have to be pumped at great expense over the Brecon Beacons. The mountainous topography of Wales as a whole makes supply within its borders more difficult than letting it flow by gravity into England. Water has no national conscience, it’ll just flow where gravity tells it to, unless you pump it. The issue isn’t about keeping water inside borders, but insuring everybody gets their share. I totally agree that the current model of private ownership has failed and needs to be nationalised.

    • admin

      “I totally agree that the current model of private ownership has failed and needs to be nationalised.”

      I hope you mean Welsh nationalised and not British (i.e. Greater England) nationalised, I concur. The natural resources of Wales belongs by right to the Welsh nation. If we choose to sell some of them to other countries, such as England, it will be at a price be agree upon, not one dictated to.

  • Richard Walker

    Cross-border river catchment areas create some anomalies which would need to be ironed out, as Dwr Cymru and Dee Valley Water supply areas in England and Severn Trent has a cross border supply network. It would make practical sense for Birmingham to come under Dwr Cymru and pay its bills directly to them, effectively buying Welsh water from Welsh Water, which English customers in Herefordshire already do. I don’t know the precise model of ownership for Scottish Water and Northern Ireland Water, but I would’ve thought they could provide a model of ownership for a publicly owned Welsh Water or Dwr Cymru.

    • admin

      It would make ‘practical sense’ for the natural resources of Cymru to belong to the Cymry. That’s a principle that no amount fudging the issue with details can get around. Natural essential resources should never be privatised. What England and Scotland does with their resources is their business.

  • Gina Richards

    Its long overdue for Wales to be free of this ‘commodity mentality’ that England has of our country. We need to run our own country – not be a mere commodity for the rest of Britain to use. For far too long the British government and what they have put in place here, e.g. Welsh water NOT being owned by Wales, has been ignored. ACTION is needed.

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