Re: Has this article slipped through a wormhole from 25 years ago?
"whole premise of the piece scaring us about the concept of state run car manufacturers is really topical, seeing as pretty much nobody is advocating these things anywhere or has been in the last two decades or so."
Unfortunately I know too many people who advocate such rubbish. Who advocate a flat wage to everyone with the gov running pretty much everything. These people are scary in their insanity.
"perhaps the author can explain why our major utilities such as electricity and railways are more efficient than our continental neighbours who own and run their own and are far cheaper"
Energy is an interesting problem consisting of government made 'Big Six', the fact that we are not land locked and that gov interference to charge the population (tax) and industry (to subsidise) for a 'green' project which doesnt achieve its aims and apart from being a propaganda campaign (creating some delusional people who thinks this tech works, regardless of your opinion of MMCC). That money comes from somewhere and that is increased tax + bills. It isnt the energy companies choice not to build more power plants (necessary). Who's idea is it for smart meters? Energy companies are on board but instead of a free market choice it is government interference. As for rail, it is only partly privatised and not allowed to fail. Of course it is going to be a raw deal, yet I still hear how although it is more expensive it is much better than under BR.
"I reaaly would love to know why the IT industry which is full of such intelligent people is so susceptible to libertarian / thatcherite nonsense rather than social conscience."
Probably because IT does seem to attract (as you say) intelligent people instead of unicorn and fairy fools. Probably because our jobs require logical thinking, reason, intelligence and fact. We hang on reality instead of fluffy terms like 'social conscience' which is often used as emotional blackmail to inflict harm.