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The key may be to define in law (and in the constitution, if possible) what functions need to be fully accountable and transparent to the public, regardless of whether they are carried out by government agencies or private contractors. I would include in this Education, Healthcare, public housing, social welfare, environmental emissions, public transport and essential public infrastructure utilities like roads, rail, air, sea, electricity, gas, water.

There is currently a campaign in Ireland to vest the ownership of public water resources in the people via a clause in the constitution to prevent the privatisation of water services at some point in the future.

Article 10 of the Irish Constitution already states:


1: All natural resources, including the air and all forms of potential energy, within the jurisdiction of the Parliament and Government established by this Constitution and all royalties and franchises within that jurisdiction belong to the State subject to all estates and interests therein for the time being lawfully vested in any person or body.

although vindicating those rights depends on parliament rather than the courts, and it has proven amenable to pressure in the past from the Troika to privatise key national resources.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Dec 12th, 2016 at 07:23:10 PM EST
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