No one, at least outside a few rather barmy think tanks that enjoy a very special relationship with Newsnight and the Today programme, ever did think of privatisation as an intrinsically permanent arrangement, or as anything more than a kind of lease. It has always been understood that these things really still belonged to the public, which could always take them back if this experiment failed. It has failed. So take them back.
The railways are going to happen. There is no longer any serious doubt about that. It is only a matter of when, and therefore by whom. Why not this, too? Even Peter Hitchens wants it. Even Simon Heffer supports a National Grid for water, which cannot happen outside public ownership. Nor can the vitally necessary mass expansion of nuclear power and re-opening of the pits, both of which are also advocated by Hitchens, with the former advocated by Heffer as well.