Country, For Sale Or Rent

Auction Brittannia

The British government will sell off a raft of state assets, Prime Minister Gordon Brown was to say Monday as he bids to reclaim the initiative on reducing recession-hit Britain’s debt.

The government is to sell off 16 billion pounds (25.4 billion dollars, 17.2 billion euros) of assets, Brown was to say, according to extracts from a keynote speech to be given London, setting out his vision for “enduring and sustainable growth.”

Brown was to outline details of initial sales that could raise three billion pounds, including the Channel Tunnel linking Britain to France; the 33 percent stake in European uranium corsortium URENCO; the Tote bookmakers; the River Thames crossings at Dartford, east of London; and the Student Loans Company.

…The government will also sell off surplus real estate as market conditions improve.

He doesn’t say anything about spending less money, though, an omission his opponents clearly notice

A Conservative spokesman said: “As any family knows, selling off things helps in the short-term and, given the state the country is in, is probably necessary but it is no substitute for a long-term plan to get the country to live within its means.”

11 Responses to “Country, For Sale Or Rent”

  1. Gary from Jersey says:

    Swindlers, those Brits. Years ago, an Arizona developer heard they were selling London Bridge. He bought it. Up shows this fancy overpass, and boy, was that guy mad. He thought he bought Tower Bridge.

  2. JeffS says:

    Maybe O!bama will sell the Brooklyn Bridge to some unsuspecting furriner. It’s his style.

  3. Yojimbo says:

    I have some great oceanfront property in Grand Isle Nebraska that they can take off my hands.

    The unintended beneficial consequences of the recession-privitization! We seem to be going the other way and nationalizing everything in sight. I thought we were supposed to be listening to our European betters?

  4. Mark says:

    Hmm… wonder if they’ll use Sotheby’s.

    Perhaps HMS Victory will go up on the block?

  5. Robin from Central AZ says:

    Why stop at selling the River crossings, why not also sell the whole darn River. We can bring the Thames to Arizona. We could use the water plus we can put it under (as Gary from Jersey puts it) “the fancy overpass.”

  6. Mr. Bingley says:

    Oooh, you get to “collect the whole set”, Robin!

  7. greg newson says:

    Selling the farm to get money for the grandchildren to spend on hookers and heroin.Typical
    collapse of a civilization..

  8. Dave J. says:

    Besides, Gary, McCulloch only bought New London Bridge, the 19th-century replacement. OLD London Bridge, the medieval bridge, was practically a town unto itself, and must’ve been quite a sight toward the end of its 600+ year lifespan.

    This reminds me that while Wren’s New St. Paul’s is impressive, Old St. Paul’s, lost in the Great Fire, was the largest Gothic cathedral in the world…wish I could’ve seen it.

  9. Mike says:

    I know of a few folks in the middle east who might want to bid on that “33 percent stake in European uranium corsortium URENCO”

  10. Ebola says:

    Doubtless they already have Mike. 😛

  11. Yojimbo says:

    Just judging by what I’ve heard that might be a “coal to Newcastle” moment.

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