A recent report from the Environment Agency (EA) described the performance of nine water and sewerage companies as "shocking" when it comes to pollution.

The EA went on to call for prison sentences for chief executives and board members whose companies are responsible for the most serious incidents.

This report is but the latest expose of the lamentable failure that has been the privatisation of the water industry.

Southern Water was fined £90 million last year for dumping sewage in the sea and waterways. Water companies continue with the practice.

So what has privatisation of the water system done for the common good of our society?

Large amounts of money that have been paid out to shareholders over the years could have been invested in the system. Instead, it has gone into private pockets.

How can the water industry remain in private hands, especially with the growing demands being put on it by the deepening climate crisis?

Similar arguments can be made about other privatised national services.

The UK rail network must be the laughing stock of the world. It is not owned and run by the British state but other states.

State owned rail companies such as Abello (Dutch), Arriva (German) and Govia (part-French) profit from operating in the UK market.

They then no doubt use the profits made in the UK to subsidise their own state-run systems.

Not surprisingly, the UK has some of the most expensive rail fares in the world.

Energy is another area where so many of the companies that have entered the market are no more than energy speculators. They provide nothing toward providing a safe and secure energy network.

Royal Mail is one of the recent privatisations. Previously, when under state ownership, profitable parts of the business, like parcels, were able to subsidise loss makers like remote rural mail deliveries. That is now all gone - the market decides.

The privatisation of public utilities has been a complete disaster. It has resulted in vital services being run for private profit rather than the public good.

Any government seeking to sort out the mess that is the British economy should start by taking these services back into public ownership, thereby ensuring they are being run for the common good of all, not the private benefit of a few.

Let's also remember it was a nationally owned and run public service that saw everyone through the Covid pandemic, namely the NHS. A service that is run for the common good of all.