Public ownership is back on the agenda. Opinion polls show high levels of support for taking all kinds of things back into public hands, from the railways to water to energy, and the Labour party is committed to a vast expansion of public ownership.

But if privatisation has failed, what kind of public ownership should replace it? As the critics of nationalisation are quick to say, British Rail wasn’t that great. What should be done differently this time? If these services were nationalised, would the state even know how to run them? And are there other ways of putting them back in public hands?

Ayeisha Thomas-Smith is joined by Cat Hobbs, director of We Own It campaign, Hilary Wainwright, co-editor of Red Pepper magazine and fellow of the Transnational Institute, and Sahil Dutta, lecturer in political economy at Goldsmiths University.

Image: JohnGreyTurner (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)