Cameron’s Co-Op Trojan Horse…..
On the face of it David Cameron’s plan to allow public sector workers to form co-operatives to run services sounds amazing. Brilliant; surely this is what the progressive left should want? The ‘Guest’ writing on Left Foot Forward who says the progressive left should support this must be right. Wrong.
Left Foot Forward’s ‘Guest’ is part of the ‘Conservative co-operative movement’ so he hardly counts as an impartial source. He also obviously hasn’t read much of the Conservative’s manifesto nor has he actually listened to Mr Cameron himself for if he had he would see the essential truth of what would happen to these co-operatives:
employee-owned co-operatives would be able to decide on management structures, “innovate” to cut costs
and if they didn’t ‘cut costs’? I think we all know what the response of Mr Cameron would be; we also know what it would be when it came to giving these co-ops the necessary backing they would need from the state. Does he imagine that these co-ops would be able to exist as little islands of Tory-sponsored socialism? What support will these bodies receive from the state to co-ordinate on regional levels, for example? We all know ‘failing’ co-ops would be dismantled by the Conservatives and sold to the highest bidder.
Read the Conservative manifesto: the ‘Big Society’ throughout is a by-word for the empowerment of things like ‘healthcare providers’ ie, private companies and here is the problem isn’t it. Yes, co-ops are a good idea; they should be encouraged but ultimately in something like public service provision especially they need to exist alongside the state and the state needs to wield its power in their favour to ensure a level playing field.
I can’t help but agree with the assistant general secretary of Unite:
Gail Cartmail, assistant general secretary for the public sector, said the Tory leader was “using the language of socialism to mask a break-up of public services” and “mangling the English language to advance his anti-state ideology”.
So, what should be done? The first thing that needs to be done is that the progressive left needs to recognise these proposals for the Trojan Horse they are and seize back the agenda on this issue because it is ours not theirs and despite appearances the two are not the same.