This government just can’t help itself can it? Not content with the wholesale privitisation of everything from the privet hedge to the kitchen sink, it has to go the extra mile and come out with something so completely crazy it’s actually untrue. The first thing that struck me about the police privitisation plan was that far from learning anything from the phone-hacking saga this government is actually determined to institutionalise and legitmise such insidious corruption of our justice system. It’s a free-for-all for every hack and two-bit company that has fancied perjuring the system within the framework of perfect legality.
The second thing was that two words started looming ominously in my mind, ‘Group’ and ‘4’; ok, so I cheated and one is a number, but you get the point. I am sure many of my readers will remember the utter omni-shambles that this company caused when it was given responsibility for prisoner transfer by the late, not lamented, Major government. Getting a ride with Group 4 became the equivalent of of scoring a ‘Get out of Jail Free’ card in Monopoly. Indeed, The Shawshank Redemption would have been a very short, and much poorer, film if they had been responsible for bringing Andy Defraine to Shawshank.
For the government, the market solves every problem imaginable. In fact, I’m surprised Andrew Lansley hasn’t claimed the NHS Reform Bill is the quick route to cure cancer yet. It doesn’t learn but neither do we; we have a managerial-like monosyllabic response which is unwilling to come out and state some simple truths; like the fact that privitisation does not make a service more cost effective or efficient. In fact, it takes a flawed system and overlays it with brand-new and more endemic flaws which quickly equates to a giant mess that ends up costing the taxpayer much more than we ever ‘saved’ in the first place.
This is because we are still, on-the-sly, in-hoc to a similar way of thinking to the government. We just happen to be in opposition so we have to errr oppose really; this is not because we view the merits of the private sector and demerits of the state sector any differently though. Rather than a rationalist approach, one that would find the private sector almost entirely wanting, we take on-board the same half-baked ideology. If we are, however, to seriously oppose this governments frankly barking agenda we need to perhaps cohere an ideological response of our own. One that however breaks free of the neo-liberal straight jacket and starts to think afresh about the private and state sectors in a rationalist, not rose-tinted, way.