Monday, 21 February 2011

Dave, This Is Stupid

David Cameron plans to let private companies, charidees, religious nutter societies bid to run public services

In theory, it's a good idea until one remembers the sod off or buy attitude of our utilities that factor a percentage of disgruntled customers (the churn rate) into their business plans. If "your call is important" they would employ more call-handlers and if they really cared about providing good service and keeping your business they would be English speakers.

The future will be dominated by foreign-owned companies intent on using Rip-Off Britain as a milch cow to brighten their domestic balance sheets. The costs of the services will increase, what you receive will fall and the government can wash its hands (or wipe them on the back of its trousers, more like) and claim it's not their fault, make a complaint to the national service regulator, OffUK.

The contracts will be like a honey pot to international organised crime wishing to launder its money through front companies. Look at the multi-£ billion farce of carbon-trading credit thefts. Digressing, I find it hypocritical that the very people who rant about privatising air rave about doing the same for carbon. They're both molecules that cannot be owned but for one some very clever-clever financial types have monetised it for their masters' evil bidding. And what if an ultra religious group sets up a company to run the contraceptive and abortion service with all the service standards box-ticked and then goes into voluntary liquidation, thereby achieving its concealed aim of removing choice?

This isn't to say that our public services are good at the moment. By and large they are shit, mismanaged by incompetents with two aims, to maximise their salaries and impose their PC bigotry on us. As a result, the staff are inadequately trained, demotivated, lack proper leadership and inspiration and are often poorly-paid.

The solution is not to offload the public services but to re instill, preferably with a reign of merciless terror over the upper ranks, the public service ethos. Public service is boring but if done well is satisfying. Reform public services, don't abdicate responsibility. Eric Pickles, the Communities and Local Government Secretary (change that daft title to Minister of Municipal Works) is the very image of the great Alderman Albert Foodbotham of Bradford (I live in Peter Simple's World for part of the year). Go to it Eric, rattle your chain and thump your desk. Action this day!

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