It is a delicious paradox that the one persistent theme in the Coalition’s ideology is privatising everything in the public sector that moves, yet nothing has exposed the inadequacies and incompetences of privatisation so ruthlessly as the Government’s enthusiasm for it.
The highlight at the moment is the Olympics security fiasco caused by mismanagement at G4S private company in failing to meet its contract target to provide 17,500 guards for the Olympic Park. As a result the State has had to step in by providing 3,500 military personnel plus substantial extra police reinforcements (who as a result will not be available for their normal duties in safeguarding the public). A Tory MP on the Commons Public Accounts Committee castigate G4S for charging ‘colossal fees’ for ‘very poor service’. It would be better to nationalise G4S to improve its management capability, lower its charges, and secure reliability of service. Continue reading →
You know what some people call us,’ Theresa May famously asked the Conservative Party conference four years ago. Many readers will be tempted to supply their own punchline to that point.
But the correct answer, according to Ms May, was ‘the nasty party’. The Tories, she insisted were unrepentant, narrowly based, just plain unattractive. Her words, not mine. Continue reading →
When David Cameron tires of this prime minister lark (don’t feel you have to take your time, Dave), he should write a self-help book for aspiring rightwing politicians. It could be titled I Got Away With It – And Here’s How You Can Too. I can think of some of the promo lines: “Are you a passionate believer in free-market economics who has been lumbered with the biggest crisis of capitalism since the 1930s?” “Are you keen to turn a crisis that looks like the death knell of all you believe in into your greatest opportunity yet?” Continue reading →
Is there any reason to believe Ed Balls supports the Tory-led cuts agenda?
No. He said that he accepted the cuts, not agreed with them. He also said “I cannot make commitments now for three years’ time. I won’t do that. It wouldn’t be credible.”
So does Ed Balls have ideas to the contrary to the coalition government?
Yes. According to the Guardian, he said that “he was not abandoning his belief that the cuts programme was too deep, and he was willing to remain outside the political consensus on the relevance of Keynesian demand management.” Continue reading →
Ed Balls could not have made himself clearer when asked whether he would countenance a joint Labour-Liberal Democrat administration in 2015. As it happens, the shadow chancellor would like to see one in right this minute. Continue reading →