UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Lets truly open the public services debate

The long awaited 'Opening Public Services' white paper is a thinly veiled attempt to reinvent Thatcherite and Ridleyesque style enforced competition on public sector providers: http://www.info4local.gov.uk/documents/related-links/1942894

Cameron's warm but deceitful words lay open his own ideological drive to privatise the public sector. However much he attempts to conceal his intentions with measly platitudes to 'fairness' and 'choice' the harsh reality of his actions to date, and those of the liberals, is the calculated dismantling of any perceived barriers to privatisation. Pensions. Pay. Attacks on TUPE. Tearing up local council budgets. This is not an accidental process. It is a premeditated route designed to ensure the venture capitalists, waving around their bags of private investment, become the only game in town.

This Con Dem government has the audacity to trumpet competition - the same market mechanism that brought us to the Southern Cross situation - as the medicine to 'cure' public services. The question has to be asked what disease are they trying to fix?

Record reductions in waiting times, better than ever satisfaction in council services (before the disastrous budget cuts hit) and yet they are still obsessed with fixing a fantasy fault. Like a cowboy builder they are inflating minor faults in parts of the brickwork to the scale or a complete rebuild. This is a complete con.

Most of the public value and support public services and don’t want to see yet more fragmentation and disruption that competition and privatisation brings. Whilst there are very tragic circumstances in the whole News of the World debacle, particularly those families of the victims of crime, I can't help but feel the timing of it all can only to helpful to Cameron.

These disastrous plans for mass privatisation of public services may well seep below radar. It suits Cameron to be on the ropes about Andy Coulson who will soon be yesterday's news rather than having to substantiate his own delusional views of a broken public sector.

It is up to UNISON to force Cameron to have the real debate about ‘opening public services’ but we all know that is one he will spectacularly lose.

Anna Rose