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

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Putting faith in untested theories

Demos have hardly been the bastions of left leaning politics as the plaything of New Labour but their latest ‘report’ frankly stretches the boundaries of even their restricted credibility. Based on severely limited case studies, with no quantifiable data or proof of claimed ‘efficiencies’ (other than volunteers are ripe for exploitation to cover rabid right-wing cuts in public services) this report promotes the failed right wing ideology that volunteerism can patch up flaking public services. The link to the report is here on the Local Gov website: http://www.localgov.co.uk/index.cfm?method=news.detail&id=108544

But just in case anyone is sucked into believing this candy pink view of public services in the future google the ACLU (American civil liberties union) and their various cases against the likes of the Salvation Army – charged with delivering public services but framed in religious discrimination. And just in case you need more evidence of this failed public policy of toying with delivering public services through faith groups and charities read this article here which first appeared in APSE Direct News:
http://www.apse.org.uk/direct-news/2012/september-october/index.html#/4/zoomed .

As warned by respected academic Dr Madeleine Pill the lessons from Baltimore do not indicate that civil society can step into the breach when the state withdraws from public services. May be the authors of the Demos love-in with religious groups should cast their research web a little further than taking soundings from New Labourite has-beens like Hazel Blears and Stephen Timms? I am off to pray for their redemption!

Anna Rose