Privatisation

The public services are the heart of this country. We rely on the police to uphold the law when we become victims and when others do wrong. We rely on the NHS to save our lives, cure our ailments and provide care. When we have a child, the doctors and nurses of the NHS bring it into the world. When our relatives die, doctors and nurses make sure that they go with dignity. Could we ask for anything more?

Indisputably, Austerity has done incalculable damage to the public services. Police budgets have fallen by 19% since 2010 despite a (albeit sometimes slowly) rising GDP. Police numbers have been slashed and the remaining numbers are stretching themselves across an expanding population. Because of this, the standard of policing is going down along with morale within forces throughout the U.K. This means that the quality in policing is in decline.

There are fewer bobbies on the beat thus reducing community policing effectiveness. This would usually be apparent by a reduction in the levels of gang affiliation and thus criminal acts such as knife and moped attacks. Community policing is also speculated to help in the war against terrorists.

It has now emerged in the ‘i weekend’ that businesses are now paying for police paroles. Easyjet, ASDA, development giant the Berkeley Group and the Westfield Shopping Centres are a few.

Whilst this might seem innocuous at first glance, it is indicative of the pursuit of private interests in what should be a publicly financed, impartial and equal policing system. To bring in corporate interest is to essentially allow bias into the process as well as taking members of the police away from communities that would be better served by community police initiatives.

There is no widespread collective effort to battle the privatisation of public services because the change is happening incrementally. That is the evil of gradualism; people are less likely to notice or even care about change if it happens slowly. It stops becoming the evil you see and more about the evil you had no idea existed until you are being asked to provide medical insurance forms when you go into A&E.

In 2012 the Health and Social Care Act was passed which allowed “any contract over £615,000” to be tendered out to private companies. As Paul Gallagher writes, the process of privatisation has been aided with the passing out of multiple contracts worth around £128m under the watch of Health Secretary, Matt Hancock.

It is not hyperbole to suggest that we might be seeing the Americanisation of our public sector.

3 thoughts on “Privatisation

  1. The infrastructure to satisfy the citizens basic needs, like affordable / social housing, healthcare, quality education, public transport, water & energy, should not be privatized in my view.
    Unfortunately, many German cities sold their social housing to huge international corporations…the result is a disaster.
    Now, cities consider to buy the apartment houses back utilizing a repurchase clause (below market price).
    There have been even demonstrations organized by left-wing parties & supporters that demand a compulsory purchase of the corporations.
    An accordant popular petition was issued recently as well…demanding a socializing of housing corporations.
    Actually, there has been always a consensus within society that we want to live in a SOCIAL market economy. For decades the Money is undermining our social systems blackmailing the government with arguments like a reduction of investments and loss of jobs.
    Experience show that The Money don`t share its profits (generated at the cost of the people) and don`t consider to reinvest domestically anyway.
    If it is said that Germany is prospering it might be true ref. the corporations and their stakeholders but the living standard of the regular people is continuously decreasing. Taxes, fees and cost are rising, while public services are reduced and infrastructure is not maintained properly anymore.
    We are on the best way to get Amercian living conditions if we don`t fight back.

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      1. Yes, I am. I am very concerned about the developments in Germany….and started to question if heterogenity might weaken the people. In my view, it is mandatory that we close lines to defend our way of living, rights and freedoms. It becomes more & more difficult to motivate, unify and mobilize people to generate some pressure on parties & institutions. Of course, the elites do their best to divide us….and like in the States they try to discriminate / relabel values & formerly well-accepted philosophies, ideas and systems.
        In the States many people think socialism = communism = dictatorship without market economy.
        I can clearly observe that they try to introduce this train of thoughts in Germany too.
        But I still believe in my fellow citizens. In average Germans are still better educated and their lifes is more comfortable than in the USA. They should be able to resist this kind of manipulation with the aim to further reduce our social services, rights and freedoms.
        But it will take a long time till Germans will put on yellow vests (without senseless violence, of course). We are still too fat & lazy…
        By the way, in my opinion, it will be essential to defend democracy & socialism on an international level. If the Money & corporations globalize, the people have to do the same to achieve a balance of powers.
        Many Germans regard the (to be reformed) EU as a tool to do so. I would be pleased to join our neighbors demonstrations & initiatives.
        Finally, human basic needs are everywhere the same. We should built on this approach.

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