Labour must outline a new settlement for public services

The future of public services is at a watershed in this election.   The independent Resolution Foundation has calculated that Tory plans to balance the deficit by 2018 mean £37bn more cuts still to come.   The stark truth of that means a cut in local government spending of no less than 42% between 2010-18, … Continue reading Labour must outline a new settlement for public services

Full steam ahead with a commercialised public services Britain

There could not be a clearer signal that the ultimate goal of this Tory government (forget the Coalition myth) is the full-scale commercialisation of all Britain’s public services than the latest plan to bring in the credit-rating agencies to monitor and control NHS hospitals.   This is taking the country back to pre-1948 when finance, not … Continue reading Full steam ahead with a commercialised public services Britain

The curse of business-driven public services

The degree of business takeover of key public services under this Tory-led government gathers pace almost by the day.   Today’s announcement about a minimum price for alcohol to curb binge drinking is a farce.   Sir Liam Donaldson, the former chief medical officer at the Department of Health, judged that the minimum price for a unit … Continue reading The curse of business-driven public services

It’s not public services or NHS that needs Tory ‘liberation’, but failures in the private sector

You have to hand it to the Tories, they really do have infernal brass neck (No, I’m not referring to Lord Young helpfully reminding us that the Tory upper classes don’t do recessions, only their commoner subjects who they may not notice below their ken).   I’m referring to the Cabinet Office Minhister, Francis Maude, announcing that he … Continue reading It’s not public services or NHS that needs Tory ‘liberation’, but failures in the private sector

Blairites still don’t get it over public ownership

So the latest Blairite plan to derail the Jeremy Corbyn steamroller is to try to label him as rewriting clause 4 when it is perfectly clear that what he is really trying to do, rightly, is to re-start the debate about public ownership which is now so badly needed.   Thatcher’s dominant ideology was ‘let … Continue reading Blairites still don’t get it over public ownership

The reason Corbyn’s winning is that he rejects the Tory austerity ideology, and so do a majority of the public

The arrogance and intolerance of the Blairites is breathtaking.   Faced with the prospect of a runaway victory for Jeremy Corbyn who has come from repudiated outsider to front-runner in scarcely more than a month, their sole response is to prepare a coup against Corbyn if he is elected leader under the section 47 procedure … Continue reading The reason Corbyn’s winning is that he rejects the Tory austerity ideology, and so do a majority of the public

NHS staff in England are being treated worse than any other public sector workers

It was Nigel Lawson, I think, who once opined that the NHS was the nearest thing the British had to a religion.    If so the government has treated its priestly acolytes uniquely badly.   The average real pay of NHS workers has fallen by over 10% since 2009.   No less than 40,000 are … Continue reading NHS staff in England are being treated worse than any other public sector workers

We need more public ownership, but it must be democratic & decentralised

Almost every day brings fresh demands for public ownership, whether over energy infrastructure or transport (rail and water systems), banking, housing, pensions, let alone reversal of privatisation and outsourcing in health and education.   That is certainly needed, but not a reversion to the Morrisonian brand of State corporatism.   Instead it needs to be … Continue reading We need more public ownership, but it must be democratic & decentralised

The private sector is not only providing NHS services, but now commissioning them as well

It had always been the Thatcherite/Blairite dogma of service provision that the big private companies – whether the likes of Capita, G4S, Serco, A 4E, Atos or the huge US healthcare multinationals – wouold provide all the health services, but the commissioning would be done by the independent public sector.   Now even that split, … Continue reading The private sector is not only providing NHS services, but now commissioning them as well