Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Privatisation blues

I've spent chunks of today listening to managers and consultants trying to justify to our members why they want to privatise particular services that they don't believe themselves capable of managing effectively.

I'd hazard a guess that most readers of this blog (i.e. at least one of Sid and Doris Blogger) have a fair bit of such experience yourselves. It's not much fun.

I think it shows something of the scale of Thatcher's triumph (and the utter inadequacy of New Labour's response to this over the past decade) that managers and their consultants feel free to assert the superiority of the private sector as an article of faith. As everyone with the partial exception of Richard Dawkins knows, there is no point trying to argue with faith...

Locally, we're getting together tomorrow with our excellent consultant from the Association of Public Service Excellence to review what can now be done.

Nationally we certainly need to build the Million Voices for Change campaign, though I think we should also be putting UNISON's weight behind the People's Charter when it comes to the vote at the TUC.

We need to prioritise political support for those prepared to stick up for public services.

Back before our change of heart as a trade union we failed to back labour movement initiatives which we saw as too left wing.

I hope we don't repeat past errors.

1 comment:

nick venedi said...


Privatising public services is of course a nonsense as it seldom produces any benefits to the public. Accountants all over the world would tell you that it is a false benefit so ignoring the idiological arguments against privatising everything that moves (and am not) the fact is the move to privatise shows a slight reduction in costs for the first or second years (say on average 10%) followed by an increase in costs to a 6 year contract of between 20% to 30% in the 3rd, 4th and 5th years. Now you don't need to be an accountant to figure out that there is no bloody savings plus the quality of service is drastically reduced. This is how we approached our campaign between 1998 to 2001 when we fought and won the return of benefits from Capita back into Lambeth. So that pudding was proved there and then! Any officer promoting privatisation should be charged with surchagable offences.

Ah and the joke about Doris etc its a bit boring now you have used that too often?
Nick Venedi