Sunday, January 22, 2012

Barnet Fair?

Tory Barnet Council’s mania for privatisation has now been augmented by a penchant for legal threats to bloggers who have apparently been leaked a document concerning the current bidding process. Barnet's privatisation programme, which has variously been titled "Future Shape" and "One Barnet" is now approaching the point at which massive contracts will be let, regardless of the interests of the people of the borough. It's no wonder that there is such concern about this that insiders are leaking documents.

This little episode illustrates one of the many pernicious aspects of privatisation of public services – that so much that is vital to the interests of service users and employees is no longer to be decided in public by Councillors, but will be determined behind closed doors, in negotiations shrouded by “commercial confidentiality.” The “Commissioning Council” is exactly what it appears to be, a cloak to conceal the making of profits out of the taxpayer, at the expense of those who use, and provide, public services.

Solidarity and good luck to friends and comrades in Barnet UNISON who have to face up to these challenges.

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