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Correspondence: Privitisation - another relationship going sour 

20 July 2012

In the Irish Times Business News for 19 July,  the Columnist "Cantillon" exposed at last the open secret of what has been in Britain a major strategy of the last three decades of bourgeois regression, just at the moment the bankers are urging extra doses of the poison to help cure the economic crisis that their policies have created.

Privatisation has been the core principle of the thinktank that has justified government economic strategies since 1980, the Adam Smith Institute (the work of which does not show much of the  stringent investigation and analysis of the guru after whom it is named.). Now it is being pushed (as in drugdealing) as a cost-cutting measure at a time when even business-friendly commentators are having to recognise its practical desfects.

As Cantillon writes:

Olympic Security Farce Shows Flaw in Privatisation Doctrine

"The spectacular failure of the global security business G45 in relation to the provision of services to the Olympics in London has renewed concerns there about the wisdom of privatisation.

As droves of supposed staff of G45 have failed to turn up to work, the British  police and army have had to be called in to prevent the collapse of security around the games. It is a picture that sits awkwardly with the over-trumpeted notion the the private sector is more efficient than the public.

At the core of the issue is the simple fact that the primary impulse, indeed obligation, of the London-listed G45 is the production of profit. With valuable public contracts in hand, a key way to increase profits is to reduce costs.

Pursued agressively, this eventually undermines the interest of employees in turning up for work and even the capacity of the company to know who its employees are. It goes without saying that there is no room for a public service culture in such a scenario.

It is worth remembering that this company is already invoved in the running of prisons and important aspects of the policing service in the UK. Which is pretty scary.

The experience of the UK in relation to privatised services such as water provision, railways and the funding of achool and hospital buildings, has been so poor that even former acolytes of Mrs Thatcher are growing cool on the assumption that privatisation improves efficiency.

On this island, we have had the disastrous experience of Eircom, where a succession of owners have squeezed the the company by burdening it with ever-greater amounts of debt, to the benefit of their bank accounts but to the dtriment of the cccompany and the economy generally.

Meanwhile, the troika and the Government ccontinue with their view that the State should sell off some assets. They, and we, would be well-advised to proceed with extreme caution."

To this, it is necessary to add only two points.

Firstly, privatisation has been shown to be not only inefficient but inherently coruupt: the selling of common asssets st a loss.

Secondly,  after the experience of Britain's "New Labour" and the junior partners in Ireland's current coalition, it looks as if the so-called Labour Parttes will be defending privatisation long after business as an whole has decided it is no longer profitable.  


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