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Cheers - AE

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Fantasy island.

A cynic might say that it's not that surprising that ten thousand public sector workers didn't have anything better to do than march on central London to protest job losses. I am a cynic, but what really leapt out of the article at me was this:
... speaking at today’s event, Dave Prentis, general secretary of Unison warned against punishing public sector workers for private sector failures.
Poor bloke. Whatever this guy is taking for his condition clearly isn't working since he seems to believe that the private sector is responsible for the state spending more that it gets, in fact more than half of what the whole fucking economy produces.
“There has never been a more urgent time to show our support, as the current economic recession shows that we cannot rely on the private sector to provide our essential needs."
Essential needs, you say?

Yes, that's true. There were plenty there that the private sector won't provide, though whether you can use the phrase 'essential needs' to describe them all without every bible for miles spontaneously combusting and your nose putting out eyes on the other side of the street is another matter. However, some of those have actually been copied from the private sector because of the mistaken belief that if Multiblivits International PLC has appointed a Carbon Neutrality Media Diversity Control Advice Officer to do whatever the fuck it is that Carbon Neutrality Media Diversity Control Advice Officers do all day then the local council, police, NHS Trust etc must all have a Carbon Neutrality Media Diversity Control Advice Officer each too, and preferably more than one. The difference, for the benefit of poor, deluded people like Dave Prentis, is that if a private company voluntarily chooses to spunk away money on some bullshit, makework non-job instead of equipment or workers that help it do more of what it's in business to do then it's the company and its shareholders who lose out. When the public sector do it the same thing happens, except that being the public sector the company and shareholders are the whole fucking country. Of course sometimes the reason why both private and public sectors end up hiring Carbon Neutrality Media Diversity Control Advice Officers is that some regulation happy cunt in Westminster has shoved some fuckwitted law through, past or around the supine pigs in Parliament saying that every organisation must have one. You could save many billions before you get round to putting a question mark over the first nurse, doctor, soldier, teacher, fire fighter or cop.

On the other hand the private sector certainly can provide health cover, unemployment insurance and retirement funds, quite possibly for less than what the state takes by force to provide its own inferior alternative. All depends on what you call an essential service really, Dave.
“The result of the failure of the private sector is that ordinary people are paying the price, while the bankers retire to their guarded homes with their multimillion-pound pensions."
Ah, so not like politicians - who are public sector 'workers' - with their generous pensions? Not like their guarded homes that make the local area a fucking security zone? And this not paid for in any way, shape or form by ordinary people?

And how the fuck did the private sector 'fail' in the first place? Regulated to buggery and given a fucking safety net, it has not been able to operate as a free market should. Due diligence became box ticking and the balance of risk and reward became unnaturally one sided. If the private sector has failed, and the fact that much of it is still getting by suggests that in spite of the government's best efforts it hasn't, it didn't fail from within. Yes, in a real free market individual companies can fuck up and go to the wall, but what the Dave Prentises of the world can't wrap their brains around is that this is supposed to happen.

Allowing bad companies to self destruct is not a bug, it's a feature.


The Filthy Engineer said...

It's about time the Public sector were forced to freely publish their balance sheets to the the shareholders. Thats us, the public. easily done in the internet age, and then we could decide whether to reward or sack the board.

At the moment all the general public get is a watered down/massaged precis.

At the moment I would suggest terminating the head of every civil servant department and Quango. Then re-advertise them at reduced rates with a panel of private sector directors to carry out the interviews.

Angry Exile said...

As far as the Quangos go I reckon the starting point is to privatise the whole lot of them. Every single last one. Those that have a value will still survive as they'll be able to sell their services to whoever has supposedly benefitted from them up 'til now. Those that instantly go tits up were clearly never worth having in the first place and we're all better off without them. In either case the taxpayer doesn't have to keep forking out and boom, 50 billion or so quid saved per year. Now, which main party is advocating this? Oh....

JuliaM said...

The problem with the Tories idea of reducing public sector numbers through 'natural wastage' is that that isn't what is required.

What's required is targeted cuts, to weed out all the non-jobs that you've identified.

Unfortunately, if you privatise the quangos, the public sector will ensure they don't go to the wall by entering into PFI contracts with them.

That's how the HMRC ended up pouring money into Mapely (an off shore company) for maintenance of their building stock.

Angry Exile said...

Fair enough, but I did say it's just a starting point. Quangos are a large part of the public sector themselves so some of the potential public sector contracts keeping them alive would probably originate with newly privatised quangos and therefore not be public sector at all, and so if they've got a income and can afford it that's up to them. And in there is a possible answer to the problem of the public sector keeping them going - the more you privatise the more public sector bodies suddenly have to sing for their supper. There's a limit of course, since even I'd concede there are some things the state probably should still do, but even a simple quango privatisation would still save such a large amount of money it'd be worth doing even if some you expect to die off in the private sector were kept alive with pork.

The main thing would be to earmark the money saved for deficit reduction and not start shoving it into departments that might be tempted to spend it on sustaining ex-quangos. If they want to spend some of what they get now on former quangos and can find some way to do so and still carry out their functions then clever them, but they can't just ask for a budget increase to do so. On the other hand if it's a function that is really needed and its 'clients' are public sector then rather than privatisation it should be absorbed into the most appropriate government department, which in turn gets restructured and everyone from the cleaning staff to the minister has to re-apply for their jobs.

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