The press is so focused on the phone hacking scandal, nobody seems to have noticed that the government is planning to privatise, erm, everything. Here are a few quick points about why privatisation is bad for ordinary people.
- Services that don’t generate profit can be stopped. Free markets are about profit, not social obligation.
- The interests of private companies often run counter to the common good. For a privateer, disease = profit.
- Another example: For a private company running prisons, the idea of prisoner rehabilitation is disastrous.
- The needs of maximising profit inevitably lead to job losses, increased prices, decreased safety, etc.
- Private companies don’t have any responsibility to the communities they work in, and aren’t accountable to them.
- Dodgy employment practices (eg union-busting, low wages) *always* increase in privatised industries.
- Cameron says privatisation is about ‘consumer choice’, but in fact accountability will go from ‘not much’ to ‘none’.
- Vast sums of public money get transfered to huge corporates and consultants. Good for them, bad for you.
- Fixed term contracts mean providers have no interest in long-term investment. In health/rail, that’s a major problem
- Public money is increasingly spent on advertising and contract negotiation rather than on service provision.
As tweeted here: http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23WhyPrivatisationIsBad