This election is all about public services. Who will reform and preserve our public services in the new world of smaller public spending. The answer is quite simple. If the Conservatives win then there will be no public services. Take for example this excerpt from Cameron's "Big Society" speech:
Opening up public services to new providers and saying to charities and private companies - 'if you've got the ideas and the people to tackle our most deep-rooted social problems, come and play a role in our public services.'
Let no one misunderstand what this means. Under Cameron there will be no public services, they will all be privatised. No private company will 'come and play a role' unless it can make a profit. By company law, it cannot. Company law says that private companies must be run for the benefit of the shareholders.
Yet Cameron is trying to make it seem like, out of the goodness of their hearts, they will provide services for our benefit. If a private company makes a profit, then by definition that is less money that goes into providing the service, which either means a poorer service, or poorer wages and conditions for the workers.
Oliver Letwin, Cameron’s policy chief and known as the "ideas man" of the Conservative party said this in a Wall Street Journal interview:
We will implement a very systematic and powerful change agenda where hospitals compete for patients, schools compete for pupils, welfare providers compete for results in getting people out of welfare and into work.
Do you really think that public services should be competing with itself? The competition will not be between publicly owned services but between private companies.
Unless the public snap out of the current silly "maybe we should give the other lot a chance" attitude, then 2010 will be the year that public services disappeared from this country. Wouldn't that be ironic, the year that the United States finally got universal healthcare the United Kingdom lost its.
Just a reminder for everyone. If you oppose the privatisation of public services then come on the march and rally in Trafalgar square in ten days time. www.10410demo.co.uk. I'll be there.