The prevailing fiction of our times is that the private sector is better at running things than the public sector. This has been the ideology we’ve lived under since Margaret Thatcher. And despite evidence to the contrary, politicians in Labour, Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats all seem wedded to it.
Over the past five years, the UK’s ruling Coalition has brought in heavy cuts to social security and public services. If a Conservative-led alliance comes to power in the general election, this is likely to intensify.
Imagine police wake you. Though not suspected of any involvement in violence, you are being investigated for terrorism-related offences, on the basis of a remark by your three-year-old at a playgroup or childminder’s.
In 1904 Winston Churchill (then a Liberal MP) said that the Conservative Party stood for "cheap labour for millionaires". In his Autumn Statement today (3 Decemeber) the current Conservative Chancellor did nothing to dispel this image.
Low share prices when the UK government privatised Royal Mail cost the taxpayer around £1 billion, a parliamentary committee has reported. Meanwhile the National Health Service and social services are in financial crisis.
I am looking forward to delivering my forthcoming lecture in the Swansea University Public Lectures in Theology series (24 March 2014, details below), and I am very appreciative to the University for giving me this opportunity.
The UK government’s cuts to spending on public services are for ideological reasons, not just because of the deficit. In a speech at the lord mayor’s banquet in the Guildhall, Prime Minister David Cameron announced his intention to build “a leaner, more efficient state. We need to do more with less. Not just now, but permanently.”