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.”
This week (20 January 2013) the thinktank Demos (“ideas and action to promote the common good”) has published its report Faithful Providers, which argues that faith-based organisations should be used more as public service providers. Simon Barrow offers an initial response, highlighting some of the problematic assumptions and stances within the report, setting out the background to successive government's interest in co-opting faith providers, and pointing towards a more radical Christian stance which roots service in a tradition of modelling and advocating a different social order based on justice and equality.