The Curmudgeon


Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Private Misgivings

The private sector, as we all know by now, is the answer to all our woes, and particularly to any woes having to do with our Sisyphean burden of having a public sector. Whatever problems arise in the public sector, the solution is to privatise it good and fast. If, as a result, your health care declines in quality, your local post office is closed, your railway journey is late, overcrowded and potentially fatal, or your favourite TV programme gets replaced with wall-to-wall reality shows and Murdochiana, this is simply because the privatisation has not proceeded far or fast enough, or because the public has been stingy with the money which rightly belongs to the corporations involved, or because there are too few ex-ministers of state on the Board of Directors.

It is natural, therefore, that Daveybloke and his Cuddly Conservatives should consider the private sector an ideal garbage dump for all the waste human resources which will be swept out of the public sector during the four years of George the Progressively Regressive's scorched-prole programme. Since the public sector is merely a sort of vermiform appendix to the Big Society thingy, a supernumerary appendage unworthy of notice except when it becomes bloated enough to cause pangs of agony to innocent right-wing guts, it is self-evident that the private sector, and hence Daveybloke's Big Society thingy as a whole, can only emerge cleaner, stronger and sexier from Osborne's slashing and bludgeoning. Here, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, is how the thing will work: it won't. Besides claiming that the prediction of half a million public sector job losses is too low (something that could have been inferred by almost anyone who happened not to be Daveybloke or Phillip Blond), the CIPD predicts that an additional six hundred and fifty thousand expendables will be discovered in the private sector. New jobs may be created, but only if the economy grows faster than anticipated.

The CIPD's claims elicited a measured and rational response from Daveybloke's cuddly chap in Sevenoaks, who dismissed the figures on the grounds that they were partly based on conversations with people from the public sector, who are intrinsically unreliable in much the same way as bankers, expatriate multi-millionaires and Rupert Murdoch aren't. The Institute of Directors agreed, calling the figures "alarmist" and making absolutely clear that, if a double-dip recession should now occur, it will be because the CIPD went and said nasty things and not because of anything that might have been done by anyone claiming a very big bonus.


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