The Curmudgeon


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Efficiency Savings

As the weather grows warmer and our thoughts turn inevitably to arson, London's noble Fire Brigade are providing an object lesson in the superior efficiency of privatised public services. Rather than having the whole thing run by a nasty, top-heavy, expensive state bureaucracy employing hundreds of immigrants with gold-plated pensions, Tony Blair's first ministry threw a twenty-year, multi-million-pound contract at a private company to lease the Fire Brigade its engines. Under Tony's Glorious Successor, the same company received another seven million pounds of taxpayers' money to provide ambulances to the London NHS; and, as one might expect, the company's chief executive was recently sacked for "serious breaches of contract" and is now presumably seeking his fortune in either the banking sector or the Liberal Democrats. The company's share price, which has been as high as £2.31 in the past five years, has now reached £0.0375, which does rather echo Nick Clegg's CV at the moment. Anyway, if the company goes into administration, its creditors will have the right to sell off the five hundred vehicles and fifty thousand other oddments which it leases to the London Fire Brigade. Nevertheless, the London Fire Brigade, as run by the charming Brian Coleman, does not anticipate a problem and claims to have planned for all contingencies. What compensation the taxpayer will receive for the Government's having thrown all that money at a non-viable company is, it appears, yet to be determined.


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