The Curmudgeon


Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Leaky Briefs

The Minister of Ministerial Administrativity, Francis Maude, has joined with the Confabulation of Business Interests in true New Labour style to spring a leak about the Government's plans to destroy the public sector. The memo, which records a meeting between Maude and his chums, states that there will not be a "return to the 1990s with wholesale outsourcing to the private sector"; by which it apparently means that whatever was privatised during the 1990s would be difficult to privatise all over again, particularly in cases such as the railways where the combination of business ethics and administrative ministeriality has left the commodity in worse shape than before.

The Government is also "not prepared to run the political risk of fully transferring services to the private sector with the result that they could be accused of being naive or allowing excess profitmaking by private sector firms". In Standard English, this means that, despite cogitating upon the matter since at least February, the Government has yet to find a convincing euphemism for allowing the private sector to cherry-pick from whatever is left over. It may be significant that the memo was leaked to the BBC, which has done so much to clarify the distinction between cuts and efficiency savings. Meanwhile, a Downing Street spokesbeing said that the Government was "never planning wholesale privatisation. It was perhaps interpreted as such but that was never the plan". The plan (the word plan being here evidently something of a euphemism in itself) was simply to ensure a level playing field whereon Francis Maude's chums in the Confabulation of Business Interests could compete with charities and voluntary groups which were having their funds efficiency-saved; but, as so often, the public was too tragically stupid to comprehend the idea in all its transformative sublimity.


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