Tuesday, 1 August 2017

The creative destruction of public services

UK Column News [1st August 2017]

"Something we`ve been talking about quite a lot over the last 18 months is privatisation; and particularly, as George Osborne described it, the biggest privatisation for decades, of course, is to do with the sell off of government held property and so on."

"And we`ve mentioned this organisation before... Now, `One Public Estate` is the combination of the Cabinet Office and the Local Government Association. And the idea is to merge multiple agencies. You can see on screen there they have run 350 projects across 250 councils: health, social care, fire, ambulance, Ministry of Defence, and so it goes on. They are pushing all these people into shared office space and therefore merging their functions to some degree."

"So they`ve now launched a £54 million package to, as they describe it, transform local communities and release land for thousands of new homes. This package comes as part of the new cross government partnership to make smarter use of governmental property and so part of this is a £45 million land release fund which is launched in partnership with the Cabinet Office and Local Government Association`s `One Public Estate` programme. And that`s going to ensure that local councils release some of their unused or surplus land for housing and that will help meet the ambition to unlock enough council land for at least 160,000 homes."

"Well that may well be the case. Who`s going to build those homes? Is it going to be Taylor Wimpey ?  Are you going to buy a home from them that ends up with a leasehold where they have resold the underlying freehold to somebody else. And you find your ground rent, as a result of the lease, doubling every year for twenty years ? "

"So councils, apparently, can now bid for land remediation and small scale infrastructure which will [it is hoped] bring sites forward for housing which would not otherwise have been developed. So this is fantastic but at the heart of this Brian is the issue ... that they are pushing as hard as they can to bring these agencies... together. And that is a complete destruction of the separation of powers, and extremely dangerous."

"Extremely dangerous. Note again Mike that this very serious issue is put across in a cartoon style video. So I believe this is always done because you`re supposed to believe that because this is cartoony, you can relax and have a little bit of a chuckle about it. There`s nothing really serious there. So the presentation of this is very devious, very deceptive. And of course, the locking together of all these agencies with the loss of the separation of powers as you`ve just said is also coming with the fact that we have the government`s own `Behavioural Insights Team` boasting that it can use applied psychology to simply change the way people think within any or all of those integrated units."

"So this is the hive that is being built here very quickly. Immensely dangerous. And many people still unaware of where this really goes. And the other thing I think I should comment on is that we are getting more and more reports of fraud and corruption across the country followed up by very aggressive attitudes by local authorities and the police when you try and expose it. If you integrate all these authorities, that corruption is going to spread even faster; and, of course, there`s no separation of powers to take the lid off it when you discover it and try and do something about it."

"These two men are telling us clearly that the aim is destruction of the public services as we know [them]. And I think we now have to put on top of that: `Yesterday the Tory/Labour/LibDem ministers - it doesn`t matter what they do, including criminal acts - they`re immune from prosecution."

"This is sort of East Germany being drifted in under a modern day veneer of liberalism and Common Purpose."

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