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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Shrink the State: Cameron and Clegg out to complete Thatcher's task

This piece of mine appears over at The Week.

Neil Clark: Privatising the probation service is not about cutting the deficit – it's a purely ideological coalition move

IT ALL started on a late spring day back in 1979. Delivering his very first Budget, Geoffrey Howe, Chancellor of the Exchequer in Margaret Thatcher's new Conservative administration, announced the government's support for "sales of state-owned assets to the private sector" and that "the scope for sale of assets is substantial".

Very few people listening to Howe's speech that day could have envisaged just what the government's privatisation programme would lead to. Or that, 34 years on, we'd be witnessing the wholesale outsourcing to private companies of our probation service, set up in 1907.

Privatising the probation service is not about cutting the deficit – it's a purely ideological coalition move.

You can read the whole of the article here.


Douglas said...

What do you consider to be the essential tasks of any government? The reason I ask is that many people have observed that when a government takes on more tasks, it becomes less effective at its essential tasks.

Perhaps the 9/11/2001 hijackers or the 7/7/2005 London bombers would have been caught before they carried out their attacks if the respective governments had been more focused on their essential tasks.

The Hounds Of Doom said...

Hey Douglas, and how about Nazis? Hitler might have not got into power if the German state was more focused on their essential tasks, right?

Sorry but I don't buy it!

Let me guess that one of those "essential tasks" that you talked about is our security and I reckon that a probation service "focused" on profit wont make me feel any safer, don't know about you though.