Author Topic: Double take  (Read 698 times)

Offline increpatio

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1514
    • View Profile
Double take
« on: February 13, 2011, 09:53:48 am »
reading cameron's guardian essay here, I find myself doing a double-take on the following paragraph:

So the big society doesn't apply to one area of policy, but many. For example, if neighbours want to take over the running of a post office, park or playground, we will help them. If a charity or a faith group want to set up a great new school in the state sector, we'll let them. And if someone wants to help out with children, we will sweep away the criminal record checks and health and safety laws that stop them.

(emphasis mine)


And, low point of the article:

"We are in the process of opening up billions of pounds' worth of government contracts so charities and social enterprises can compete for the first time"

:(
« Last Edit: February 13, 2011, 09:56:36 am by increpatio »

Offline perfect wagnerite

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3489
    • View Profile
Re: Double take
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2011, 10:08:57 am »
"We are in the process of opening up billions of pounds' worth of government contracts so charities and social enterprises can compete for the first time"

That is actually an outright lie.  Under EU procurement rules all Government contracts of any significant size must be advertised in the Official Journal of the EU and have been open to tender from any organisation in the EU.
As a young man I harbored the populist idea of writing for the public. I learned that the public didn't care. So I decided to write for myself. Since then people have gotten interested - Elliott Carter

Offline Brassbandmaestro

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4096
    • View Profile
Re: Double take
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2011, 10:29:05 am »
I feel rather anxious about the sweeping of the crb checks etc, that would be swept aside!!
I believe in the power of music. It makes life more exciting. Valery Gergiev.

Offline perfect wagnerite

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3489
    • View Profile
Re: Double take
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2011, 10:45:32 am »
I feel rather anxious about the sweeping of the crb checks etc, that would be swept aside!!

So would I, as well as the Health and Safety checks.  The latter is a classic example of the race to the bottom that's inherent in Coalition economic policy.  Yes, there are costs involved in health and safety in the workplace, but it's worth remembering that deaths and serious injuries at work are not only appalling for those involved, but are seriously expensive in terms of lost production, costs to the health service, long term incapacity and so on - and that those who would suffer injury and loss are just as likely to be outside an organsiation as inside it.  Would you want to live near a fuel depot that was not subject to a strict safety inspection regime?  Would you feel safer crossing the road if the MOT test was relaxed?   Big organisations know this - when I was a civil servant I used for a while to work closely with a large trade organisation which was constantly pressing my Department to increase the level of enforcement, because they knew that in a safety-critical environment laxity only encouraged the cowboys and damaged the reputation of their industry as a whole.  If we want an economy based on high-value productive activity rather than sweatshopping then health and safety are essential.

And many of the alleged abuses of health and safety are in reality nothing of the sort, but arise from organisations taking an overly defensive view of the risk of being sued.  That won't go away in Cameron's vision.  People would still act out of the fear of being sued - all the more so in an environment where much of the best-practice guidance has been lost or become obsolete - and the resultant processes would be less rational and more expensive than those under a statutory regime.  On this point at least, the Big Society begins to look like a lawyers' feeding frenzy.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2011, 10:50:47 am by perfect wagnerite »
As a young man I harbored the populist idea of writing for the public. I learned that the public didn't care. So I decided to write for myself. Since then people have gotten interested - Elliott Carter

Offline Ubu-Impudicus

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1336
  • Never forget we walk on hell, gazing at flowers.
    • View Profile
Re: Double take
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2011, 04:00:02 pm »

"We are in the process of opening up billions of pounds' worth of government contracts so charities and social enterprises can compete for the first time"

  As if 'competitiveness' was the only value worth considering.

Offline AZomby

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 160
    • View Profile
Re: Double take
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2011, 12:55:52 am »
  As if 'competitiveness' was the only value worth considering.
Thatchler would be proud of it. Compete. Do not co-operate. No such thing as society only families. Just a minute. No such thing as families only The Big Society. Education. Education. Education. You say tomato and I say tomato. Lets call the whole thing off?

Offline marbleflugel

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3872
  • 'The Moment this pub closes the revolution starts'
    • View Profile
    • forum london composers group
Re: Double take
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2011, 03:52:02 am »
Big Society is a piece of spin of Mandelssohnian brilliance-in fact, it might even have been cooked up on that yacht with Osborne. The aspect of it that might work is the devolution of decisions to small teams,in that this has been a trend in business,new media etc and in my day job field it can result in better decisions and less fudge. Its the bit that acknowledges what's happening anyway.
BBM, you too might remember when a CRB check was free and  the local police station could suplly it for you the next day. Now it costs over 40 quid and can take months, and all manner of people need one. Where has the money gone? You can still get a vulmerable adults cert in a day, but the kids' one can take months. While its vital that everyone is safe, this doesnt quite add up I think. Its also indicative of the gravy train over which the last lot presided in an 'intensely relaxed'  way.

Offline George Garnett

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3234
    • View Profile
Re: Double take
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2011, 10:04:12 am »
"We are in the process of opening up billions of pounds' worth of government contracts so charities and social enterprises can compete for the first time"

That is actually an outright lie.  Under EU procurement rules all Government contracts of any significant size must be advertised in the Official Journal of the EU and have been open to tender from any organisation in the EU.

It looks as if he meant considerably more than that i.e that there would be vastly more government activity put out to contract in future. Except it's going to be called diversity rather than mass privatisation. A single Bill to allow any public sector activity to be put out to contract rather than the fussy piecemeal business of the 1980s.

Quote
That's why we need a complete change, and that's what our White Paper will bring. The grip of state control will be released and power will be placed in people's hands. Professionals will see their discretion restored. There will be more freedom, more choice and more local control. Ours is a vision of open public services – and we will make it happen by advancing some key principles.

The most important is the principle of diversity. We will create a new presumption – backed up by new rights for public service users and a new system of independent adjudication – that public services should be open to a range of providers competing to offer a better service. Of course there are some areas – such as national security or the judiciary – where this wouldn't make sense. But everywhere else should be open to diversity; open to everyone who gets and values the importance of our public service ethos. This is a transformation: instead of having to justify why it makes sense to introduce competition in some public services – as we are now doing with schools and in the NHS – the state will have to justify why it should ever operate a monopoly.



« Last Edit: February 21, 2011, 10:10:34 am by George Garnett »

Offline MabelJane

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3716
    • View Profile
Re: Double take
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2011, 12:31:50 am »
And if someone wants to help out with children, we will sweep away the criminal record checks and health and safety laws that stop them.

 :o OMG. Double take indeed.  >:(