Of course not all private contracting goes according to plan. In the news yet again is G4S for 'overcharging millions on government contracts' adding to their Olympics security debacle and the more recent unlawful killing inquest verdict but that will not deter the Government from its policy of private gain so there is soon to be another opportunity for the few to benefit at the expense of the many.
Earlier in the week I was dumbstruck by the usual self-confident sales pitch on BBC Breakfast time TV of Michael Fallon, the Minister of State for Business and Enterprise. He posed the rhetorical question. - Would anyone waiting for a telephone connection want to return to the days before BT was privatized? Obviously he hasn't a clue how difficult it is to get connected by this favoured organisation. Recently I have heard of three 'customers', all in utter despair of BT. One, a new business hoping to employ 40 people; it has taken two months to make telephone and broadband connections in an existing serviced building followed by a further two weeks delay before an engineer makes the 'switch'. Another customer has had an important number reallocated while awaiting re-connection, no doubt resulting in the new customer receiving unwanted calls day and night. The third is still awaiting resolution after BT has failed to turn up when promised on at least two occasions causing considerable disruption. Many more frustrations can be found on-line. Not the best recommendation for privatisation Mr Fallon.
In the meantime politicians are busying themselves redefining marriage and considering how to respond to the awkwardly timed award of a huge pay rise, upped to £74,000 pa. - Perhaps they are worth it but many MPs had their fingers caught in the till while supplementing their pay with imaginatively crafted expenses claims. Perhaps if we threw money at pickpockets they would become law abiding citizens! That everyone else, excluding bankers and senior managers, has seen their standard of living fall must be a terrible inconvenience for honourable members at this time. No matter that over the years they have messed up just about everything from the economy, the NHS, education, human rights, immigration, the list goes on. MPs have dared and won often ignoring public opinion as illustrated by the same-sex marriage farce about to complete its passage through parliament without protection for teachers and other vulnerable workers. Voters will remember that we have been the losers in these political games.
'He who dares, wins' is of course the motto of the SAS, among the bravest of the brave who undertake dangerous missions in defence of our country. A country where pistols and other deadly weapons are brandished by street gangs in furtherance of their criminal activity. By contrast Sgt Danny Nightingale, who has been putting his own life at risk protecting his fellow countrymen has had the full weight of the law thrown at him. As his solicitor said, "There is no public interest in prosecuting Danny Nightingale. It's deeply worrying." Regardless of the technicalities of any offence, he deserves better than to be treated as a common criminal. He has been found guilty even though he is to be medically discharged from the Army because of his mental health. It is to be hoped that when he is sentenced the court will decide that he and his family have suffered enough, demonstrating that there is still some semblance of decency left in this country.