Chaotic Conservative ‘Governance’
The five fundamentals of a civilized society: environment, housing, education, social care and health are in crisis after 7 years of chaotic Conservative mis-rule in Britain.
Why? It is not simply the severe cuts in financial support. More fundamentally it is due to this Conservative Government’s stated aim of hollowing out the state sector. That is, to reduce spend on public services to only 36% of GDP. This compares with 50% of GDP in Denmark, with its high levels of wellbeing.
The flip-side of this is an ideological obsession with privatising the assets that belong to us. My Conservative-voting father-in-law, said of the sale of Royal Mail “It seems like a religion with them”.
Chaos, inefficiency, enormous expense
The result? Chaos. Take house-planning. This was previously run by properly-funded local authorities. They set targets, they allocated housing, they arranged for roads, schools, hospitals; the services we need.
Now, planning has effectively been handed over to developers and investors. Our Council’s must commission costly consultants. The consultants (in the case of Oxfordshire, GL Ahearn), set unrealistic unachievable housing targets. Untrained villagers scrabble about trying to write plans.
As plans remain unwritten and targets are missed, developers are given free rein to build “what they like, where they like and when they like” as the Conservative MP for Henley, John Howell told the British Property Federation in 2011.
GL Ahearn incidentally, then went on to represent developers at West Oxfordshire’s planning examination.
Corruption? Certainly, conflict of interest.
An Unhealthy NHS
You can see the same in each of our fundamental societal needs. In 2010, on the mandate (Cameron’s words): “There will be no top-down re-organisation of the NHS”, re-organisation started.
My friend Alex ran a large health authority and worked for 2 years on this. As he decamped to New Zealand he told me “we have no idea how our system is supposed to work”. And now we have the biggest shake-up yet to come with so-called sustainability and transformation plans.
Jo, a GP, said “If my patient needed an operation, I would phone up the consultant, talk it over with them and arrange things. Now, I have to remember which surgery we have a contract with, this week, for that particular operation, phone up a call-centre, and argue for half an hour with the phone operator.”
The wheeler-dealing values of a competitive market-place are inefficient. They do not lead to collaborative and co-operative functioning of public services.
Fabulously costly, so-called independent financial consultants are brought in to hive off our services for privatisation.
Most Conservative voters would not choose to lose our public services. Independent Oxfordshire Councillor Mark Gray said, “I do not agree with what the Tories are doing. Any more than most of the Conservatives on the council.”
Let’s stop the chaos. Stop the inefficiencies. Stop the cost. Stop the privatisation. Vote Green!