The Great PFI Con and other general ramblings
The Great PFI Con
In the great PFI raffle (700 schemes worth £200 billion) the Treasury has been totally naive. It would have been cheaper to pay for all these schemes by raising public debt at a much lower rate of interest.
Instead it dealt with a plethora of big greedy construction and finance firms paid them over the odds for a risk which was not there (only six failed) allowed them to make huge profits of up to 60% by selling the debt on and didn’t realise that when the firms buying them were in tax havens. (e.g. Majority suggesting they wouldn’t pay Capital gains tax).
Mandarins swimming with sharks get eaten and the public pays. Even now in trying to save money our 1st contracts Treasury is doing so by setting services and the Health Department is having to subsidise six schemes to stop the of PFI forcing hospitals to close.
It was all a greedy con. At least it was our con but I’ll bet the Tories will carry on conning
Of course one of my constituents isn’t trying to get at me when he suggests Grimsby’s Any Questions should discuss a retiring age for MPs. As a Lib Dem, he wants to stop their present leader staying on as long as Gladstone. He formed his last government at 82. It was disastrous.
But thereby hangs a homily. New Zealand Labour has a retirement age for MPs. We shouldn’t. One in six of our people are over 65 and the proportion is rising rapidly and like the proportion of damn fools (not my constituent of course) they deserve representation. But the participation of MPs over 65 has fallen heavily and the house lacks the experience, the knowledge and the quality they bring. Who would want to get rid of Peter Tapsell, Gerald Kaufman or Dennis Skinner?
As long as they’re fit for action and able, MPs who’re daft enough not to or won’t retire into the Lords should stop on as long as their constituency party wants them to. The Lords is the geriatrics world of politics. Keep the Commons a mix.
Defend Council Housing
Chaired a big meeting on housing in Parliament’s biggest committee room (14) at which Ken Loach gave an inspirational speech saying the situation now is as bad as when in made Cathy Come Home in 1967. Dead right. We need a new Cathy to sear the conscience of the nation.
But he also said we need a new party to fight the fight.
Dead wrong. What we need to do is bring Labour back to the socialist basics and the defence of the people and end the flirtation with New Labour, Finance and Neo Liberal economics.
It won’t be easy but the realisation of the consequences of the Tory New Liberal economics and the devastating effects on jobs, growth, benefits and the public services will help us do it. Then we’ve got to inject a better ideology into the empty soul.
McCluskey General Sec. Of Unite called a big meeting of Labour MPs to fire a wormy shot over our bows.
Labour ignores the TUs at its peril – but that’s what we’ve done. They’ll continue to support us only if they get a return. Particularly because of Ball’s acceptance of cuts and wage freeze. He’d been told about it only on Friday night a meeting on Saturday. TU’s want to be allowed to do their job.
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