Welfare state out. Big business in. 'Big Society' is nonsense!


As the UK coalition government reduces the size of the state we all become hapless victims of greedy totalitarianism.  

Editorial comment: In a discussion about the validity of the institutions of state, Chomsky observes: 

The reason why transnational corporations are so interested in the liberals is that, from their point of view, it is precisely liberals that minimise the state. And minimising the state means strengthening the private sectors. It narrows the domain within which public influence can be expressed. (p 214) 


(...minimising the state means to) put more power into the hands of private tyrannies which are completely unaccountable to the public and purely totalitarian. (p 213) 


...opposing the state sector at this conjuncture means placing power into the hands of private totalitarian organisations who would be delighted to see children starve. (p 213) 

This is strong stuff taken from an internal anarchist debate and referring mostly to USA. But it is a clear message for us in the UK and for other countries. 

The UK coalition government talks deceitfully (as though we were all fools) about reducing the size of the state to make room for people power in the 'Big Society'. Chomsky (and our own recent experience of such private businesses as A4e, G4S and Atos) give the lie to this. 

The UK's welfare state is not being reduced to make way for some Big Society's eager volunteers and well-meaning community enterprises. It is being sold off in juicy chunks to companies who do not give a damn about helping anybody but themselves.  

While the rich boys in the coalition government's cabinet – very well-connected rich boys – steal from us our (albeit imperfect) public services, they are sadly not competent or interested to draw up effective contracts of sale or to fight for the public interest when these fat companies fail to deliver the goods. I imagine they will only intervene (but not on our side) when these companies fail to realise the mega-profits they expected. 

It isn't only public services that are being sold off – the juicy parts of the voluntary sector will also fall prey to the circling sharks. The only services they will turn their carnivorous noses up at are the ones from which no money can be made. 

Watch out if these are services you need because they will sink to the depths as unwanted dead meat.

Peter Limbrick.

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