Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Privatisation has failed to deliver in Covid management



The neo-liberal British Government has failed in its management of the Covid-19 pandemic.

We are among the highest scoring nations in terms of disease and deaths. At the time of writing (early July 2020) our death rate for Covid-ascribed deaths stands at 44,000, whereas Germany, with a bigger population, stands at just 9,103.

Johnson made 22 major errors in his mismanagement of the pandemic and one of them was his ingrained favour of private provision. Instead of using established and experienced agencies such as the NHS GP service and Local Authority Public health departments to manage the pandemic, Johnson chose to hand contracts to newly created private companies to do the job.

These companies have failed to deliver.

Serco has failed to deliver a contact tracing service in good time. The firm was engaged despite a past history of fraud and malpractice.

The Government has paid £1.7 billion to private companies for Covid services without adequate tendering procedures. Later this figure was revised upward to £5.5 billion.
Government handed a £200 million PPE contract to a chocolatier company.

These are just a few instances plucked at random from the web. What we need is a methodical review of privatisation from a campaigning organisation (or an alliance of such) which will undoubtedly demonstrate that privatisation is not the panacea that Conservatives believe it to be, and that in fact it is a disaster. Then maybe we can say goodbye to this seemingly interminable series of increasingly incompetent Conservative Governments and have a Government that has at least a working knowledge of what is happening in the real world.

If Covid serves to demonstrate how useless privatisation is, it will not have been 100% bad.