A new privatisatition threat
Message from retired but still active social policy researcher Anne Gray of Tottenham, who has written extensively about workfare since even before this blog was created.
Reading the below, we might wonder when the Government or any political party will offer us a Referendum on the matter of contracts that are "'protected' against being rescinded by a future government" or even the decades long jobcentre-based practice that states that contracts involving the particiipation of economically vulnerable people are "too confidential" for even the conscripted economically vulnerable person to have access to! (Through that practice, the jobcentre has consistently denied Swheatie 'unsupervised access' to copies of Action Plans and reports pertaining to him for as far back as 1978.)
'Commercial confidentiality' also rules that the amount Atos Healthcare gets in bonuses for declaring vulnerable and even terminally ill people 'fit for work' or 'fit for work related activity' are too confidential for the public to have access to.
You may have seen George Monbiot's article in the Guardian about the US/EU free trade deal (official name Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) - if not read
The NHS is especially at risk from the proposed new opening up of service industry tenders to American companies on the same terms as EU ones. Furthermore, the agreement is likely to propose that any contracts are 'protected' against being rescinded by a future government!
More background at http://www.savelondonnhs.org.uk/index.php/no-to-the-eu-us-trade-agreement
There was a petition about this at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/47102 but it closed in September with less than 12000 signatures. You can still sign a less hard-hitting one at http://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-the-british-government-joining-the-transatlantic-trade-and-investment-partnership which only has a few hundred signatures and needs many more. You can comment there, as I did, that the NHS is a big issue.
We need to campaign actively about this- it's as important as the EU Services Directive. Please alert your union, write to MPs etc.