Monday, 19 March 2012


Despite the thin layer of ‘caring Conservatism’ and the ‘green wash’ Cameron’s Conservative Party and its government are true heirs to Thatcher, being as ideologically committed to ‘privatisation and dismantling the structures of the state government as she ever was. David Cameron’s Conservative Government is now considering private investment in England's road network . The PM in a speech today will amongst other things call for tolls for new roads as a way of attracting more money from pension funds and other investors for infrastructure investment and development.

Cameron has noted that more work is needed to relieve gridlock by widening "pinch points" and allowing traffic to use the hard shoulder on motorways. His call for an innovative approaches to finance road improvements, and road tolls are only one option. In plain english what we are talking about is the privatisation of the major highways. Cameron’s speech comes as a poll suggests that only 2% of people think he is living up to his "greenest government ever" pledge.

A YouGov poll commissioned by Greenpeace and the RSPB, suggests that the coalition has not persuaded people that it is living up to Mr Cameron's pledge to be the "greenest government ever". The opinion poll with a sample of more than 1,700 adults across the UK found shows that barely 2% of people asked (and incidentally no Lib Dem voters) thought that the government was meeting the promise, and only 4% believed current rules and regulations protecting the environment were too strong. A majority of people - 53% - believed its green credentials were about average, while 7% believed it was the least green government ever.

The news that Cameron’s government may also be planning to take over the liability for the Post Office pensions, potentially a first step to a further privatisation of the Post Office, along with Cameron’s NHS England reforms; may alarm some. It may also bring a comfortable warm glow to members of Labour in Wales who are more than happy for Cameron to push ahead with his privatisation agenda, so they can make hay by verbally opposing it.

Public sector regional pay variations may be just around the corner, something which could result in nurses, teachers, police officers and civil servants being paid less because they live and work in Wales. The real danger here is that this could damage the Welsh economy, it could bed in the already pretty rampant inequality that exists between Wales and the south-east of England. This is something that Mr’s T contemplated but never actually did, it should come as no real surprise though as ideologically the current government is being driven by David Cameron and George Osborne the masterminds of Michael Howard’s failed Westminster campaign in 2005.

This is perhaps part of some bizarre public manifestation of an ideological battle between the different but fundamentally economically interdependent sectors of the economy. As for trying to unravel the interlinked public and private sectors of the economy... let me know how that one goes. As for pitting private and public sector workers against each other – it is pretty pointless, as it is a game that no one can win. When it comes to supplying services to local government private sector employers (and their workers) may end up being the ones who bite the bullet as the full impact of public sector cuts roll on through

The problem with basing you positions and your decisions on and around ideology is that you tend to get trapped in the past. I have no doubt Labour in Wales will moan, groan and cry crocodile tears, the reality is that if New Labour was in power in Westminster they probably would have privatised the Post Office by now and be well on their way to expanding competition with the NHS in England (and probably Wales). I have little doubt that any changes would have been happily voted through by the Labour in Wales lobby fodder with scant if any thought on their part.

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