Privatisation watch: the lingua franca

imageFor what is it worth, here are the phrases that justify the privatisation of public assets. Fill the gaps with the name of the organisation/agency earmarked for treatment:

The objective is to: “protect and enhance its [***] scientific capabilities in the long term” – Owen Patterson, UK Environment Minister on the proposed sale of the Food and Environment Research Agency.

It always seems to be the case that public agencies lack expertise, such that “[p]rocuring the right external partner, with the necessary commercial expertise and experience will help [***] to maximise its market potential and grow its non-government revenue”.

Let’s not forget the career prospects for the employees, should critics ask: “I am also confident that a joint venture would offer new opportunities to [***] staff.” That is reassuring from Owen Patterson.

And of course, according to Vince Cable, the Business Secretary talking of the privatisation of the Royal Mail last year, share ownership “energise[s] everyone … allowing employers and employees to share in the company’s future success”. My post is usually delivered by a man who looks newly energised. I’m sure he is also energised by the fact that 6 ‘priority’ investors made £750m out of the sale of shares on the first day of trading. But as Mr Cable told a select committee of the UK Parliament, “that is the market”.

Politicians and increasingly civil servants always tell us not to worry because: “[we] would only take forward specific measures where there was a clear public benefit and subject to suitable safeguards.” (official statement from UK Revenue and Customs regarding the sale of ‘anonymised’ tax data).

More to follow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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