POLITICIANS still like to pretend there is a clear distinction between the state and private sectors. But the real question today is that of responsibility and essential services.
The railways are supposedly ‘privatised’ but in fact they are franchised, and it is government that has the real responsibility for rail transport, as an essential service. We now have a raft of proposals concerning welfare and schools, with a sort of localisation.
There is concern about ‘privatisation. People are obliged to send their children to school, and government has taken on the responsibility to set standards and provide facilities. Parents merely have a privilege of some choice in schools to use.
If government decides transport, schools, hospitals etc etc, are not its concern and may come or go according to the ‘market’ then they may be privatised.
Otherwise the buck ends with Parliament.
If a commercial concern goes bust, then government must step in as the guarrantor.
Sea Road, East Preston