Many issues cross the political divide, the issue of outsourcing and privatization certainly being one of them. With growing criticism of private finance initiatives after events like the collapse of Carillion earlier this year, it may not be surprising that the Labour Party’s leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has vowed to move the UK away from such market-centred approaches within a recent conference speech, as reported by Nicola Bartlett in the Mirror. Click here for access to a full record of the speech.
As Bartlett notes, Corbyn’s vision prioritizes and lauds the public services, while criticizing the “social vandalism” of current and past UK governments, a by-product of widespread pursuance of outsourcing and the implementation of austerity measures. Promising a claw-back on the culture of privatization and outsourcing, brought about by ‘greedy’ financial capitalism, Corbyn offers a ‘radical’ transformation of the UK which favours the public, both young and old.
In a Guardian report covering the same conference speech, author Owen Jones noted Corbyn’s political appeal and commitment to challenging the current “crumbling neoliberal ideology”. However, not all appear to be convinced of Corbyn’s promised pro-social reforms, where within the same article, journalist Matthew d’Ancona outlined his skepticism over what he considers to be a populist promise of a “straightforward solution to complex problems”.
Along either line, it will be interesting to see how the UKs approach to privatization and outsourcing changes over time. With recent large scale failures of private finance initiatives like Carillion, and the promise of pro-public reforms from governments like Labour, it may seem likely that some form of change is on the horizon, but just how far this may go remains to be seen.