Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Passport Fiasco - Another Privatised Cock-up

There has been a lot of talk in the media about the recent passport fiasco. There have been a lot of attacks on the government for incompetence and carelessness in the face of the latest security breach. However, one thing that hasn't been made clear is that this would have happened under any government, Tory, Lib Dem or Labour. The root cause of the problem is the rise of privatisation within the public sector, for the real incompetents were the private security company contracted out to deliver the passports, as is revealed in some reports:

A firm was subcontracted to deliver them from 3M Security Printing & Systems in Chadderton to RAF Northolt.

Yes, another cock-up due to the subcontracting out of work previously carried out by state agencies. And this is where the Tories claims ring hollow. The policy of contracting out such work would have been done under the Tories as they would see no need for the state to be involved in such activities when the private sector does it 'better' [ahem].

The government must take the blame for this fiasco, but not in the way the Tories would want. They must take the blame for following the policies of the Tory party and contracting out as many activities as they possibly can. It is the culture of privatisation that is to blame, a culture that has flourished under Labour and the infatuation with Tory-style policies. As long as the main parties continue to support a policy of privatisation, incidents like this will continue to happen and the opponents will continue to attack the government (whether Tory or Labour) when they know it would be no different under their watch.