Home > General Politics > Now, surely, is the time for Polly’s mea culpa

Now, surely, is the time for Polly’s mea culpa

Polly Toynbee has written a piece on outsourcing, in which she says:

No one can prove the value or cost of most outsourcing. What Thatcher began and Labour continued is an epidemic of evidence-free, faith-based policymaking. Politicians have been seized by a conviction that private is always better. With no public service for fair comparison, the weary old mantras of “monolithic”, “sluggish” public services go unchallenged.

I have replied, in a kindly manner:

Dear Polly

I honestly believe that, before telling us some more of what a lot of us already know, you would do well to offer a mea culpa for a piece of yours in Serco’s in-house magazine, Ethos, in 2009, in which you appear to be supportive of outsourcing public services, and in which you state quite categorically:

“There is no doubt that putting some services out to tender has vastly improved certain standards over the years, broken the power of vested interests and brought in competition that has sharpened up results.”

We all make mistakes, and the internet is unforgiving. We can perhaps all move on when you have either apologised, or explained why you thought what you thought in 2009, and why it is apparently so different to what you think now.

Perhaps an apology might be accompanied by the donation to a good socialist cause of whatever fee you received from Serco for their propaganda enhancement.

Any views on a suitable recipient of said donation?

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Categories: General Politics
  1. July 16, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    Spot-on Paul!

  2. July 17, 2012 at 6:42 am

    Reblogged this on defytheeconomy and commented:
    Ah, but our old poverty vulture couldn’t have the cush salary, the power and feel nice…..and it’s all about Polly, Jones and Hundal feeling nice. Until everyone asks why they were busy shouting at the poor to shut up, as a programme of privatisation so huge it cannot be delivered, and undermines democracy, is attempted. Polly’s Mea Culpa is long overdue, lost opportunity.

    • paulinlancs
      July 17, 2012 at 7:48 am

      What have Jones and Hundal got to do with this?

      • July 17, 2012 at 9:14 am

        Labour left made concerted effort to exploit austerity for political gain, have both done nothing all year apart from try to keep debate away from this and on what the left should do. Hundal resorts to smearing, Jones like Polly, just gaslights.

  3. Richard
    July 17, 2012 at 9:23 am

    I can’t make any sense of your English

  4. July 17, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Oh well, world won’t end if you don’t.

  5. July 17, 2012 at 11:18 am

    I’m on the Labour left, I don’t explot it, Lisa. I can’t say I mind too much what Jones and Hundal do, they’re the executive assistants to the brains of the operation. I often think they do a pretty good job of breaking down the message themselves. I’m not convinced what grates you about these figures is well directed.

  6. July 17, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Exactly you are on the Labour left, so you don’t mind. I am watching everyone I know pay for a crisis they have spent two years obfuscating, and I do mind. A great deal. In addition, I mind that Owens book erased 33 years of my history and his continued abuse of media power. The reason Owen, Hundal and Polly are allowed to do this is because the Labour left dont know enough to mind,. I mind and I need to discuss the things they try to hide. Urgently.

  7. July 17, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    “Exactly you are on the Labour left, so you don’t mind.”

    Well obviously. Is it perhaps possible that you just don’t like to hear the messages of the Labour Left then? I mean could the reportage you offer not coexist with the broader strokes that bloggers and columnists are able to do – for I think that’s what Jones’ and Hundal’s’ skill set is, and we need to accept that this might, and indeed can’t, please everyone. But I’m sure they’d accept that, and embrace hyper-local or personal writing that sits alongside what they do to further the message of exploitation.

    “Owens book erased 33 years of my history”

    Did you have it backed up on a hard drive? Perhaps if you did you could send it to him so he can write your biography.

  8. Edgar
    July 17, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Polly Toynbee has never hidden her Keynesian I have to say.

    Public/Private ‘partnerships’ have a very mixed track record it must be said. When dealing with certain back office functions they do seem to provide some possible benefits but when delivering front line functions they seem to end in disaster. Working in the legal profession I am aware of a significant number of failed ventures. Usually the function comes back ‘in house’ and is sort of left suspended until the next private chancers come along. Also the success of arms length management experiments have been patchy at best.

    The G4S debacle, the banksters crookedness, the mass bailing out of the failed private sector should tell us that the private is best argument makes little sense.

    If you want a shit service delivered on the cheap with vast amounts of money going to a few individuals (who will deny everything when it all goes wrong) then go for the private option.

  9. July 18, 2012 at 3:33 am

    Toynbee’s statements are perfectly consistent with each other, of course. Neither blindly assuming the private sector will always be better, nor blindly assuming the public sector will always be better, seems like a good way to approach life for one who isn’t a dogmatic loon.

  1. November 24, 2012 at 12:49 pm

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