A crowded train is delayed for hours; when it finally arrives the public address announces: “Thank you for choosing Virgin trains.” An exhausted passenger shrieks: “I didn’t have any bloody choice.” Stories of the incompetence and impersonality of telephone, water and energy companies are legion. All beneficiaries of choice and competition: an ideology successive governments have planned to bring to the NHS.
Yes, there will always be issues with large companies, because the bigger they are, the harder it is to get through to someone who can resolve your dispute.
Not so the public sector and the world of few, if any, consequences.
Choice is an illusion created by people to sell you something. The egalitarian utopian market in which social businesses and the mightiest US private healthcare companies compete and provide health services in a mixed economy is a fallacy. Competition creates mega, monopoly suppliers. Many of the private companies are faceless, unaccountable, remote – like Southern Cross. Once in charge of a big health tender they will be very difficult to dislodge.
Unlike the unsackable denizens of the big public sector organisations, of course…
But it seems he’s – at least, on CiF – preaching to the converted:
I just don’t understand the point of de-nationalisation. I remember the trains when they were British Rail being no different to the ones we have now. Except it was less confusing when it was British Rail.
Phone companies are a bleeding nightmare. Very confusing and the packages all amount to the same, so the competition driving prices down is a load of hogwash.
Having more Sky channels has worsened the quality of TV programmes and, if anything, the BBC should be given more money, not less, especially for science and nature programmes…
I have to say this is the most unbelievable drivel I’ve ever seen from a commenter.
No, the trains are nothing like when they were British Rail – c2c trains are new and comfortable, their ticket staff are invariably well-dressed and polite, and above all, helpful, in complete contrast to the Tube staff.
No, phone companies are not all the same (I’ve been looking into them to upgrade, so I know exactly what I’m getting from all those that I’ve looked at, and there’s great variance).
No, having satellite and cable tv has expanded the choice available – if there’s ‘dross’ too, well, isn’t it up to the viewer? If people didn’t watch it, they wouldn’t make it.
But really, what all those things require is a bit of effort on the part of the consumer. A choice to be made, which in order to be a good informed choice requires a bit of work.
Far better to let the state provide all, so you don’t have to think..?