Tony Garnett • Blog Posts

Tory sale of council houses and Labour’s PFI. A connection? Sure!

Show they’re just two wings of same party. But they don’t want you to know that.

Callaghan’s Labour government in the ‘70s favourably discussed plans for the sale of council houses but lost to Thatcher before it became settled policy; the Tories thought through the wizard idea of the Private Finance Initiative. A no brainer. Build new hospitals and keep the debt off the government books. Electors delighted and Treasury happy. But Blair won, so he and Brown introduced the wizard idea themselves.

The consequences have been catastrophic.

Fire sale of council houses might have produced more grateful Thatcher voters, but refusing to replace them has now produced misery for those on low incomes, unable to find anywhere to live except a slum with an unaffordable rent.

PFI is bleeding the NHS to death. A hospital that, say, borrowed a few hundred millions ends up paying many billions. A crippling burden for the NHS but a gravy train for the City.

So that’s OK then.

The City gets fatter, and pleasing the City is at the heart of Tory and Labour policy.

They pretend to be fundamentally different, just as the Republicans and the Democrats pose as different. But the socially liberal Obama was still the candidate for Goldman Sachs. He who pays the piper…….

If your fundamental principles coincide, aren’t you just two wings of the same party?

Would Corbyn Labour be different?

What do you think?