John Whitehead Bill English Treasury kites, horsepoo

So the head of Treasury, one Whitehead, has made a speech about ‘privatising’ the public service.

Lets start at the top. This is Bill English flying a kite – so we haven’t learnt anything since the Mother of all Budgets.

Next, John Key clearly stated “NO PRIVATISATION IN THE FIRST TERM”. So he can be trusted?- yeah right.

Next: if the public service is running with no fat, it has to be more efficient that private operations, for a fundamental reason – no need for profit. All things being equal, profit is an ‘extra’, and results in public money going into private pockets. Which can be called theft, and will be before this sorry chapter is over.

Next – productivity is buzz-word reasoning, and not many (any) media commentators are questioning that. Productivity gains come in two ways: efficiencies, which come with a law of diminishing returns. And slavery. This because the driving down of relative wages is the only other way to make an operation cheaper. That track goes way back to the reason Labour organisations got going in the first place. And ends in slavery.

The big problem for Whitehead, English and Key, is that we can’t ‘double’ our growth from here (see my blogs below for this) so they will become increasingly desperate as time goes on. Profit requires growth (to underwrite the last round of profit, you need to do more next round) and no growth=no profit. No wonder they are applying the screws.

Apply that world-wide, and they have bigger problems than mucking about with who runs what bits of Government activity. Those minds (minds?) won’t get there. Neither will Goff’s. Sustainability and permanent no or reducing growth, need a different mindset – and a nurturing form of governance.


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