Without doubt, the UK is a very troubled country at the moment. We have a government that is openly corrupt and sees no problem with its own behaviour. We have systematic looting of our public services by people who are blatantly breaching the Standards, Codes and Laws governing their conduct. It is blindingly obvious to anyone with a clear understanding of criminality or political wrong-doing – across all political parties – and yet we seem unable to do anything about it.
We are caught in a polarisation of politics where we are either committed to public service or dedicated to privatisation. Our problem is that we seem to be forced to choose one or the other. I’m not satisfied with either. The apparent total absence of morals within the private sector is totally abhorrent to me yet the politicisation and apparent corruption running through the public sector is equally repugnant. If I were choosing a way through this mess – which I am, in fact – I would want more choices.
One choice I have my eye on are the creation of social enterprises – which could be run by the best of our public servants – and which start to address our most immediate needs. This police officer, for example, has identified a potentially very valuable social enterprise. If neither public nor private sectors have the stomach for such work, then maybe those of us who can see the problem need to start fixing it ourselves. We are not stupid people – there’s always a lawful way through a thicket like this. It’s just a case of finding it. We know exactly the kind of legal safeguards necessary to ensure a highly professional outcome. Successful cases will attract costs, so I’m sure that any business plan would look good. We know who to talk to and we know which people we’d like running the ship. We have plenty of good people who need jobs who might be willing to volunteer until the finances are sorted. For that we need a few rich and agreeable friends to throw us a few honest coppers to cover start-up costs. Who else do we know we could ask for help? It’s not difficult if you talk to the right people – we know that!
This police officer’s social enterprise would be my first priority because it recovers public money. Some of that can be used for grant-giving purposes to other social enterprises – like hospitals, transport and all those other services we used to have but don’t anymore. We become our own job creation scheme. And woe betide any PCC who fails to award contracts to policing social enterprises – they won’t be corrupt because we’ll be making sure they’re not.
There may be other ideas out there but whilst we are distracted into playing this rigged game of public/private, its heads they win – tails we lose, every time. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m tired of losing to these corrupt bastards and bitches. I think it’s time we took our power back. Social enterprise does this by taking the power out of private and political hands and returning it to our competent public. All we are doing is making sure public services are our business.
I like that idea. I think it could catch on.