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Nudge Nudge - Wink Wink - More Jobs for the Boys

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OneFootInTheGrave Report 1 May 2013 08:24

The article below is reporting that a government policy unit is to be spun off into private hands, it seems that it is the first of many Whitehall operations destined to go down this road.

It appears this is the first of dozens of Whitehall sectors that could be spun off in a planned shake up of the Civil Service. Having looked a several articles on this issue, my first thoughts were, surely you cannot spin off anything that is involved in formulating government policy to the private sector :-S

We have transferred, energy supplies; communications; buses, railways; water; naval dockyards; parts of the police service; parts of the NHS; and prisons, the list is endless, to the private sector, and in most of these instances the only people to gain any real benefit, have been the bosses and shareholders, so my second thoughts were........

Instead of pussyfooting about, selling off a bit here and a bit there, why don't they just go the whole hog and sell off all government departments, they employ just under 500,000 civil servants.

The proceeds from the sale of these departments would help reduce the deficit, and it would do wonders for the governments employment figures. They could also boast they had created another 500,000 new jobs in the private sector as the civil servants would be employed in that sector. I am sure they have many cronies who would love a slice of the cake ;-)

A government unit aimed at "nudging" people into making better life choices is to become a profit-making business.

The Behavioural Insights Team - known as the "nudge unit" will join with a commercial partner and become the first policy unit to be spun out of Whitehall.

The 'nudge unit' uses behavioural science to influence government policies :-S


terryj Report 1 May 2013 08:54

had a privatised nudge service in my house for years

its called the wife


JustJohn Report 1 May 2013 09:00

Nudging was a euphemism in 1970's for something else entirely. Another alternative was "holding hands". Say no more ;-) ;-) ;-)

Edit. And yes, on reflection, I do feel I am being nudged quite a lot already by the Government. :-(


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 1 May 2013 09:06

It depends what percentage is owned by whom

51% Government
25% Employees
24% Commercial seems about right

I wouldn't like to see the Commercial side have a majority stakehold. The last thing we need is a 'foreign' country/company taking control.


RolloTheRed Report 1 May 2013 09:59

What the govt is worried about is the upcoming pension bill for index linked public sector pensions. The current and future pensions liabilities cannot be met without heavy tax increases or an even larger deficit.

Many people believe that there is some magical fund and they have "paid in" either through superan. or taking a salary lower than the private sector although these days private sector pay is by and large a good bit lower. There is not. Public sector pensions are paid from current taxation.

So the govt has nibbled at the edges of state sector pension reform with predictable fierce resistance. For the moment it has backed off a bit from the teachers and Unison having secured some mild changes.

Instead it is showing its hand on future plans by going the whole hog and significantly reducing the number of people entitled to a state funded pension by pushing them into the private sector. It is taking the low hanging fruit first ...

From the Tory point of view state delivery of services e.g. education, health, prisons, air sea rescue does not mandate that the state provide those services which can be contracted out thus sorting out the pension bill. Employees newly in the private sector will be thrilled to get shares in the new mutualised company. ( "We are all in it together" )

France has resisted any reform of the state sector and the concomitant pension bill. Instead it has borrowed to pay for donkeys years until the country's finances are every bit as much a mess as the PIGS - to the great consternation of the Germans.

If they get into power Labour will try and follow a Tory policy driven by fear which will please nobody.

Either way the boom years of public sector employment and retirement are at an end.

Unison et al will probably avoid major strikes leading up to the 2015 election. After that they will feel no compunction Labour govt or not as sunny Jim Callaghan discovered.

"This is the story.
Oh this is the way.
Gospel of reason.
When the pain came to stay.
The life of a loser, who wins with a smile.
The sinners redemption, in the tears of a child.

Me & Katie, we go dancing down the stony road.
See her laughing through the pain,
of such a heavy load.
Me & Katie, we go dancing down the stony road.

You're looking for sugar to kill the grey.
You're looking for the laughter to take the pain away.
God don't give nothing, no you got to steal your own smile.
Learning to find it, in the tears of a child

And me & Katie, we go dancing down the stony road.
See her laughing through the pain, of such a heavy load

Me & Katie, we go dancing down the stony road.
Let's go dancing, let's go dancing, dancing down that stony road. "

Chris Rea


JustJohn Report 1 May 2013 10:12

Rollo. Had not thought about Unison. Thought my Welsh friend had been a bit quiet recently.

If he (Mark Sowatka) shows his hand pre-2015, the Tories have an outside chance of getting in. If he ignores all the nudging of his members for a few more months, Labour will clearly win - probably by a largish overall majority.

Then it is up to Ed Milliband to stamp his authority on us all . But I think you are right. Mark will then have a go at Ed, and Ed will then have public support and will be able to reduce the public purse with the help of militant unionism. Could Ed and Mark be the new battle post 2015 that will vie with Maggie-Arthur battles of 30 years ago???


RolloTheRed Report 1 May 2013 10:45


A few people will make a lot of money from the shift of people into a quasi private sector. For the rest it will be a stoney road.

Any such enterprises cannot be "awarded" government contracts without the usual EU procurement rules. Inevitably some if not all of these enterprises will be sold into US/EU or even UK conglomerates with those at the top becoming instantly very rich and the others contemplating their UB40.

Some things never change. One of them is UKGov ( of any party ) selling its citizens and taxpayers down the river for the benefit of a minority.