Analysis comment

Continued privatisation of public services is baked into Starmer’s ‘buy British’ scam

The ‘blue-tick left’ has, for the most part, praised Keir Starmer’s ‘buy British’ announcement as a reincarnation of Jeremy Corbyn’s 2018 ‘bring manufacturing back to Britain’ – perhaps giddy that Starmer has actually named a policy at all.

But the reality is that the two are unrelated – and that Starmer’s plan is essentially a scam that bakes in privatisation into public services under the guise of patriotism.

Labour’s plan assumes that public contracts will be outsourced – and simply stipulates that when they are, preference should be given to outsourcing outsourced to UK companies:

every public body in the country would be told to award more contracts to British firms.

But privatisation is privatisation, whether the beneficiary is a UK company or a foreign one. Some of the biggest disasters of the last decade have involved UK companies that went bust or were unable to fulfil a contract.

Though, by the by, the Irish are implicitly being disregarded again – Northern Ireland is not part of Britain, yet the policy is ‘buy British’, not ‘buy UK’.

In the campaign for the Batley and Spen by-election, Keir Starmer tried to posture as demanding Palestinian statehood without actually demanding Palestinian statehood, such was his desperation to appeal to the constituency’s Muslim voters. Now he’s posing as patriotic, without actually promising to bring public contracts back into public sector provision – the measure that would both give the best ‘bang for the buck’ for public spending and have the maximum benefit for workers and the UK economy, because spending would go into wages and services rather than into offshore corporate bank accounts.

The SKWAWKBOX needs your help. The site is provided free of charge but depends on the support of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to without hardship, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here to set up a monthly donation via GoCardless (SKWAWKBOX will contact you to confirm the GoCardless amount). Thanks for your solidarity so SKWAWKBOX can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.

If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.

41 comments

  1. Really?

    “After everything the British people have been through in the last year. We can’t go back to businesses as usual. Back to where we started. And we can’t continue the slide toward a low-rights and low-pay economy. As we recover from this pandemic, we have to build a more secure economy to rebuild the foundations after a decade of neglect. And to get Britain ready for the challenges and opportunities of the future. That’s the central task of the Labour Party I lead. Not to tinker around the edges.

    But to transform the country – and our economy – so it works for working people. So that everyone can earn a wage they can bring a family up on. So that we can support British manufacturing and bring good quality jobs back to Britain. So we can lead the world in energy – with the infrastructure and jobs of the future created here, not just overseas. And – as our new Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves has set out – so we can deliver the biggest wave of insourcing in a generation. And bring public services back in public hands for the benefit of all of us.

    1. Hmmm. Not exactly hard to make out a policy and a principle in that statement.

      1. The statement is inherently untrue. Unless we intend to leave the IMF (if only!), We carry on the same as now. Reeves and Starmer know this, they are being deceitful. Particularly as they’re in full agreement with such treaties.

    2. I told you yesterday that while government can ask firms to include British ones among those it asks to tender for contracts, it cannot exclusively deal with only British companies. That would be in breach of IMF competition rules. All companies have to do is consider at least one British firm when tenders are announced. They can and will choose whoever they want to award contracts to.
      This is totally meaningless and only you and plain citizen choose to make something of nothing.

  2. “Buying british” can FUCK OFF. Labour can FUCK OFF. I wish a certain individual who post comments on this site would FUCK OFF.

    1. Thanks for your contribution, could you expand on the reasoning behind your assertions.

    2. Can you stop sitting on the fence and tell what you really think Richard?

    3. “Buying British” British what!? Cheese, Pork Pies and Sausages!?
      The Neoliberals have Neoliberalised Britain into a non producing, industry dry, poverty stricken floating turd!
      Buy British is a cunning that worked for Privatised British Telecoms, British Gas/Electricity, anything “British” and expect to pay up to double it’s worth, ‘you are obliged to that is Patriotism’!
      STOP WORSHIPPING LABELS/BRANDS! The Thatcherite Neoliberal Neolabour Party TORIES do a super job at selling their snake oil brands with a big label “LABOUR” or “BRITISH” stamped on it and for twice the money of the REAL DEAL!
      Neolabour Tories are CHARLATANS, THEY SERVE ONLY THE CITY! FUCK THE REST OF BRITAIN!
      And in the end when they impoverished everyone but themselves and no one left to buy their expensive snake oil and no industry or food producers, just a booming gleaming City surrounded by sheer desolation, only then will they find that they can’t eat their beloved money!
      DON’T WORSHIP THE BRAND!
      https://ibb.co/DbpwymS

  3. . And bring public services back in public hands for the benefit of all of us.

    Public, in this sense, being the same as ‘public schools

    1. yes all public services should be public privatising and out sourcing have been a disaster for social services the health service the the railways the utilities
      Starmer should be bold and set out a vision of the UK. first create a social care department on a regional bases. Include all care homes children’s service’s care homes elderly care and support mental health professionally ran by highly qualified Social workers and psychologists. Integrate into NHS . Take all services away from Local Gov.so they are independent. Stop all out sourcing unless it can be proved to be helpful and supporting.
      that would be a start.. than look at railways and utilities.

      1. Yes. I also think it’s about time there was a geriatric nursing qualification for care workers. As it is, they’re little more than glorified cleaners.

      2. Yup, we used to say NVQ Level4 Glorified Cleaners & Arse-Wipers!
        Of we could have a Realistic Minimum Living Wage, that would not matter so much, it would still be good to see acknowledged the in depth knowledge carers have of each of their clients, and if Carers could actually start Caring again instead of a flyby visit only enough time to make a sandwich or a very quick bath or an intimate care clean or….. People are worth more than 10/15 minutes and £7.80 to £8.50 per hour!

    2. They will “bring public services back in public hands” as well as Thatcher would rise from dead! The sad thing is that there are actually people who lap this shit up! Hey Ho, another 42 Years of Tory Hell! Get you sand bags filled, because the Rivers of Tears are about to burst their banks! That’s just the GE19 ‘told you so’ Rivers of tears!
      The GE24 Rivers Of tears could quite possibly turn to a Tsunami of Tears, when they open it up to find they voted for nothing but snake oil and their miserable Tory Lives will be Miserable Tory Lives for the unforeseeable future!
      Perhaps skip the sandbags, build an Ark!

  4. SteveH – Please post the link to the measures set out by Rachel Reeves in order to “deliver the biggest wave of insourcing in a generation. And bring public services back in public hands for the benefit of all of us.””

      1. SteveH – Thank you for the two links you have posted.
        Unfortunately neither of them relate to any plans to deliver the biggest wave of insourcing in a generation. and bring public services back in public hands for the benefit of all of us.
        Could you please post the link to those plans

      2. goldbach – Don’t be silly, how much detail do you expect at this stage of the electoral cycle. We’ve all seen what the Tories have done in the past when Labour has put out detailed policy too early.
        You’ll get all the details you want in the next Labour manifesto.
        The point is that they have made very clear statements on the direction of travel, I would have thought that as a supporter of Corbyn’s policies that you would have welcomed these announcements.

      3. I fear that you are the one who is being silly.
        It isn’t simply that the detail of such “policies” is not outlined in the links you have posted.
        If you were to read the links, you would see that there is NO mention of insourcing or of bringing back public services into public hands If there was I would be delighted. Unfortunately there is just a load of old waffle about buying British.

  5. The utterly punchable ashworth was just asked on GMTV “who makes the better health secretary, jancock or javid?”

    His answer?

    “The one who fixes sick pay will get a gold star from me”.

    Not a dicky-bird about stopping the selling off of services, nor a murmur about NHS pay.

    Oh, no. A fucking immature juvenile giggle, and a load of bollocks about handing out gold stars to toerags…Then a declaration that he much prefers the waiting service in pubs & bars.

    God, but he gives me the urge to torture fluffy woodland creatures.

    Horrible, useless gobshite. Just get thee tae fook. 🤬🤜💥🤕

    1. Toffee you’re not alone, I am going to ask my GP to refer me for volatile explosion classes! I see too many people momentarily attached to the end of my fist, I don’t like that it is not in my nature, but by gods and fairies I relish my mental imagery!
      The Bastards are mocking, because they know that there are so many more people so desperate for change and they are selling their snake oil branded “Labour”!
      I know many like myself will send the message right back next GE where we have nothing to lose Tory or Tory! It can go either way more people reject “Labour” Brand Snake Oil and we carry on as we are and hopefully many more people will REALLY wake the fuck up! Or more people buy “Labour” Brand Snake Oil and we carry on as we are only worse and their nasty shock when they realise all they have is Snake Oil with the Label dropped off and lost!

      1. When we had a CHOICE, The Neolabour Party Tories Destroyed every possible chance of that happening!
        I have already told you how I will vote and it appears that there are several like minded people planning to do similar.

        If the candidate is Neolabour Party Tory, I will vote for their strongest opponent, who/whatever that is, to ensure wiping The Neolabour Party Tory out.
        If the candidate is UK Labour Party, I will vote for them to keep their seat/take the seat.
        In my constituency the MP is Conservative Tory and the candidate is Neolabour Tory. So I will vote for the Candidate most popular be that the Conservative MP, the Green MP, the damned Tea Pot Party, whoever keeps that Neolabour Party Tory out of a Seat gets my vote!
        If that Candidate is replaced with a UK Labour Party candidate ‘they’ will get my vote and I will even go out campaigning, however fat chance of that happening with Apartheid Keith!
        I would rather stick red hot needles into my eyeballs than vote for a Neolabour Party Tory that Robbed The PEOPLE of so much!
        If it so happens that the Conservative MP is the strongest candidate I will vote for him, which will hurt but not nearly as much as red hot needles in my eyes!

        I will await your cliché on cliché on cliché……….!

      2. skellyknelly – So you’re a self confessed Tory enabler, you should be ashamed of yourself

      3. 1. Exactly what you said last time!
        2. It is you who are the Tory Enabler by Voting for Apartheid Keith and the Looney Tories!
        3. Neolabour Party Tories overstayed their welcome, they are leaving!
        4. I could not give a flying shit what you think!
        5. You do not judge me, I judge for myself what is right and what is wrong!
        6. Calling me Petty Childish names will not prevent me from speaking my mind nor will it change my mind!
        7. “Ashamed” No! Not at all, whereas you supporting the Looney Tories the very people who prevented a Labour win with all their might and Establishment connections when the People had a CHOICE! Now that the People have NO CHOICE and no hope, you want them to reach out, forgive and forget and vote Neolabour Party Tories!? Ludicrous, they deserve to be squashed like any other parasite!

      4. Be careful. They are cavalier with our data, say too much and you might get a visit from prevent.

      5. You’re not wrong, however I reckon there are few “on the left” who are not on that radar, then also on the other hand anyone of us could find our selves banged up for whatever crime they want to concoct, a crime we have never seen/heard of, because we never put that data on our PCs.
        As Snowden says the only “safe device” is the one that you swipe clean in the evening, unplugged, battery removed and reinstall in the morning and even then it’s not. We are truly vulnerable and with Psycho-Polly Patel going dark ages on our asses it can only get worse! That’s to say if we don’t get The Looney Tories in and set Apartheid Keith and Reeves loose on the laws, JFC! Frightening!

  6. Rachel Reeve
    ‘US President Joe Biden’s administration is introducing an integrity and ethics commission. It is time for something similar in the UK’ Does this apply to the internal running of the Labour party?

    https://labourlist.org/2021/02/its-time-to-take-back-control-of-public-services-Rachel-Reeves-full-speech/

    Her cunning plan:-

    There are three parts to this plan. The first is to give more public contracts to British companies, big & small. We’ll do this with stretch environmental and social clauses in contracts, to spend & make more in Britain, while also raising standards as a global trading nation. (??Multinationals)

    Second, we will bring the industries of the future to Britain, by reshoring more jobs here. From green jobs in offshore wind, to fin tech, media and film, we must grow our modern industries for a long-term economy that provides good jobs and thrives.

    Sounds like a Trump plan restrictive and protectivism

    Thirdly, we’d work with businesses & trade unions to build on the government’s trade deal with the EU. From helping musicians to tour, to reducing red tape and supporting professional services – we should be building on the deal to make it work in our national interest..

    Nothing about Re-nationalising essential industries/utilities.

    1. The first part has a limited scope for claiming environmental/social addons to contracts. It won’t deliver British rolling stock for HS2, for instance or British built nuclear power plants or cruise ships, planes, cars etc.
      The second point is reliant on Britain offering tax breaks to make it profitable for companies to base themselves here.
      The third point is a sop to remain supporters and though welcome, it will only be tinkering around the edges.
      As you say, nothing about the surely momentous announcement that new Labour supports Corbyn’s nationalisation policy.

    2. That is just the big problem, apart from Biden being equally Neoliberal to Reeves and both have only The Establishment’s interests at heart one of the biggest scams are all the singular parliament connected Commissions, Regulators, Organisations, etc like Ofcom, ICO, Civica, Electoral Commission, EHRC, etc, etc, etc. None of them have anyone to be accountable to, All of them have sneaky connections into Parliament, All of them are supposed to be working for THE PEOPLE, yet ALL of them work for the best interests of The Establishment, None of them have people at the top recognisable by THE PEOPLE!
      What we need is Multiple Decentralised/Open Sourced Truly Independent Commissions, Regulators, Organisations, etc running alongside them and hold them accountable at every level!
      Look at the EHRC Dominated by Conservative Party Jewish/Non-Jewish Zionists and The Electoral Commission and Civica also historical connections to The Conservatives and a massive loophole that more than likely robbed The People in GE19, rather than Stupid People being Stupid!
      https://ibb.co/album/9820Wj

  7. Breaking news. Starmer’s Labour has lifted the suspension of Trevor Phillips for Islamophobia. https://twitter.com/PoliticsForAlI/status/1412304708878929921?s=19
    The ex chair of the EHRC. Anti-racism campaigners have over the years become increasingly bemused at his pronouncements, given he was once chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission. “Anti-racism campaigners have over the years become increasingly bemused at his pronouncements, given he was once chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission.” “It was correct for Muslims to be judged collectively, he argued. “You keep saying that I make these generalisations,” he said. “But the truth is, if you do belong to a group, whether it is a church, or a football club, you identify with a particular set of values, and you stand for it. And frankly you are judged by that.”
    Imagine if we said that about Jews?
    “Phillips was reinstated at least three weeks ago, without the matter having gone to a National Executive Committee disciplinary panel.”

  8. Jim McMahon MP, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, responding to a report from the Public Account Committee on railways, said:

    “The incompetence we’ve seen from this Government in running the railways is astonishing, with the financial burden of the pandemic forced onto taxpayers while the profits of private operators were shored up.

    “In just the last week, the so-called money-saving flexible ticket scheme lauded by ministers to encourage people back onto the network has been found to cost up to 150 per cent a day more than a standard annual season ticket. It’s yet another missed opportunity to make things work better for passengers.

    “Labour is clear that bringing the rail network into public ownership is the best way to deliver value for money and meet environmental targets.”
    https://labour.org.uk/press/labour-response-to-pac-report-on-railways/

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: