Dave Osler at Liberal Conspiracy has a good analysis of the Conservatives’ embrace of employee cooperatives (or “advocacy of workers’ self-management along the lines of 1950s Yugoslavia”, as he puts it) (see previous post).
He observes that this “has to be read as part of the continued drive on the part of all major parties to privatise public services”, and argues that:
After they are ostensibly mutualised, social enterprises will be subjected to competitive tendering, internal markets and divisive incentive structures. The economies of scale and low cost finance available to large public sector organisations will also be lost. As an added bonus to the right, a serious wedge will be driven into national pay bargaining and public sector trade unionism further weakened.
In other words, forget all Cameron’s talk about ‘Conservative means to progressive ends’. The big idea here is to open up Jobcentres, schools and NHS trusts to marketisation. Those guys remain as high on Hayek as they ever were.
Nailed it. This may have come from Philip Blond originally, but it’s clear the Tories are filtering Blond, keeping what suits their instinctive marketisation agenda – albeit dressed up in warm “Red Tory” language about cooperatives – and ditching all the stuff about breaking up Tesco and banning gay adoption.