The dastardly BBC have upset the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA), by broadcasting a “reality show” called The Street That Cut Everything, hosted by political editor Nick Robinson. The programme tasked fifty or so residents of a suburban street with managing minus all the services they would normally receive from their council.
Tasked with rebuttal has been smug looking non-job holder Chris Daniel, who has cried foul: “If the council ceased to exist then a private organisation would inevitably move to fill the void” he bleats. A word in your shell-like, Chris: councils did not just adopt the role they now perform for the sheer hell of it.
The private sector was always very good at production, distribution, and selling of goods. But when it came to clearing up the mess, there was a lack of entrepreneurial spirit on parade. Thus the involvement of local Government.
That also goes for street lighting, litter picking, road building and maintenance, libraries, leisure activities (although in recent years that has changed), the electricity grid, education (in most cases), water and sewerage supply, and until recently in many towns and cities, public transport. And no private company has ever volunteered solo involvement in the nuclear part of the energy industry.
Indeed, local Government only got involved in public transport – in 1883, in Huddersfield, in case the TPA have difficulty figuring that out – because the private sector provider failed to turn up, and someone had to run the operation. The idea that an army of willing private companies was somehow “crowded out” by a conspiracy of rotten liberals is laughable.
Daniel then suggests that there are “vast examples of waste that councils could cut tomorrow and save millions of pounds”, and he is on this occasion correct. Every time the TPA submits a Freedom of Information (FoI) request, this wastes a hundred pounds of public money. Over each year, these add up to a truly vast example of waste, adding millions of pounds to council tax bills.So there you have it: a history fail corrected and council tax bills reduced in one blogpost. And no need for the rich and greedy who bankroll the TPA to dig into their pockets, either.