Just before the last general election, Swire made one of his very rare appearances at what he called a “hustings” in Exmouth. Except no other parties were invited to participate and his one guest was Telegraph journalist Simon Heffer.
In today’s Sunday Telegraph Heffer calls for privatisation of everything that currently makes any semblance of profit, or which might make profits in future, and hiving off the loss-making tasks to unitary authorities or, in our case, the unelected, unaccountable and opaque business-run Local Enterprise Partnership.
Oh to be a fly on the wall when Swire and Heffer have their fireside chats …
“… There is too much local government. Pointy-headed theorists have banged on about localism, but all that is missing is evidence that “local” people are either capable or motivated enough to deliver “local” services. The best way to deliver “localism” is to take councils out of the equation altogether, as has been done in many cases by removing schools from their control. …
But local government will not work well until it is stripped of duties that individuals or the private sector can provide for themselves: which brings us back to social care … the government must … develop an insurance scheme that will encourage private providers to take over what threatens to become a crippling state responsibility …”
Sunday Telegraph, Sunday Comment, page 16
Unfortunately Mr Heffer neglects to explain how private providers, with shareholders mouths to feed, will be able to do it more cheaply.