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Privatisation - appears not to work?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by Fat Controller, Oct 5, 2018.

  1. Fat Controller

    Fat Controller Cuddly Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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    I have just been reading about the fiasco going on with a waste disposal company who has been collecting hospital waste, and then storing it at four different sites rather than incinerating it as they should be doing - Criminal probe over medical waste

    Now, this to me seems to be a completely failed attempt at privatising a part of a public service? Part of the article that really gets me is the line that states that the company concerned had "previously highlighted the need to invest in the UK's "ageing" incinerator network for clinical waste" - - forgive me here, but if they are the company that has said they will take on the contract to dispose of the waste at their sites, then surely it is their infrastructure that is ageing and therefore up to them to invest in new infrastructure? If you took out a contract with a local taxi driver to take you to and from work every day, would he expect you to pay for a new vehicle a few years down the line because his 'infrastructure' was getting old???

    It seems to me that things like this are being farmed off to the private sector who in turn suck as much money as possible out of it before running it down to the point of being disfunctional, and then when they are found out it is the public purse that pays to tidy up the mess, meanwhile the business has bodged it up can simply go bust and that is the end of that. Invariably, it is the public that end up picking up the tab, whilst the fat cats wander off with the profits!
     
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    • pete

      pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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      Well, I agree up to a point, but it is always the tax payer who picks up the bill, nothing new if privatised or run by government when things go wrong.
      I'm thinking of bank bail outs a few years ago.

      I can also remember the likes of British Rail, Gas, water, and electric, none of which worked when nationalised, or when privatised.
      Some things just dont make money, so basically they dont "work" as a business as they are services.
       
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      • Fat Controller

        Fat Controller Cuddly Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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        So surely it is better to accept they are services, not for profit, and at least we are paying only for the services and not the profits and dividends? Yes, British Rail, the water, gas and electricity boards were disfunctional, but now we have those sort of service privatised, they are still disfunctional whilst also seeing people make great wadges of money out of it
         
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        • Jiffy

          Jiffy The Match is on Fire

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          Nobody police things, i don't trust no one in todays world as lots of people seem to be bend and twisted

          :sofa::sofa::sofa::sofa::sofa::sofa::sofa::sofa::sofa:

          No one has pride in doing things proberly, all hell bend on cutting corners

          But there is a few good people about
           
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            Last edited: Oct 6, 2018
          • longk

            longk Total Gardener

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            Bang on the money!
            What makes these services fail in public hands is lily livered management. The state spent too much on managers who were not up to the job and not enough on destroying Trade unions that were controlled by radicals. A state run organisiation with the emphasis on competent management that works alongside a moderate union (to give employees a voice) will succeed - this is the template for the Dutch and German railways and other state/local authority bodies. Profit gets reinvested, not divvied out.
             
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            • pete

              pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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              Would be nice,
              but in the real world once something is a nationalised, milking of the system goes right down through the ranks.
              From the directors spending on days out, jobs for their mates and empire building, to the bloke leaning on his shovel all day while his mate does the digging, "jobs for life" and all that.
               
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              • longk

                longk Total Gardener

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                I agree, that is how it was. That is why effective management has to be put in place. Effective management exists in the private sector, it could be paid the same in the public sector too as it would still be cheaper than providing a PLC with a profit margin. Efficiency does not have to be exclusive to the private sector.
                 
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                • pete

                  pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                  Sorry but I still think finding management that are not there to milk the system, yet want to work for a nationalised company, is pie in the sky.
                  Lets face it, it is the management that are responsible for what is happening in the privatised bits that arn't working?
                  Why? Where? are you going to find these saintly people.:biggrin:
                  Effective management only takes place in the private sector where there is a boss who actually owns the company.
                  Thee rest are on the gravy train.:snorky:
                   
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                  • Fat Controller

                    Fat Controller Cuddly Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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                    Is it though? I have lost count of the number of board meetings I have sat in where we managers have been told that "we are in profit, but the parent company/shareholders are looking for another million, so we can't spend on...." Personally, I don't even blame the Directors of these companies, although it does incense me when it is 'the managers' that are the ones supposedly milking it and being on some gravy train - - in my experience, it is the directors that do the most of the travelling around the world etc, and even then in my experience not one of them was milking anything. I blame the shareholders. When a business says to their parent company/shareholders that they predict they will make a certain amount of profit in a year, and then the parent company/shareholders respond that it is not enough, which then results in cuts being made - how, exactly, is that the managers fault?
                     
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                    • pete

                      pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                      I'm only a minor shareholder, but cant remember ever having a chance to tell the directors to make more money.:biggrin:
                      As far as I can work out, often the directors are the main shareholders.
                      They take bonuses as shares, they take bonuses, even when the company is on the skids.
                       
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                      • longk

                        longk Total Gardener

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                        That is exactly the type of company in FCs' article! It's not even a PLC company.


                        In the private sector if a departmental, branch or area manager fails to deliver (profit) then their butt is on the line/gone. Apply this to the public sector, service delivered on budget (which in the case of a sold service such as rail may include a percentage of profit to shore up investment) being the criteria by which success is measured, and it works. I don't see the "gravy train" as the problem in this scenario, it is ministers. The minister must work with the head of the refuse service (for example) and not try to run the service by proxy. In turn the overall head must work with departmental managers and the union. It can be done, it is done, just not in the UK at the moment.
                         
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                        • Fat Controller

                          Fat Controller Cuddly Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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                          I think the gravy train excuse was one that appeared in the Thatcher era, and it may well have applied in those days - but we are not in those days any longer. The gravy train nowadays seems to me to be in government, with a reluctance to change things like this to protect their own interests.

                          @pete - I remember, back before they Olympics, I was putting my budget together which included staff costs and anticipated income amongst other things; I was aware that there was absolutely shed-loads of roadworks in that year as part of the prep for the Olympics, so I curtailed my anticipated income accordingly and submitted my budget.

                          It was refused, and I was told to go and re-do it no less than three times, with my boss telling me on the last one to basically put in the numbers that they wanted to see, and not what I was realistically going to achieve. Suffice to say, I never achieved budget that year, and when I compared the figures that we did achieve with my original submission, we actually made more than that submission. To me, it was all about avoiding paying the manager's bonus, which was a bloomin' insult, given that I earned less than the people I was in charge of.

                          Something has to change though, as there are so many failures of this sort in relation to our public services, and the common theme is a select few people making shed-loads of money, making a right mess of things, and then going bust, leaving the public to pick up the bill (having already paid that bill, and the profits!)
                           
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                          • pete

                            pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                            Well I see what you're getting at I think, that it is meddling from government ministers that is the problem?
                            But I've worked for companies that are part of a large group, and also where I'm at now, just a boss who owns the company and five workers.
                            I know which one works best.:smile:

                            In the place where there are tiers of management nobody gives a s***, from top to bottom, as long as they get their wages.
                            As for butts being on the line?:biggrin: As long as you play golf your OK.
                            That is the private sector, in nationalised industries it's probably worse.
                             
                          • pete

                            pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                            I just think our views are from different ends of the system, never been a manager, not my scene, the middle is not the place to be, IMO.
                            You get s*** flowing from above, and from below.:biggrin:
                             
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                            • Fat Controller

                              Fat Controller Cuddly Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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