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Why Private is Always Better Than Public.

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I asked a friend this over coffee about 10 minutes ago, she works for a bank's customer services.  She said that's perfectly acceptable practice sending it to the old address as it then catches out fraudsters who've intercepted enough information to get an account address changed, they've caught out a good few in the past just with this and people calling up saying "I've not changed anything!"  Their assumption is that if you've moved genuinely then you'll have a redirection service in place or they'll get it back as undeliverable.

Aye that makes sense, I expect it is done on a tactical basis rather than to everyone.  These days I'd expect more checks to be done by SMS or email.

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I have to say that I'm not completely against the private sector, I've worked in nothing but the private sector all my life. What I am against is the idea that the private sector model is always right and that forcing this model artificiality onto services where it doesn't naturally belong or where service should be valued above profit is wrong. I would also argue that market forces can not be used to drive up standards where a previously nationalised service is artificiality broken up and shared out. For market forces to work properly there needs to be real choice at the point of use by those consuming the service. This is why the likes of the rail privatisation has, in my view, been a failure. There is virtually no choice for the consumer, just 24 regional monopolies. And without choice there is no effective competition. The same applies to water companies and to a lesser extent the power companies (yes, you can change supplier but few people do. And if you do, it's still the same gas or electricity coming down the pipe or wire. There is no scope for 'added value'. |No one companies gas burns hotter or electricity runs more efficiently than another's, it's just the same bog standard product no matter who you buy it from).

 

And then you have the NHS. What the politicians don't seem able to grasp is that the idea of competing for business is completely alien to clinicians. They went into the medical profession to serve, to heal the sick. Not to try and run an 'internal market' with hospitals trying to vie for one another's business. A dafter example of trying to force a square peg into a round hole I have yet to see. If I'm ill I don't want choice, I just want to be made better as soon as possible. I don't see how diverting scarce resources to competition between NHS hospitals and marketing when the people running hospitals have no knowledge, skill or desire to be marketeers can make me better quicker. 

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I went to A&E early this week with a friend. After excellent prompt treatment, on exiting the department we were asked to place a green plastic counter into a set of boxes indicating on a scale of "extremely likely" through to "extremely unlikely" "how likely we were to recommend York A&E to family and friends".

I despair!

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I have to say that I'm not completely against the private sector, I've worked in nothing but the private sector all my life. What I am against is the idea that the private sector model is always right and that forcing this model artificiality onto services where it doesn't naturally belong or where service should be valued above profit is wrong. I would also argue that market forces can not be used to drive up standards where a previously nationalised service is artificiality broken up and shared out. For market forces to work properly there needs to be real choice at the point of use by those consuming the service. This is why the likes of the rail privatisation has, in my view, been a failure. There is virtually no choice for the consumer, just 24 regional monopolies. And without choice there is no effective competition. The same applies to water companies and to a lesser extent the power companies (yes, you can change supplier but few people do. And if you do, it's still the same gas or electricity coming down the pipe or wire. There is no scope for 'added value'. |No one companies gas burns hotter or electricity runs more efficiently than another's, it's just the same bog standard product no matter who you buy it from).

 

And then you have the NHS. What the politicians don't seem able to grasp is that the idea of competing for business is completely alien to clinicians. They went into the medical profession to serve, to heal the sick. Not to try and run an 'internal market' with hospitals trying to vie for one another's business. A dafter example of trying to force a square peg into a round hole I have yet to see. If I'm ill I don't want choice, I just want to be made better as soon as possible. I don't see how diverting scarce resources to competition between NHS hospitals and marketing when the people running hospitals have no knowledge, skill or desire to be marketeers can make me better quicker. 

I think the point is that for any given procedure say "heart transplants" as a given example, some hospitals will inevitably be better at them than others. If there are a number of hospitals in a given area and they all do heart transplants then it makes sense to try to push more resources and more patients towards the better hospital.

 

Whether it works in practice is another thing but the theory is there.

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I think the point is that for any given procedure say "heart transplants" as a given example, some hospitals will inevitably be better at them than others. If there are a number of hospitals in a given area and they all do heart transplants then it makes sense to try to push more resources and more patients towards the better hospital.

Whether it works in practice is another thing but the theory is there.

plus, its all well and good people wanting to serve the sick, but they do need people managing processed, structures etc to make sure it works. I have seen stunning incompetence from the NHS in the last couple of years, As well as excellent care i should add, but it is clear that many of the systems and processes in place are simply not fit for purpose.

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Is that a true story? I'm really not sure why a bank would write a letter just to say thanks for telling us something.

6 years ago I bought a new house. As things stood we agreed a mortgage with a high street bank in branch, in Halifax and completed on the purchase.

 

The bank sent the mortgage offer to the new address so we couldn't confirm our agreed mortgage until we had actually completed. It turns out our offer was very different to what we agreed in branch. We had agreed a tracker mortgage but what we got was fixed rates at 7.9% in a climate of rapidly falling interest rates. It took us 5 years to prove we never agreed to the mortgage and we could prove it because they had sent the offer to an address we didn't have keys to! 

 

Suffice to say the bank compensated us for 5 years of over payments amounting to 10's of thousands. It turns out that our mortgage advisor made more bonus fiddling the offer to suit her and the bank rather than us. This bank used to be a building society and is now part of the Lloyds Group that is under government ownership. We were taken seriously once the bank was in government hands having spent the previous 5 years being ignored.

 

I don't trust any privately run business that supplies the consumer market, particularly where you are legally obliged or have no choice to use their services. We currently have 2 cases with the financial ombudsman over insurance issues. One of the cases is regarding a clause that essentially allows the insurance company to use any condition to refuse a claim. This is a well known on-line company. The other is a bespoke insurance firm for farmers that refuses to acknowledge a clerical mistake that led my wife to be taken to court for lack of insurance on a vehicle. We will win both cases.

 

Having said that, I went to the DVLA office in Leeds yesterday to find it is shut....

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plus, its all well and good people wanting to serve the sick, but they do need people managing processed, structures etc to make sure it works. I have seen stunning incompetence from the NHS in the last couple of years, As well as excellent care i should add, but it is clear that many of the systems and processes in place are simply not fit for purpose.

My sales manager surveyed fuel tanks at an RAF base, they employed 2 guys whose job it was to dip the tanks and record.fuel levels. We proposed remote level monitoring systems with automatic ordering of new fuel and response we got back was 'but.what will our two guys do?'

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And then you have the NHS. What the politicians don't seem able to grasp is that the idea of competing for business is completely alien to clinicians. They went into the medical profession to serve, to heal the sick. Not to try and run an 'internal market' with hospitals trying to vie for one another's business. A dafter example of trying to force a square peg into a round hole I have yet to see. If I'm ill I don't want choice, I just want to be made better as soon as possible. I don't see how diverting scarce resources to competition between NHS hospitals and marketing when the people running hospitals have no knowledge, skill or desire to be marketeers can make me better quicker. 

That's more or less what I said would happen on this subject on this forum when the NHS "reforms"  :shout: were first introduced by Lansley. Doctors are clever men but they are not MBA's. They are withdrawing from the business side of the new set-ups and allowing professional managers (BDO etc) to run the NHS.  These companies sponsored Lansley etc when he was in opposition and now it's payback time.

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, "The Labour government (elected in 1997 once almost all of the privatisation process had been completed)"

As I said, the railway wasn't privatised in 1995.  You've even quoted yourself that it was completed by 1997, which is what I said!

 

And the privatisation was begun in 1993 with the Railways Act.  Since you referenced Wiki, here's another one:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railways_Act_1993

 

The privatisation of the railway was a process which John Major's government began and Tony Blair's government completed (which I believe broke a pre election promise to re nationalise the railways).

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As I said, the railway wasn't privatised in 1995.  You've even quoted yourself that it was completed by 1997, which is what I said!

 

And the privatisation was begun in 1993 with the Railways Act.  Since you referenced Wiki, here's another one:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railways_Act_1993

 

The privatisation of the railway was a process which John Major's government began and Tony Blair's government completed (which I believe broke a pre election promise to re nationalise the railways).

Most of the privatisation had happened by the time Labour came into power. If Labour win in 2015, I hope they will allow the franchises to lapse and run the railways as a public corporation. East Cost Trains have proved that it is possible for a publicly owned railway to make money.  The taxpayer and the travelling public are being ripped off by the likes of Virgin, First and Stagecoach.

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My sales manager surveyed fuel tanks at an RAF base, they employed 2 guys whose job it was to dip the tanks and record.fuel levels. We proposed remote level monitoring systems with automatic ordering of new fuel and response we got back was 'but.what will our two guys do?'

They don't only dip for level but also for water contamination from condensation.

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There has not been one "Publicly owned" service that has been privatised, and gone on to supply a better, more efficent service to it's customers

 

BT

Gas

Electric

Railways

Buses

Water

BBC

NHS (PPI building investments)

 

etc, etc etc

Edited by Zagrebred

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I went to A&E early this week with a friend. After excellent prompt treatment, on exiting the department we were asked to place a green plastic counter into a set of boxes indicating on a scale of "extremely likely" through to "extremely unlikely" "how likely we were to recommend York A&E to family and friends".

I despair!

That's because hospitals are rated on "friends and family" ratings and have to achieve a certain percentage of attendees providing a rating. Daft but true!

http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/AboutNHSservices/Pages/nhs-friends-and-family-test.aspx

Edited by gazza77

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They don't only dip for level but also for water contamination from condensation.

We were quoting for fuel polishing systems. These guys were dipping fuel levels.

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There has not been one "Publicly owned" service that has been privatised, and gone on to supply a better, more efficent service to it's customers

 

BT

Gas

Electric

Railways

Buses

Water

BBC

NHS (PPI building investments)

 

etc, etc etc

I'd dispute pretty much all the above except buses and trains. The NHS has not been privatised despite PPI and the BBC certainly hasn't.

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Most of the privatisation had happened by the time Labour came into power. If Labour win in 2015, I hope they will allow the franchises to lapse and run the railways as a public corporation. East Cost Trains have proved that it is possible for a publicly owned railway to make money.  The taxpayer and the travelling public are being ripped off by the likes of Virgin, First and Stagecoach.

I'm not sure we are being ripped off by those companies because I'm very sure that if the railways were still in public ownership we would have been paying similar prices in order to keep the whole train from crashing.  But personally I was never in favour of privatising either the train or bus services as they were public services and like all public services they existed to serve, not to make profit.  However, in order to afford to run the whole system now without any private sector money at all then there would be costs elsewhere in public services and I'm not so sure that would go down too well.

 

It's interesting to note that more people use trains now than did when they were nationalised. 

Edited by Saintslass

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I'm not sure we are being ripped off by those companies because I'm very sure that if the railways were still in public ownership we would have been paying similar prices in order to keep the whole train from crashing.  But personally I was never in favour of privatising either the train or bus services as they were public services and like all public services they existed to serve, not to make profit.  However, in order to afford to run the whole system now without any private sector money at all then there would be costs elsewhere in public services and I'm not so sure that would go down too well.

 

It's interesting to note that more people use trains now than did when they were nationalised. 

If what you say is the case why weren't we paying similar sums (in proportion) when the railways were publicly owned? 

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The Saintly lass is effectively doing what I advised her to do.  In the seventies and eighties I traveled regularly from Wakefield to London by rail, in real terms it was far cheaper than it is today and the service was much better.

That was 30-40yrs ago; maybe the lack of investment by respective governments during that period has caused prices to rise plus increase in other factors such as energy price rises etc? Whilst not stating that private companies 'don't inflate prices', there are far wider causes than simply stating public-owned trains would be better than what we currently have.

I personally have travelled by train almost every weekend since 2010 all over the country depending on where I have been working; I have no real issues with the service anywhere. Prices are fairly high and they could probably utilise more carriages on some routes, but generally I am happy using the train whilst weekly commuting; far better than being stuck in motorway traffic jams on a Friday evening.

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If what you say is the case why weren't we paying similar sums (in proportion) when the railways were publicly owned? 

If you know anything about the present day rail services you will also know that their central government subsidy has progressively been decreased.  This policy began under Labour and continues.  The idea behind it, apparently, is to ensure that rail users pay more towards rail services than non-rail users.  The rail system has been entirely out of public ownership since 1997, which is now 20 years ago.  Therefore I think one can safely assume that we would be paying higher ticket prices today even for a nationalised service than we were 20 years ago, simply because of inflation, and then in addition to those higher ticket prices we would also be paying through taxation to run the service in its entirety, just as we were doing 20 years ago.  So if you combine the reduction in government (ie taxpayer) subsidy and inflationary pressure you will then find the answer to your question about costs of rail tickets. 

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I'd dispute pretty much all the above except buses and trains. The NHS has not been privatised despite PPI and the BBC certainly hasn't.

My Partner works for BBC radio, in the South, and I work for the NHS, and all indications are that both are as good as privitised.

 

What I meant was that not one service has remained in favour of pricing it's business towards the customer, now they have shareholders, they need to take as much as they can from service users whilst taking as much as they can to pass on to those parasite shareholders.

 

Most NHS hospital rebuilds are financed, not by some philanthropic rich person wanting to give something back to the community, as in the pre-NHS days, but a Vulture-istic type business circling for when this desperate government tries to privitise the NHS.

As for the BBC, the only reason they moved to Salford was because of the Cafe culture, resteraunts, and vibrancy in Manchester and the North-West in general was it? (Or was it so they could sell the doughnut and land on prime White City and make a profit?)

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If you know anything about the present day rail services you will also know that their central government subsidy has progressively been decreased.  This policy began under Labour and continues.  The idea behind it, apparently, is to ensure that rail users pay more towards rail services than non-rail users.  The rail system has been entirely out of public ownership since 1997, which is now 20 years ago.  Therefore I think one can safely assume that we would be paying higher ticket prices today even for a nationalised service than we were 20 years ago, simply because of inflation, and then in addition to those higher ticket prices we would also be paying through taxation to run the service in its entirety, just as we were doing 20 years ago.  So if you combine the reduction in government (ie taxpayer) subsidy and inflationary pressure you will then find the answer to your question about costs of rail tickets. 

Yes and we are the only European country doing it. Rail fares are cheaper in France, Belgium, Italy, Germany and Holland in my personal experience. The service is better too. 

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My Partner works for BBC radio, in the South, and I work for the NHS, and all indications are that both are as good as privitised.

 

What I meant was that not one service has remained in favour of pricing it's business towards the customer, now they have shareholders, they need to take as much as they can from service users whilst taking as much as they can to pass on to those parasite shareholders.

 

Most NHS hospital rebuilds are financed, not by some philanthropic rich person wanting to give something back to the community, as in the pre-NHS days, but a Vulture-istic type business circling for when this desperate government tries to privitise the NHS.

As for the BBC, the only reason they moved to Salford was because of the Cafe culture, resteraunts, and vibrancy in Manchester and the North-West in general was it? (Or was it so they could sell the doughnut and land on prime White City and make a profit?)

Shareholders eh? Where can I buy a share in the BBC or the NHS? Are they listed on the stock market?

 

I'm not really sure why people who invest capital into a company are considered "parasites". It's almost like companies don't need investors.

Edited by Northern Sol

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East Coast trains, a profitable publicly owned railway, privatised by this government in March 2015, has according to BBC You and Yours increased some fares by 300%!

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