The Socialist inbox

Carillion crisis exposes PFI chaos

No to PFI, photo Paul Mattsson

No to PFI, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

The government can ride out this Carillion crisis – unless the trade unions and Corbyn force them out and get him into Number 10, and the workers are bailed out with their jobs and livelihoods. These jobs need doing. Let the state be THE provider.

Nancy Taaffe, Walthamstow, east London

The death of PFI? Nationalise Carillion’s government contracts!

Matt Carey, Bristol

Sally Morgan, a former minister under Tony Blair, joined the board of Carillion last year. Where do you go to do further damage after you’ve been chair of Ofsted? The audit, business integrity, nomination, remuneration and sustainability committees of Carillion of course!

Martin Powell-Davies, Sydenham, south London

Companies like Carillion exist pretty much in order to transfer wealth out of the public purse and into already pretty heavy private pockets.

Jacqui Berry, Gillingham, Kent

Carillion ‘wins’ contract. Subcontracts it to subcontractors, who subcontract, etc etc. The workers who do the work get peanuts. Up the workers.

Wally Kennedy, Northwood, west London

How hard is it to provide children with school meals? Or provide cleaners for prisons?

Thatcher and Blair said the private sector could do better than the public sector, bringing in expertise and new ideas. They delivered fat profits for themselves and their voracious shareholders, while workers are now faced with the dole. Who’s paying for the risks of capitalism?

Jeremy Corbyn says this nails the dogma of outsourcing. He is right.

This must be fought for now by the TUC and all unions representing Carillion workers, for all jobs and services to be protected, through renationalisation. It is a policy that should be implemented by all Labour councils.

Nick Chaffey, Southampton

Carillion’s sharp practices are familiar to tenants in housing associations, councils and other social housing. Housing co-ops have been pressurised to contract out work for years. Bring back direct labour organisations under democratic control.

And the BBC journalist Emily Maitliss is incredulous that school meals and bin collections could be state run. Really? Growing up, I remember all this and much more carried out by local authorities. Why not again? Contracting out on the cheap and poverty wages has led to Carillion.

Niall Mulholland, Forest Gate, east London

This is how privatisation always worked. Buying into it is like walking into a car dealer and believing everything the salesman tells you. Except there is no recall policy in the contract, and the only guarantee is that whatever goes wrong, you’ll have to pay for it.

Stephen Edwards, Chicago, USA

Even now, after the Carillion collapse and a National Audit Office report says PFIs cost 40% more, the Blairites are defending Blair’s legacy of privatisation and outsourcing.

John McTernan was one of Blair’s political strategists. Read this: “The problem is that we are all a little squeamish. Companies going out of business is part and parcel of how capitalism works – it is essential that there is both creativity and destruction…”

Leaves no doubt that these people are the agents of capitalism inside Corbyn’s Labour. Kick them out, along with PFI and destructive capitalism.

Alistair Tice, Sheffield

While workers were told to turn up and work normally, Carillion had blocked such things as fuel cards without informing their van drivers who would find out only after filling Carillion’s vehicles with fuel. But access to payment for the fuel had been withdrawn. Just imagine how that must have left those workers feeling.

As other corporate sharks circle around waiting to gnaw at the bones of Carillion and its workers, let’s think about those at the top of Carillion who bailed out just at the right time making sure their pension pot was full.

‘Rebel with a Cause’, Rotherham

Carillion executives have paid out dividends and bonuses, fiddled the books, bid for more contracts and dumped their own shares while they knew the company was insolvent. They should be in prison.

Leo Marsden, south west London

I can’t help thinking that the Carillion bosses should have spoken to Richard Branson, the expert in accumulating millions from public sector contracts!

Roger Bannister, Liverpool