A New Era in Government
Christopher Morass, the Right Under Secretary for Executive Efficiencies, revealed today that the final stages of Project Pilate are nearing completion. Pilate is the name given to the government's initiative to wash their hands of all that horrid and wasteful public spending on loss-making services, and ministers are pleased to learn that it is running ahead of schedule.
"We sold off most of the country's assets some time ago," says Mr Morass. "And it was a terrific success, as has been shown in the case of the water, rail and communication industries, where the drive to generate profit has in no way impacted negatively on safety, value or delivery." Morass goes on to explain that the process has now been accelerated to fully monetise remaining assets. This has given rise to wholly independent public corporations such as The Coca-Cola Vehicle Licensing Service, The Foreign Office PLC and The Royal Navy Adventure Holidays Corporation (by Appointment to HM The Queen*).
But there remains a residue of government activity which has no obvious commercial potential, as the recent failure of the Jobcentre Plus Family Fun Park so conspicuously demonstrated. Areas such as justice, welfare and health still have core functions which do not promise high returns and for which buyers have not been found. But thankfully there is no reason for government to be lumbered with unprofitable services when charities exist to step into the breach. And, says Morass, they can do the job much better.
"We've already seen the proof," he explains. "When we amended eligibility conditions and slashed budgets for unemployment and sickness benefits, we found that soup kitchens and food banks flourished to meet the need. Similarly, limiting ordinary citizens' access to justice has led to the instigation of a number of kangaroo courts, in which punishments can be meted out more quickly - and with a great deal more finality - than the slow and outdated legal system that we have hitherto relied upon. And who can really argue with the fact that the existence of a National Health Service has led to a serious deskilling of the population when it comes to medical matters? Home brain surgery and self-amputation are helping to keep those skills alive, survival rates notwithstanding."
These are the main areas upon which government is concentrating at the moment. Many groups and charities have already taken up incentives to provide local care and support and Mr Morass is not surprised. "A one-off grant of £25 to deliver a ten-year breast cancer screening programme is not to be sneezed at. It's not surprising that we have received so many expressions of interest. It's all very encouraging and shows that we are still on course. Indeed, I have every expectation that by this time next year we will be completely free of any further obligations to the electorate and finally be at liberty to get on with the business of government."
*HM The Queen - Trading as LizCoTM