Daily catch-up: what people think about ‘privatisation’ (buses yes, police no)

Plus the properly weird world of a Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn

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The Independent Online

One section of Opinium’s People and Power survey that I reported in The Independent on Sunday a week ago was about the contracting out of public services, often described as privatisation.

“As long as the cost to the taxpayer was no higher and the quality of service was as good or better, how would you feel about these services being run by a private company under contract to the government/local council?”

Police 23% support, 57% oppose (net support -34)

Fire service 26% support, 53% oppose (-27)

Hospitals 27% support, 53% oppose (-26)

GPs 28% support, 52% oppose (-24)

Schools 27% support, 47% oppose (-20)

Rubbish collection 43% support, 29% oppose (+14)

Buses 43% support, 27% oppose (+16)

Street cleaning 44% support, 26% oppose (+18)

It just shows how attitudes are expressive of values rather than of ways to put them into practice. Note the level of opposition in the first five cases even though the question explicitly rules out worse services and higher costs.

It is interesting that bus privatisation, which I thought was unpopular, turns out not to be. But just wait until 52 per cent of the population discovers that GPs are private contractors to the NHS.

• I wrote about the weird world of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership in The Independent on Sunday. It is all very well Labour MPs trying to be constructive while refusing front-bench positions, but they will be asked, “Do you think Corbyn should be prime minister?” How will they answer?

• My Top 10 in The New Review, the Independent on Sunday magazine, was Tweets, starting with Jack Dorsey’s first in 2006: “just setting up my twttr.”

• And finally, thanks to Moose Allain for this:

“How come your cologne doesn’t smell?”

“It’s Eau De Less.”

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