Tuesday, September 12, 2006

John McDonnell on Labour and PFI

Labour Party leadership contender John McDonnell promises that – in the admittedly unlikely event of him becoming prime minister – he will scrap the Private Finance Initiative.

It’s high time a Labour politician came out and said that. PFI doesn’t stack up, even from the standpoint of bourgeois economics. After all, would you take out a mortgage, pay it back over 35 years, and then hand your house back to the building society because you still don’t own a single brick of it? Thought not. But that’s what the NHS is being asked to do when a town needs a new hospital.

Here’s a press release from the McDonnell campaign, issued today:

‘As Labour leader I would scrap the Private Finance Initiative and replace this money-making racket for the speculators with a public sector investment programme based on government borrowing. Our building programme would be run directly through public sector organisations accountable to the taxpayer rather than a shady bunch of City financiers.

‘I challenge both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown to justify the PFI rip-off to trade union members. I also challenge them to justify the NHS cuts and closures programme which has seen 20,000 jobs axed since the start of the year.’

PS: The Boy Miliband - despite what I take to be an endorsement from David Aaronovitch - has now confirmed that he won’t be running for either of the two Labour top jobs.


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