We should be used to it by now. Private is thrusting, competitive and efficient; public is boring, expensive and dull. So we invite bids from firms eager to do the work. Some of these firms are terrific at the bidding bit; with the actual work, not so hot.
I’m amazed we’re still considering using G4S. After the Olympics fiasco, with empty promises and zilch delivery, I’d have thought we might have learned the lesson. Apparently not. G4S are now eager to pay the government £24 million, which they admit they’ve pinched off the taxpayer for jobs they haven’t done on prisoners who don’t exist. If they were cowboy builders, you wouldn’t let them back down the drive. As it is, they’re preferred bidders, so they still have tons of government contracts. This, don’t forget, is the ever so austere Coalition Government which is making savage cuts as the only way to counter the profligacy of the previous lot. How many nurses could we get for the money wasted by G4S? I doubt we’ll ever know.