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What's next, Blackwater to run the UK police?

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Just imagine Blackwater running your local police office and then let me know who might be OK with that besides the political class that's establishing the contracts. This is an idea that has been kicked around more and more since the Tory government came to power. Those on the right are always convinced that privatizing security is a great idea, whether it's in Iraq, Afghanistan or at the airport.

Too many on the left either ignore the new developments and some even go along with it in the hope of sounding modern and flexible. In the case of Blackwater, they were so popular that they changed their corporate name. How's that for private industry showing everyone how much better things are than the government?

As we've argued before, it's unclear how privatization will help anyone outside of the politicians who help coordinate these deals. Citizens will now have an extra layer - responsive to no one - when there are complaints. If you think asking for answers is difficult now, just try and ask one of these private companies. Think how responsive Blackwater was when questioned.

What we're seeing is the continued assault on unions and government workers. Ultimately, it's about the continued assault on the middle class and all efforts to negotiate fair and reasonable wages. The forces on the right won't be happy until we're back to having no middle class, with just the ultra-rich and then everyone else.

In the meantime, the plan is to make it sound efficient and cost effective. You know, just like the privatized prison system in the US. Do we really want prisons, war and now the police to be revenue generating businesses? Talk about a conflict of interest. The only surprise now is that we're not seeing more of this talk in the US, but the day is still young.

Scary thoughts about the future via The Guardian:

David Taylor-Smith, the head of G4S for the UK and Africa, said he expected police forces across the country to sign up to similar deals to those on the table in the West Midlands and Surrey, which could result in private companies taking responsibility for duties ranging from investigating crimes to transporting suspects and managing intelligence.

The prediction comes as it emerged that 10 more police forces were considering outsourcing deals that would see services, such as running police cells and operating IT, run by private firms.

Taylor-Smith, whose company is in the running for the £1.5bn contract with West Midlands and Surrey police, said he expected forces across the country to have taken similar steps within five years . "For most members of the public what they will see is the same or better policing and they really don't care who is running the fleet, the payroll or the firearms licensing – they don't really care," he said.
Really? People don't really care about private police? It's also not obvious to anyone other than Taylor-Smith how or why private police would be "better" at policing and running investigations. I can't even imagine how stressed communication would be between these rent-a-cops and real police forces during an investigation that crosses into different geographical locations.

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