Even Conservatives are admitting that private is not always better than public when it comes to running things. As William Waldergrave, who was one of Thatcher’s ministers told the Times, people who believe “private companies are always more efficient than the public service have never worked in real private enterprise”.
Yesterday I saw an example for myself. This huge truck (seen from my bedroom window) was parked for more than two hours and I went out to find the reason.
Reason is perhaps not the right word. What was happening was completely unreasonable, and that is not because it was parked on a double yellow line.
This is the story I heard: A driver misjudged parking a car and made a small scratch on the car of a local businessman. As the car was fairly new he decided he should treat it as an insurance claim.
The insurance company said it would deliver a hire car, collect the damaged vehicle, return it when repaired and then collect the hire car.
The truck was there simply to deliver the hire car, a badly scratched Astra. The businessman was fretting that the driver who clipped his car would face a huge bill, not what he intended.
The insurance business that set all this in train was Barclays, who like to sell expensive add-ons to their banking services.