Just last month David Cameron laid the groundwork for the privatisation of Britain's prisons -- and nobody noticed.
Private contractors like G4S and Serco already run 14 of the UK's prisons, with disastrous consequences for taxpayers and prisoners alike. Now Cameron is opening the door to more privatisation in the biggest shake-up to our prisons since Victorian times.
The prime minister says he wants "a strong role for businesses" in running our prisons, so he is planning to decentralise and deregulate them and give governors unprecedented powers over their budgets and their corporate suppliers.
With the prison reform bill being rushed through parliament, we need to show Cameron we know what he's up to, and we won't take the privatisation of our prisons lying down.
Tell David Cameron to keep our prisons public!
If the prison reform plans sound familiar, they should. Cameron is openly modelling them on the Tories' education reforms. He has even admitted: "It's exactly what we did in education -- with academies, free schools and new freedoms for heads and teachers."
Michael Gove was behind those education reforms and promised they'd put power into the hands of parents. The reality is, the reforms have put power into the hands of private corporations: the academy chains that will soon run all of England's schools outsource many services from for-profit suppliers.. Now Cameron wants him to use exactly the same shady tactics to privatise our prisons.
Our prisons are in crisis, and are in desperate need of reform. But the last thing they need is to be run by private corporations whose only aim is to increase profits by cutting costs. Austerity has already shown the disastrous consequences of cutting costs in prisons. 30% of prison staff have been cut since 2011. The result? There are still education, training and counselling programmes -- but they are empty, because there are no staff to escort the prisoners to them.
SumOfUs was created to put an end to the corporate capture of our public services. Let's stop the The Tories from selling off the few public services that remain in public hands. Let's keep our prisons public.
David Cameron we don't want a for-profit justice system: don't privatise our prisons!
Cameron prison reform speech in full, Politics.co.uk, 8 February 2016
Cameron to give more power to governors in prisons shakeup, The Guardian, 8 February 2016