Do You Fear Choice?

John Middleton (or as Tim describes him, this ‘scumbag idiot Marxist’ ) on the awful consequences of choice:

A crowded train is delayed for hours; when it finally arrives the public address announces: “Thank you for choosing Virgin trains.” An exhausted passenger shrieks: “I didn’t have any bloody choice.” Stories of the incompetence and impersonality of telephone, water and energy companies are legion. All beneficiaries of choice and competition: an ideology successive governments have planned to bring to the NHS.

Yes, there will always be issues with large companies, because the bigger they are, the harder it is to get through to someone who can resolve your dispute.

But persevere, and your efforts will pay off. Because these big companies fear ‘word of mouth’ and bad publicity.

Not so the public sector and the world of few, if any, consequences.

Choice is an illusion created by people to sell you something. The egalitarian utopian market in which social businesses and the mightiest US private healthcare companies compete and provide health services in a mixed economy is a fallacy. Competition creates mega, monopoly suppliers. Many of the private companies are faceless, unaccountable, remote – like Southern Cross. Once in charge of a big health tender they will be very difficult to dislodge.

Unlike the unsackable denizens of the big public sector organisations, of course…

But it seems he’s – at least, on CiF – preaching to the converted:

teaandchocolate …

I just don’t understand the point of de-nationalisation. I remember the trains when they were British Rail being no different to the ones we have now. Except it was less confusing when it was British Rail.

Phone companies are a bleeding nightmare. Very confusing and the packages all amount to the same, so the competition driving prices down is a load of hogwash.

Having more Sky channels has worsened the quality of TV programmes and, if anything, the BBC should be given more money, not less, especially for science and nature programmes…

I have to say this is the most unbelievable drivel I’ve ever seen from a commenter.

No, the trains are nothing like when they were British Rail – c2c trains are new and comfortable, their ticket staff are invariably well-dressed and polite, and above all, helpful, in complete contrast to the Tube staff.

No, phone companies are not all the same (I’ve been looking into them to upgrade, so I know exactly what I’m getting from all those that I’ve looked at, and there’s great variance).

No, having satellite and cable tv has expanded the choice available – if there’s ‘dross’ too, well, isn’t it up to the viewer? If people didn’t watch it, they wouldn’t make it.

But really, what all those things require is a bit of effort on the part of the consumer. A choice to be made, which in order to be a good informed choice requires a bit of work.

Far better to let the state provide all, so you don’t have to think..?

8 comments for “Do You Fear Choice?

  1. ivan
    October 12, 2011 at 9:37 am

    Far better to let the state provide all, so you don’t have to think..?
    Nanny knows best – at least that appears to be as far as the Marxist mindset manages to get.

    If that mindset is transferred to the people then we are DOOMED as a nation.

    The way things are heading the film ‘Idiocracy’ ( ) will end up being prophetic.

    • October 12, 2011 at 1:14 pm

      Oh, we’re already well down that road.

      • October 13, 2011 at 5:46 am

        Sadly, I suspect a little bit too far down it to be entirely reversed… 🙁

  2. October 12, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    That is the most unbelievable drivel you’ve seen from a CiF commenter? I think you are becoming immune die to over exposure. I think a period of abstinence for your own good is in order. 😈

    And, no, it’s nothing like BR. Some things are worse – the so called internal competition that means delays are costed to someone else and you can’t run a train when it doesn’t have an approved path. But in many respects, things are better. That said, I still prefer the older stock for comfort over the newer ones…

    • October 13, 2011 at 5:47 am

      ” I think you are becoming immune die to over exposure.”

      That’s OK, their ‘new look’ is so horrid, it’s repelling me quite a bit 🙂

  3. nemesis
    October 12, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    I believe the root of this problem is more to do with crony corporatism than lack of competition. These large corporations have the resources to lobby politicians in their favour in return for a prospective seat on the board. Government regulations will always give advantage to the big companies over the smaller ones because they can absorb the costs more easily.
    An example of this is VAT regs. Many small companies would love to expand and have the opportunity to snap at the heels of larger more inefficient operators but if their turnover goes over a certain threshold they enter a whole new ball game where their efforts are not worth the investment so they dont bother.
    A true free market would easily break up these cabals.

  4. October 13, 2011 at 5:48 am

    Yes, VAT is an iniquitous tax.

  5. Kevin
    October 13, 2011 at 6:52 am

    On CIF; teaandchocolate of course is an ex teacher, as is lightacandle, in fact all the far left socialist fruits on there are teachers. No wonder our kids are screwed.

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