The Pro-Privatization Shock Therapy of the UK’s Covid Response

There is a larger game afoot in the UK government’s privatization-friendly Covid-19 response. The outsourcing bonanza has coincided with Britain’s tense talks with the European Union over the terms of a new, non-member relationship. For Leave.EU hardliners, a no-deal Brexit is not unwelcome: it would, as they see it, set the nation free to forge ahead as Global Britain, a sort of deregulated “Singapore-on-Thames,” as some Brexiteers have enthused. Others see this as a dangerous new “shock doctrine.” Coupled with rolling back the welfare state through a handout of pandemic contracts to the private sector, this bonfire of regulations represents an extension of Thatcherism, a chance to finish what she started.

The New York Review of Books