There used to be an old gag about a bloke who made a fortune selling homing pigeons. He only needed one.
Now the Coalition Government is planning to pull off the same trick.
Don't get me wrong. I'm all for private enterprise and promoting a vibrant economy, but one-off sales of public assets have been a complete fiasco under the last three Conservative Governments of Major, Blair and Brown. It's selling off the family silver for peanuts and then paying someone to let us look at it.
Ever since Maggie Thatcher came up with the trick of flogging off British Gas to create a "democratic share-owning population" (which now comprises a handful of European based conglomerates with their own agenda) the fallacy of selling us back public utilities and assets has been an unmitigated disaster.
Whilst other Countries have National well-respected Rail Systems, for example, we have a mish-mash of under-invested regional rail systems run by a bunch of chancers who are effectively being subsidised by millions of pounds worth of public money and just walk away if they are not making a fortune. Our key Hospitals have been sold off in disgraceful PFI (I can't tell you what the "F" stands for) deals whereby we pay guaranteed fortunes to private Companies and the Accountants and Consultants involved make ludicrous unearned income. We even sold off the Government Tax Offices to an offshore based tax-avoiding Company for pity's sake!
Now we are being told that our dwindling National resource, the Forests, is to be flogged off for a one-off "gain" the exchequer. I don't care what "safeguards are in place", this is a privatisation too far.
I'm intending to form a band of merrie men in Thetford Forest where we will fight this madness and ensure that any private development is stopped in its tracks. Who will join me?
All for one and one for all! This is the Big Society in action!