But no warning to Tories over Northern Rail or Flybe?
In the Herald today:
‘The Competition and Markets Authority has warned about the “potential risks” of state control over the way ferries are operated, run and paid for in Scotland.’
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is a non-ministerial government department headed up by Lord Tyrie:
Tyrie has been criticised by the Institute for Government on the basis of a conflict of interest between his job as a regulator and his appointment to the House of Lords.
More seriously the CMA has been accused of promoting the privatisation of NHS England:
‘The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) oversees enforcing competition to ensure the likes of Richard Branson’s Virgin Care can – as it has – sue the NHS if any service is not put out to tender. This chaos is colliding with the harshest NHS funding cuts in its 71 years.‘
This neoliberal agenda means that the CMA values competition over any other consideration such as the maintenance of standards or job protection unless, of course, the Government in Westminster tells it to do otherwise. The CMA’s hypocritical stance on the Scottish Government’s action to protect shipbuilding can be seen in their quiet acceptance of the nationalisation of Northern Rail and the starkly anti-competitive state rescue of Flybe, by the Tory Government, only last month.