The beginning is brilliant (I rather liked the question of why people aren't clamouring to privatise the armed forces) but I particularly liked this bit as it totally rang a bell -
"I suspect Lygo [Carl Lygo, he of the new private university in London] of subscribing to this view when he says: "We have got a lot of universities in the UK and not all are in a strong financial position… the private provider would add expertise in the back-office functions." What expertise? Expertise in administering, say, Bristol University that the people currently administering Bristol University don't possess but a new company that's never done it before is going to be brimming with? Won't they just employ the same people to do the job but pay them less or sack a few? Is that what he means by expertise?
It's not expertise, it's ruthlessness, it's the prioritisation of profit. What Lygo is offering people running universities is the opportunity to divest themselves of many of the problems inherent in their jobs. If you don't want to take the tough decisions, he's saying, if you doubt you've got the backbone to make the efficiency savings, then we'll handle them for you. Pass your troubles on to those of us untroubled by conscience."