Judith Gillespie: PFI is an extremely strange creature. I was involved with the first Audit Scotland report on the subject, which was a wonderful learning experience. I was staggered to learn that, at the end of the day, all the money comes out of the public purse, because the money that is raised by the consortia is repaid through borrowing and the maintenance contract is largely paid for out of council funding.
I understand that there will always be profit involved in building a school, because the builder will make the profit that a contractor usually makes, but it is extraordinarily strange that we are confronted with the myth that PFI somehow brings in private money. Given that, at the end of the day, the money comes from the public purse, I have long been puzzled about why the system could not have involved normal public procurement—either way, the Government pays.
So there you have it - Labour starting to think about the process of developing policies at last. Maybe in time they'll understand how to be an opposition, but I get the feeling that they've just lit the flames under the boiler, that old puffer is going to take a while to get going.