Blog Archives

Corporate/political interests threatened by the public support for Corbyn’s caring policies

The corporate world continues to make vitriolic but insubstantial attacks on the Labour Party leader, whose approach threatens their unreasonably affluent lifestyles.

corbyn a threat graphic

Brief reference will be made to arms traders, big pharma, construction giants, energy companies owned by foreign governments, food speculators, the private ill-health industry and a range of polluting interests. One reflection on each sector will be given here – of many recorded on our database:

Arms trade

Steve Beauchampé: “A peacenik may lay down with some unsavoury characters. Better that than selling them weapons”. The media highlights Corbyn’s handshakes and meetings, but not recent British governments’ collusion in repressive activities, issuing permits to supply weapons to dictators. In the 80s, when lobbying Conservative MP John Taylor about such arms exports, he said to the writer, word for word: “If we don’t do it, someone else will”. Meaning if we don’t help other countries to attack their citizens, others will. How low can we sink!

Big pharma

Theresa drew attention to an article highlighting the fact that the Specialised Healthcare Alliance (SHCA), a lobbying company working for some of the world’s biggest drugs and medical equipment firms, had written the draft report for NHS England, a government quango. At the time, the latest attempt at mass-medication – this time with statins – was in the news. The world’s largest manufacturer of low-cost vaccines said that British taxpayers are paying for excessive profits earned by big Western drugs companies.

Construction

Most construction entries relate to the PFI debacle, but in 2009 it was reported that more than 100 construction companies – including Balfour Beatty, Kier Group and Carillion – had been involved in a price-fixing conspiracy and had to compensate local authority victims who had been excluded from billions of pounds of public works contracts. The Office of Fair Trading imposed £130m of fines on 103 companies. Price-fixing that had left the public and councils to “pick up the tab”.

Utilities

The Office of Fair Trading was closed before it could update its little publicised 2010 report which recorded that 40% of infrastructure assets in the energy, water, transport, and communication sectors are already owned by foreign investors. In Utility Week News, barrister Roger Barnard, former head of regulatory law at EDF Energy, wondered whether any government is able to safeguard the nation’s energy security interests against the potential for political intervention under a commercial guise. He added: “Despite what the regulators say, ownership matters”.

Food

A Lancashire farmer believes that supermarkets – powerful lobbyists and valued party funders – are driving out production of staple British food and compromising food security. She sees big business making fortunes from feeding the wealthy in distant foreign countries where the poor and the environment are exploited, also putting at risk the livelihoods of hard working British farmers and their families. Large businesses are gradually asset-stripping everything of value from our communities to make profits which are then invested abroad in places like China and Thailand. She ends, “They do this simply because they have the power to do so”.

Pollution

Government does not act on this, appearing to prioritise the interests of the corporate world. The influential transport lobby prevents or delays action to address air  pollutants such as ground-level ozone and particulates emitted by cars, lorries and rail engines which contribute directly to global warming, linked to climate change. Last November a report found that waste incineration facilities and cement plants across Europe, had seriously breached emission limits. Intensive agriculture’s lavish use of insecticides, pesticides and fertilizers has also released harmful chemicals into the air, in some cases causing water pollution. Manufacturing industries and petroleum refineries produce carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, organic compounds and chemicals which pollute the air. Children in areas exposed to air pollutants commonly suffer from pneumonia and asthma. The burden of particulate air pollution in the UK in 2008 was estimated to cause nearly 29,000 deaths. DEFRA’s report for 2013, however, does not refer to health impacts, though admitting serious levels of air pollution.

Some features of the corporate-political nexus summarised: victimised whistleblowers, media collusion, rewards for failure and the revolving door

  • Rewards for failure cover individual cases, most recently Lin Homer, and corporate instances. Capita, according to a leaked report by research company Gartner was two years behind schedule with its MoD online recruitment computer system – yet the government contracted to pay the company £1bn over 10 years to hire 9,000 soldiers a year for the army.
  • The 74th instance of the revolving door related to Andrew Lansley’s move from his position as government health minister to the private health sector. An investigation by the Mail found that one in three civil servants who took up lucrative private sector jobs was working in the Ministry of Defence. Paul Gosling gives a detailed list of those passing from government to the accountancy industry and vice versa.

As Steve Beauchampé reports (link to follow), there is a coterie of arch-Blairite, anti-Corbyn Labour MPs who never accepted the decisive democratic mandate Corbyn secured last autumn:

JC large rally

“Mann’s very public intervention can be interpreted as a calculated move to undermine the party’s electoral chances this Thursday . . .

“Realising that they have at best 4-5 months to try to oust him before reforms anticipated at this September’s party conference transfer crucial powers from the party hierarchy into the hands of members, the forthcoming elections will be used by Corbyn’s adversaries as an excuse to try and replace him”.

Will increasingly media-sceptical people – who support Corbyn because they seek the common good – hold firm?

 

 

Jeremy Corbyn: an honest politician who cares for the 99%

jeremy corbyn

Corbyn is a true socialist, and a strong anti-poverty advocate. His words about Greece apply to Britain as well

jeremy corbyn text

He is and has always been against:

        • NHS privatisation
        • lighter banking regulation,
        • the Iraq war
        • introducing tuition fees in England,
        • academies
        • private finance initiatives
        • Gaza–Israel conflict
        • corporate tax loopholes

      He is and has been for: 

        • the release of the Guildford Four
        • the release of Nelson Mandela
        • the release of Birmingham Six
        • renationalisation of railways
        • a higher minimum wage
        • a higher rate of tax for the wealthiest
        • an increased corporate tax rate to fund public services
        • Palestine Solidarity Campaign
        • the rights of the forcibly-removed Chagossians to return to their territory

He has the spirit of the postwar Labour government and, after speaking about his own beliefs, records their achievements on television, here:

jeremy corbyn rt 1                                                                                               

At hustings up and down the country Jeremy Corbyn is being cheered on. See a brief clip on education from the contenders’ evening in Birmingham. It was interesting to see Andy Burnham applauding Corbyn whilst the other contenders looked askance. According to the Telegraph, the MP for Islington North ‘wows’ audience .

99%-3

Readers who feel so moved may donate to his campaign costs and wish him well on September 12:

https://jeremyforlabour.nationbuilder.com/donate

 

How Corrupt is Britain?

People laughed when MP Neil Hamilton was found to have accepted money in a brown envelope – this is not the British way. But the bestowal of directorships and employment for family and friends is acceptable – ‘good form’ – lucrative and legal.

George Monbiot points out that many poor nations are plagued by the kind of corruption that involves paying bribes in that way, but adds that the British system already belongs to the elite.

cameron corruption

He notes that Transparency International’s corruption index ranks Britain 14th – why not lower? His explanation: “the definitions of corruption on which the index draws are narrow and selective. Common practices in the rich nations that could reasonably be labelled corrupt are excluded; common practices in the poor nations are emphasised”.

A former minister ran HSBC while it engaged in systematic tax evasion, money laundering for drugs gangs and the provision of services to Saudi and Bangladeshi banks linked to the financing of terrorists. Instead of prosecuting the bank, the head of the UK’s tax office went to work for it when he retired.

The Private Finance Initiative has been used by our governments to deceive us about the extent of their borrowing while channelling public money into the hands of corporations. Shrouded in secrecy, stuffed with hidden sweeteners, it has landed hospitals and schools with unpayable debts, while hiding public services from public scrutiny.

Monbiot reminds us that state police forces are alleged to have protected prolific paedophiles, including Jimmy Savile, and – it is now reported – a ring of senior politicians. The BBC has sacked many of those who sought to expose him while promoting people who tried to perpetuate the cover-up. He cites other forms of corruption:

  • our unreformed political funding system which permits the very rich to buy political parties;
  • the phone-hacking scandal and the payment of police by newspapers;
  • the underselling of Royal Mail;
  • the revolving door allowing corporate executives to draft the laws affecting their businesses;
  • the robbing of the welfare and prison services by private contractors;
  • price-fixing by energy companies;
  • daylight robbery by pharmaceutical firms and dozens more such cases.

Monbiot asks, “Is none of this corruption? Or is it too sophisticated to qualify?”

The power of global finance and the immense wealth of the global elite are founded on corruption, and the beneficiaries have an interest in framing the question to excuse themselves.

how corrupt britianA ground-changing book called How Corrupt is Britain?, edited by David Whyte, was recently published. It argues that narrow conceptions of corruption are part of a long tradition of portraying the problem as something confined to weak nations, which must be rescued by “reforms” imposed by colonial powers and, more recently, bodies such as the World Bank and the IMF. These “reforms” mean austerity, privatisation, outsourcing and deregulation and tend to suck money out of the hands of the poor and into the hands of national and global oligarchs.

Monbiot believes that How Corrupt is Britain? should be read by anyone who believes this country merits its position on the Transparency International’s corruption index.

Austerity 4: cuts persist as the state offers even richer pickings for corporations

 Recently Lesley Docksey sent this heartfelt reflection:

“The trouble is we know the problem, and it’s all very well George and Seamas saying we have to ban this, get rid of that and set up something else.

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“But how do we actually do it, how do we the people force a break between the corporate power and politicians?”

Despite the poor record of service by the private sector in prisons, transport, energy and water, British schools and hospitals are loudly threatened with takeover, a slavish imitation of our special friend’s policies for schools and hospitals.

Cameron's real change

Anne sent this link to an article by Jon Stone about the fire hazard and other structural failings of Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle, first opened in 2000 under the “private finance initiative”, under which the NHS pays a private company rent-like payments to make use of facilities. The UK now owes more than £222bn to banks and corporations for these Private Finance Initiatives, conceived by Conservatives in the 1990s and ‘embraced’ by New Labour.

Will this hospital be handed over to ‘the state’? In other words, farmed out to Capita, G4S or Serco?

atos costs

In the FT, Gill Plimmer reported that the Official Journal of the European Union database, which records every public sector contract worth more than £115m, reveals that £20bn worth of government contracts is now handed to the private sector. About half of council waste management services and 23% of human resources, IT and payroll functions are now privatised. Tens of thousands of health, defence, security and IT workers have transferred to corporate employers such as Babcock, G4S, Serco, Capia, Mitie and Carillion. This continues, even though the reputation of the private sector in delivering public services has been repeatedly damaged – examples include the high profile failure of G4S during the Olympics and the legal action facing Virgin Care over its running of NHS and social care services in Devon. Monbiot’s devastating, fully referenced account of such failures may be read here and others have been written by Gill Plimmer in the Financial Times.

‘Mayoral hokum’

joe anderson liverpool mayorAs all these services are transferred via the state into corporate care, the cities themselves are being coerced to follow the mayoral route – which, as Steve Beauchampé notes in the Birmingham Press -was soundly rejected by voters in Birmingham, Coventry and seven other cities.

Did Liverpool – which held no referendum – make the right choice?

Chancellor Osborne is insisting that powers must be devolved through the office of a regional mayor – so much easier to induce or threaten than a whole council – a puppet?

As economic geographer, Professor Michael Chisholm summarised the position more politely, “One could cynically say that the proposal for elected mayors is yet another structural diversion while the steady centralisation of power continues”.

Beauchampé proposes consigning this ‘mayoral hokum’ to its rightful place in the dustbin of history, rejecting the notion that in a democracy just one person can understand, represent and address people’s priorities, needs and hopes, creating and implementing a vision for our fast changing region and its youthful population. He sets out a ‘radical’ – because truly democratic – alternative as a draft proposal.

But, as Lesley asks, “how do we the people force the break between the corporate power and politicians?”

Proportional representation could be the first step.

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Applause for the concept of a small parties’ coalition: SNP, Plaid Cymru, and Greens – could NHAP work with this?

Underlining the need for the NHS, Colchester Hospital has declared a “major incident” following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) which found staff struggling to cope with “unprecedented demand” and raised “safeguarding concerns” 

On BBC1’s Question Time this week, Plaid Cymru leader, Leanne Wood, put forward this scenario; looking at the latest National Health Action campaigns, the NHAP seems to be a worthy candidate to work with the other parties.

nhap header (2)

Co-leader Dr Clive Peedell has contacted the newly appointed NHS advisor, Sir Stuart Rose, and the current and future NHS Chief Executives, Sir David Nicholson and Simon Stevens. His open letter, published in the Health Service Journal, ends:

  • “There will never be effective NHS clinical leadership and followership, and successful NHS reform until the failed market based policies of the last 25 years are abandoned and the medical and nursing professions are brought back into the policy making process”.

He finished with a quote from Arnold Relman, Emeritus Professor of Medicine at Harvard University and former editor of the New England Journal Medicine, which sums up the situation: “Medical professionalism cannot survive in the current commercialised healthcare market. The continued privatisation of healthcare and the continued prevalence and intrusion of market forces in the practice of medicine will not only bankrupt the healthcare system, but also will inevitably undermine the ethical foundations of medical practice and dissolve the moral precepts that have historically defined the medical profession.”

  • Leading members of NHAP are calling for the ATOS assessments to be scrapped – and a new system be introduced that ensures doctors are properly consulted.

Cambridgeshire representative, John Hully condemns the possible merger of world-famous Papworth Hospital with a failing hospital 30 miles away.

  • He says it’s disgraceful that the distinguished & profitable Papworth heart and lung transplant hospital may be forced by the Treasury into a partnership with Peterborough City Hospital, 30 miles away, in order to balance the books of failing Peterborough City Hospital which is saddled with PFI debts, adding:

“Such a move defies all advice and the needs of patients, and is based purely on short-term financial considerations. This situation underlines the need for decisive government action to lift the burden of the unaffordable PFI scheme from Peterborough and Stamford NHS Trust to allow it to concentrate on delivering care to local patients . . .“

  • London GP and Euro-candidate Dr Louise Irvine has launched a strong attack on the planned closures of A&E departments in North West London.

The soundness of the estimates in plans to close four A&Es in north west London, outlined in “Shaping a Healthier Future” are inconsistent with research figures from the Department of Health. They underestimate how many people will have to go to A&Es in other hospitals by tens of thousands a year and Dr Irvine fears that this can only lead to chaos in other hospitals in the capital. She also examines the DoH claim that they are not closing the A&E at Charing Cross Hospital but making it into a “local A&E”:

“That “local A&E” will be run by GPs and not by Emergency Department doctors, it will not accept patients who are arriving by ​blue-light ​ambulance and it will not be able to admit ​seriously ill patients”.

Would the SNP, Plaid Cymru, and Greens agree?

Budget Day: Professor Sikka highlights the British state, a major guarantor of corporate profits

prem sikka 4Prem Sikka, professor of accounting and director of the Centre for Global Accountability at the University of Essex, points out that during his budget speech the Chancellor won’t talk about the amount spent on corporate welfare and how that is contributing to austerity, income and wealth inequalities, and deteriorating public finances. Read the full article here.

Extracts

In a society where corporations fund political parties and provide jobs for potential and former ministers, the state has become a major guarantor of corporate profits. There are cuts in investment in healthcare, education and social infrastructure, and hard won social rights. A kind of reverse socialism has been created where the state transfers wealth to the well-off and punishes ordinary people. The following examples provide some evidence for the above thesis.

A small sample of Britain’s escalating and unsustainable corporate welfare programme:

EDF

The price of gas and electricity has been rocketing and Energy companies are accused of making vast profits. But EDF and its partners are set to receive £17.6 billion subsidy for building a nuclear power plant even though this investment is projected to provide a return of up to 21%. Despite this exceptionally high rate of return, the company will be able to charge a price of £92.50 per Megawatt hour (MWh), roughly double the current wholesale price of electricity.

Consultants, including accountancy firms KPMG, picked-up £8million in fees. High profits are not accompanied with social responsibility. Energy company SSE declared record profits of £1.5billion, but wants taxpayers to bear the burden of cleaning-up the social and environmental mess.

Rail

In 1996, the railways were privatised and now over 100 companies are running them, but subsidies have increased. The industry has received over £60bn in subsidies, and more is on the way with the Crossrail and HS2 projects. The industry has paid vast amounts in dividends to its shareholders whilst the customer has ended up with the most expensive rail fares in the western world.

PFI

Rather than borrowing directly to finance investment in schools, hospitals, roads, bridge and social infrastructure, under the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) companies borrow money to build the project and then lease the assets to the government at exorbitant prices. In 2012, some 717 PFI contracts with a capital value of £54.7billion were running. The government is committed to repaying £301billion, a guaranteed profit of £247billion over the next 25-30 years.

The resulting profits do not necessarily get taxed in the UK either. For example, HICL Infrastructure is a fund established by HSBC and registered in Guernsey. Its portfolio of PFI projects includes Portsmouth Hospital and the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. For 2011, it is estimated to have made a profit of £38million from 33 PFI schemes, but paid only £100,000 in UK tax.

The government should be clawing back billions from the PFI programme, as it has become evident that the interest rates have been rigged. Even a small adjustment could save taxpayers billions of pounds.

The financial sector

The financial sector preaches free markets and deregulation, but is almost entirely reliant on the state.

The deposit-taking licence is provided by the state without any quid pro quo and the state also provided insurance for deposits of up to £85,000 to promote confidence in the industry.

The sector has boosted its profits through indulgence in money laundering, insider trading, cartels, tax dodges, and the sale of abusive financial products, with virtually no prosecutions for ant-social practices.

In its boom years, between 2002 and 2007, the financial sector paid £203billion in UK corporation tax, national insurance, VAT, payroll taxes, stamp duty and insurance taxes, about half of that paid by the manufacturing sector. In return, the state has poured in billions.

The latest data shows that some £976 billion of loans, guarantees and other forms of support have been provided to banks. The Bank of England has helped out with another £375 billion under its quantitative easing programme. Rather than building their tattered finances, the banks continue to pay exorbitant executive salaries.

BT

BT has annual turnover of £18billion and profits of £2.5billion, but received a government subsidy of £1.2billion to install broadband for rural areas. BT will keep the assets and the revenues generated by the subsidy.

Lotus

With 13million people living below the poverty, many on low wages and lengthening queues at food banks, most Britons can only dream about buying a sporty car. Lotus, the sports car manufacturer, has received £10billion subsidy: the price of a £90,000 model is now reduced by £5,000, thanks to a government subsidy.

By any measure the role of the UK state has been restructured to guarantee corporate profits. This welfare programme needs to be rolled-back. If the government insists on supporting fledgling companies, then the amounts should be returned once the company is profitable.

Javelin Park 2: Gloucestershire County Council’s PFI incinerator deal with Urbaser Balfour Beatty: case officer removed & consultants brought in

 

PCU has recorded Gloucestershire County Council’s desire to build a £500 million Urbaser Balfour Beatty Energy from Waste incinerator at Javelin Park in Haresfield. It is reported that 103 incinerator sites were licensed in 2010, that in 2011 DEFRA had 20 more applications from large power companies and that a large number of government advisers are involved in the expensive and remunerative incinerator PFI deals.

Highlighting growing concerns that there will be too many incinerators in the UK by 2015 and that they will severely hamper recycling, Cheltenham MP Martin Horwood tabled Early Day Motion 383, . . . to read on click here.

Opposition to this plan by residents, opposition groups and local authorities has been well documented in the Stroud News & Journal by journalist Chris Warne.

Update: the council removes the case officer from the Javelin Park application and brings in a team of consultants – at taxpayers’ expense

GCG says that this – done without informing a lead member of its planning committee – is perfectly normal practice, but the SNJ’s editorial comment is: “There is a school of management that keeps on asking the same question until the right answer appears”.

Geoff Wheeler, the leader of Stroud District Council, has now instructed officers to write to Eric Pickles at the Department for Communities and Local Government, asking him to ‘call in’ the plans as he did with the Kings Lynn incinerator application in August.

GCG’s Lib-Dems, supported by the Labour Group, have separately called in the bid for extra scrutiny but the County Council hopes to determine the application in the New Year.

SouthWest Business reported last Friday that planning experts at Stroud District Council have warned that the £500million scheme to build a waste-to-energy plant at Javelin Park, supported by Gloucestershire County Council and incinerator firm Urbaser Balfour Beatty, could be thrown out by a Government inspector because of the impact it could have on the environment.

Irregularities in procedure

Stroud’s Councillor Marjoram points out irregularities in procedure: the council selected a contractor for the construction before planning permission had been granted, signing a contract with a penalty clause which will charge them £15 million if they renege on the agreement or don’t get planning permission.

Apply the precautionary principle

Ian Richens, spokesman for the campaigning group GlosVAIN, grimly reminds all that in the 1970s asbestos was similarly presented as posing no danger to health and adds:

“Let us not make the same mistake again”.#

 

NOTE:

United Kingdom Without Incineration Network

UKWIN has nearly 100 groups campaigning for sustainable waste management and against waste incineration. They say that the incineration of household waste:

  • depresses recycling and wastes resources,
  • releases greenhouse gases, and is
  • often forced through against strong public opposition.
  • create toxic emissions and hazardous ash, and therefore pose significant health risks.

Electoral reaction: in Kings Lynn, Labour’s Alex Kempe won a county council seat from the Conservatives.  Their majority of 272 at the last election was transformed into a 400 majority for Labour.  Ms Kemp said that the issue of the proposed incinerator had a major bearing on the outcome. The County Council’s decision to award a contract for the construction of an incinerator has been ‘called in’ – there will be a full public inquiry in January 2013.

 

 

Lords Reform not burying bad news: hospital trusts crippled by PFI debt

As up to 22 NHS trusts are reported as facing serious financial difficulties because of expensive PFI schemes a lot of radio news time is being given to Lords reform. 

These corporate–political ventures are yet another indication of the need for legislation to address this corrupt situation. 

When will government address the root causes – lobbying and revolving door scandals?  

As Finn Heinrich of Transparency International explains: 

 

“Corruption and impunity have an immense destabilising effect on society. Now more than ever, mutually accountable action is needed to create irreversible change, and to ensure that the power fuelled by corruption harms societies no more.

It is people who will create this change. 

 

“Corruption is the main impediment for sustainable globalisation

(a)   since it impedes economic growth and

(b) destroys trust in public and private institutions and therefore in democracy itself. 

“To fight corruption, we need two main ingredients: 

(1)   Genuine political will and

(2)   Pressure from an informed citizenry to hold the power-holders accountable.” 

One of the 13th TI conference findings: a role for civil society 

“The role of the consumer can be extremely powerful in changing incentives of companies, e.g. 3 out of 4 European consumers are willing to change their behaviour based on ethical considerations. Besides further regulations, business sector needs to (re-)discover its “moral compass”. 

The 14th conference dates: 7-10 November 2012, venue BRASÍLIA, BRAZIL  See:  http://iacconference.org/en/speakers/details/finn_heinrich/

John Ware investigates Private Finance Initiatives: Panorama, tonight

On Panorama at 8.30 tonight, John Ware investigates Private Finance Initiatives, where companies build new schools and hospitals and lease them back to the Government. He uncovers evidence that their value for money to taxpayers may have been misrepresented and asks why the coalition has signed so many PFI deals when David Cameron and Nick Clegg questioned the practice while in opposition.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0184xg1

Explaining PFI

A week ago Green Economist Molly Scott Cato, in her Gaian Economics blog undertook this task. She writes [headlines added]:

'Hospital dream'

 The decade of corporate governance 

Scandals about the extortion of public money by private companies seem to arrive daily, as the decade of corporate governance begins to unravel. The political conclusion is clear: we need to keep the public and private separate.

Money created from thin air in the private sector was loaned to the public sector

This morning’s news is about the disastrous economics of the PFI policy. Money that was created from thin air in the private sector was loaned to the public sector to build hospitals. Over time the interest on that money will have to be repaid from the public money that is taken from taxation and paid to hospitals to support patient care. The quality of health services will decline so that the financial interests of private corporations can be served. According to Department of Health figures, 22 trusts face bankruptcy because the payments on their PFI contracts cannot be met.

The fact that the PFI contracts the private companies who loaned the money became obvious when they started to be sold in a ‘secondary market’ – the companies who set them up were selling the income stream on to other investors. Serco has been assiduous in keeping its investors up to speed with the growing concern in government about the disadvantageous PFI contracts entered into by health authorities and the possibility of renegotiation. Dubbed by the Guardian as, the biggest company you have probably never heard of, Serco is all over the public sector, profiting at the public expense. 

The claimed efficiency of private sector arrangements were a front to embezzle public money

The PFI deals are just the most obvious example of how the claimed efficiency of private sector arrangements to provide public services were a front to enable the embezzlement of public money. The most charitable interpretation is that corporations and consultants have used politicians’ ignorance about finance and about IT to profit at the public’s expense. 

The greed of ministers who foresee their own nest-eggs as directors

When the operation of private values and private finance in the public sector has been so devastating it demands one to question why this has happened. The answer appears to be simple greed, the chief motive of the private sector, and which privatisation allowed to swamp the public sector too. Most seriously, we can observe the greed of ministers who foresee their own nest-eggs as directors on the boards of the companies who have destroyed the public interest they were supposed to serve.

For those who want to read more, here is a good article on this theme by Alan Clawley, chairman of the West Midlands New Economics Group