Politicians’ Private Profit from NHS Sell-Off 139

A truly horrible example of how corporate interests own our politicians and control government policy. Private health providers have donated £16,285,437 trousered by the coalition parties who are privatising NHS services to them. Fantastic work by Eoin Clarke.

When I tell audiences that corporate interests control politicians, they want to agree but, having seen any establishment-critical analysis labeled “conspiracy theory”, some are often worried that I am going to start fantasising about the Illuminati, or at best am postulating an academic construct. I am not. I am talking about very real business deals and very real sums of money getting behind the politicians’ career-promotion, party funding and thus personal financial interest.

So as the NHS is ruined by “marketisation” and billions of taxpayers money go into private pockets as profit for NHS “providers”, you know that Cameron and Clegg have been bought, simple as that.

The same dynamic was true of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. 2,000 US troops have now died in Afghanistan, but very real profits indeed have been made, amounting to hundreds of billions, by arms manufacturers, military contractors like Halliburton and companies owned by the Karimov family, and of course the private mercenary hired killers like Aegis. There are thousands of people who made millions out of the wars and some who made hundreds of millions. They are not the ones who did any of the dying. They give a lot of money to, and mingle a lot with, politicians.

This business report from the BBC was given toltally without irony:

Work to re-equip UK and US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan has helped profits to soar at defence group BAE Systems.

The UK’s largest defence firm, BAE made a pre-tax profit of ’657m ($1.4bn), compared with ’378m a year earlier.

BAE said the “high tempo” of UK and US military operations was increasing demand for land systems to support armed forces overseas. BAE, which is facing an anti-corruption probe by US authorities, saw its half-year revenues rise by 10%. The firm said its sales had benefited from its US operations, which achieved organic sales growth of 12% during the period.

Overall sales at BAE’s Land & Armaments business, which includes everything from tanks to munitions, rose 43%.

And that is before you get to the oil companies waiting to come in and hoover up the profit from “liberated” assets. I repeat, this is not an academic construct. While I was Ambassador in Uzbekistan, I learnt the hard way the industrial scale torture, repression and state compulsion of child labour were of no importance compared to the vested interests of the powerful.

The sad truth is, of course, that New Labour were no better. As they look well placed to come back to power, you are going to see some of those private donations heading their way shortly. They massively forwarded the “market driven” model of NHS privatisation, and of course presided over the Great Banking Pozni Scheme while Mandelson, Bliar and Brown hovered around the rich soliciting donations. They also received very large donations from BAE, who made billions from the Iraq War, while Blair intervened to prevent BAE executives facing criminal bribery charges as this was “against the national interest”.

The mainstream parties are bought and sold, merely a collection of alternative parcels of rogues. The politicians are, virtually without exception, sickening examples of self-seeking, profiteering and aggrandisement. What astonishes me is that many people apparently think bringing back the first lot of war criminals will make things better.

My suspicion is that the percentage splits between parties by pollsters are an illusion, and a large majority are sick of all of them. Society had not yet found a way to express that, but it will.

139 thoughts on “Politicians’ Private Profit from NHS Sell-Off

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  • Komodo

    Thanks, Rose and Evgueni. Good point re. written constitution. Though easier to implement in a small cohesive community like Switzerland than a sprawling disparate one like the USA, I think. There’s what a geek might call a meta-issue there which deserves exploration: what does the Swiss constitution work quite well while the US one (and its cosmetic imitators elsewhere) still favours the ripoff and the scam? Ben Franklin – you helped with the Constitution, what say you?

  • Komodo

    Read “why does the..” for “what does the..” above. Lizard. Brain not warmed up yet. Sorry.

  • Guest

    “Last year, Southern Cross, the largest care home company in the UK, with 750 homes housing 31,000 people, went bankrupt. Using the “sale and lease-back” model whereby the company’s properties were sold off and then leased back, CEOs and shareholders were involved in an asset-stripping operation that made them millions.”


  • Mary

    Oh I see. It was the civil servants wot dunnit. They have been well and truly dumped on. If true, shouldn’t Ms Greening resign? The awarding of these rail franchises is a very flawed process anyway.

    ‘The transport secretary said there were “significant technical flaws” in the bidding process because of mistakes by Department for Transport staff. Three civil servants have been suspended.

    The estimated cost of reimbursing four companies for the cost of their bids will be £40m, Patrick McLoughlin said.’

    Update from the same link as above.

    I cannot find any words from Greening on TheyWorkForYou announcing the awarding of the contract to First Group in August???

  • nevermind

    I will have to excuse myself from commenting regularly for the next month and a bit. Rather busy with trying to change this’ shower’ as Ed likes to call them , with some Independents.
    If any of you have any ambitions in next years County council elections, I know its not glamorous enough for the ex establishment but… please realise that you could wish of no better springboard for your efforts next year, then to support an Independent candidate this year.

    If you have the luxury of an Independent candidate for Police and Crime commissioner election of 15.th. Nov., please do bother voting at least, if you can’t be bothered to tear yourself away from this ever so important blog and help these Independent candidate’s.
    Beware of the default ones.

  • Mary

    Jon Sopel to FirstGroup’s Tim O’Toole just now on News 24 ‘Do you really think you are going to win the West Coast line?’ with the emphasis on ‘you’ followed by some jeering aside at the drop in the price of FirstGroup’s shares.

    Outrageous and obvious bias for Branson.

  • Guest

    “I cannot find any words from Greening on TheyWorkForYou announcing the awarding of the contract to First Group in August???”


    In the middle of the page, small print.

    “When the franchise was handed to First Group the then Transport Secretary Justine Greening insisted the government would push on with a process it insisted had been robust and fair – in the face of angry objections by Virgin, the Labour Party and the thousands of people who signed a petition calling for the bid to be reconsidered.

    She lost her job in the reshuffle. The new Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, told the Commons as recently as 12 September he was satisfied all bids were considered fairly and with “due diligence”.”


  • Mary

    The five largest UK banks are closing one branch every two days, HSBC being the worst offender.

  • Mary

    Mealy mouthed Mr Burnham, ex NuLabour, now new-wonder-wash, whiter-than-white, NEW LABOUR

    Andy Burnham has vowed to reverse the “rapid” privatisation of NHS hospitals in England if Labour wins power.

    The shadow health secretary warned that some NHS hospitals were planning to double the number of private patients they treat under new freedoms.

    In a speech to Labour’s conference, he said the coalition risked destroying the character of the NHS that David Cameron had promised to protect.

    Labour has not ruled out all competition to provide NHS services.


    Labour conference: Andy Burnham vows to scrap NHS market

    The headline here is untrue.

  • evgueni

    I wasn’t in the highest of spirits myself which must have reflected in my post somehow. Fighting a cold, I reckon.

  • evgueni

    Komodo, 3 Oct, 2012 – 8:34 am
    “..why does the Swiss constitution work quite well while the US one (and its cosmetic imitators elsewhere) still favours the ripoff and the scam?”

    A fascinating question, since the Swiss “piece of paper” was inspired and modelled on the US one as I understand. I have a view on this – I think that the difference is that the Swiss are not powerless to stop abuses of their constitutional rights, whereas the Americans can only stand by and watch since there are no direct democratic instruments available at federal level in the US.

  • Mary

    A catalogue. Just two examples.

    On ‘news’ for 1 Oct a PFI hospital is going ahead in Liverpool in spite of the recent adverse publicity on PFI

    Go-ahead imminent for £425m PFI rebuild.

    NHS North of England this week said it hoped to see final government approvals secured by the end of this month for a £425m rebuild of the Royal Liverpool Hospital, funded largely through the private finance initiative. The strategic health authority cluster approved the appointment business case for the scheme on 13 September. It now needs approvals from the Department of Health and the Treasury to go ahead. An NHS North of England spokeswoman told HSJ: “We’re hoping all approvals can be secured by the end of September.” A spokeswoman for Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals Trust said the trust expected final approvals within “the next few weeks”, and would then be in a position to announce the chosen PFI bidder and the final design of the new hospital. Two bidders have been shortlisted for the PFI contract: Carillion and Horizon. According to an NHS North of England board paper, the scheme will require £293m of the capital costs to be raised by the PFI contractor and £117m by the trust itself. The trust’s annual “unitary payments” for the PFI would begin at £32.5m, but would be index linked to inflation, meaning that by 2018-19 the estimated payment would be £34.9m. However, the paper adds that there is the “possibility” of an injection of £100m of public capital into the scheme from the DH. This would reduce the amount of private finance required and, if confirmed, could reduce the trust’s annual payments by “over £5m”, it notes.


    Tuesday 2nd October 2012

    •Serco takes over NHS Suffolk Community Healthcare services.

    NHS community services in Suffolk, including nursing and community hospitals, have transferred to a multi-national private company. Serco will run Suffolk Community Healthcare for three years. The £140m contract from NHS Suffolk also includes speech and language therapy and specialist dental services. Serco already runs Braintree Community Hospital in Essex and out-of-hours GP services in Cornwall. Its new contract includes running the community hospitals in Aldeburgh, Felixstowe and Newmarket. Tim Roberts, from the union Unison, which represents some NHS workers, said it was a “worrying day”. “NHS Suffolk has stipulated the services which [Serco] have to continue to deliver and a minimum number of staff which are needed, but we cannot understand how they can deliver that contract for the money they’re saving.”


    Search to see what is going on in your own area. You will be shocked at the speed and extent of privatisation of OUR NHS.

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