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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  • Guest

    “In March 2006, after Jowell had claimed that Mills had not told her, until four years after the event, that Mills had been given £340,000 for his work for Silvio Berlusconi, the couple “agreed to a period of separation”.[8][9] However, questions have been raised as to the extent of this separation given that Mills and Jowell “appear, to all intents and purposes, very much a married couple.”[10][11]”


  • Ben Franklin

    Not being familiar with the culture you enjoy, I wonder if the lack of choice (paper or plastic, sir) in your candidates for office, is the result of a lazy and ill-informed electorate, as it it in the US?

    I have been mystified, for decades, at the voting habits of the working classes who make those decisions against their own best interests. ‘Hard hats’ and Reagan Democrats , many of whom are Union members, seem to favor candidates who campaign openly about collective bargaining as a bad thing.

    Is that a big issue in the UK?

  • Komodo

    Not so much a big issue, more two dirty words. The party of the Left, Labour, continues to distance itself from the unions, while the traditional Left continues to vote Labour as being the least bad option. A lazy and ill-informed electorate? Sweeping but largely just, IMO. Also bear in mind that the disintegration of manufacturing industry has meant the end of any possibility of coordinating action by large individual workforces. Another feature has been the enthusiastic acquiescence of all politicians in the manufacturing technique, pioneered in the US and now global, of moving your plant to the cheapest labour market. Times have changed, and collective bargaining is now a dodo: the paths of collective bargaining have been re-engineered to lead only to the unemployment office.

  • wendy

    “I know how you feel, but then I was hopeful about Obama too. Sadly we will get fooled again.”
    the fact is obama was the packaging to get the disaffected democrats and independents on board , he was and is in his handlers eyes a blair like figure who is teflon coated.
    ed is repackaging of the neocon pro-zionist cabal that are in control of each of the mainstream parties. all he has done is drawn a line under iraq, so no questions or criticisms allowed whilst supporting further illegal wars .
    the edl (bfp) are on the sidelines, not banned but promoted by a variety of media and fundraisers (embraced by douglas murray who is himself embraced by theresa may).. just in case they are needed as the the street militia that blairite labour intended them to be.

  • Ben Franklin

    “Sweeping…” Not my intent. I was talking about that incongruous Union member who sees conservatives as representing more of the values of the church-goer, in a putative way.

    ‘Labour continues to distance itself…” It would appear your environment is quite similar, except we are not as close to ‘austerity’, and no DHS, as yet.

  • Julian

    @ Tom Welsh,

    Yes I agree. I also think that as the group gets larger there are more opportunities for sociopaths (~1-2% of the population) to gain control and wreak havoc. It has recently been reported in various studies that there is a higher than normal population of psychopaths in the business world because they are ideally drawn to a dog-eat-dog conscienceless activity; I would expect if these same studies were done on politicians the percentage would be even higher: in what other profession is lying a job requirement?


    “Dr Babiak designed a 111-point questionnaire with the University of British Columbia’s Prof Bob Hare – the world’s pre-eminent expert in psychopathy and a regular adviser to the FBI – to determine how many industry bosses were psychopaths.

    They found that nearly four per cent of bosses fitted the profile, compared with one per cent among the general population.” OK, that’s the Daily Mail.

    I’m not suggesting that Tome Welsh is wrong, simply that the psychopath-friendly society we live in is another factor in sucking us into the mire.

  • Guest

    “The really depressing thing is that they and their wealthy cronies seem to have the system pretty well sewn up. This makes them extremely difficult to challenge by legal means.”

    Colin Carr

    “When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men, they create for themselves in the course of time, a legal system that authorises it, and a moral code that glorifies it.”

    Political economist Frederic Bastiat, The Law (1850)

  • Komodo

    @ Ben –
    Ah, therein lies the difference. We had the Enlightenment, and we’re mostly functional atheists*. Paradoxical really, Old Labour, Old Testament ethics and Methodism went together quite well, while the toffs rarely waste their time trying to convince us plebs that religion has anything to do with exploitation.

    * Our growing Muslim population would disagree, no doubt, and that’s another area for spirited debate entirely.

  • nevermind

    Can someone please explain why you want political parties sorting out this problem when we full well know that it is these dogma ridden self serving delusions of representatives that have landed us in this fiasco.

    labour failed to follow through when they had the finance bill in front of parliament in 2006. Blair waved it off and the shit hit the fan, now were splattered, but that fan is still churning and the shit is still flying.

    Thanks for the alternative view, Simon wood, shall read your tome later, is this a collaborative effort?

    Matt keefe, I have the solution to your woes. Stop relying and waiting for politicians to stand up and ruin your life, stand as an Independent, there are now many here in Norfolk who will stand at next years County elections and you can promote your local Independent PCC candidate this coming month, if you like his/her views. There is no better springboard for next years CC elections than to get an Independent PCC candidate selected in November.

    How much longer will it take for people to understand that this system is designed to perpetuate the status quo. Only when there are many Independents elected will the failing parties change.

    bring on demarchy.

  • Gawain


    You rightly identify that corporate kick-backs play a major part in modern political decision-making. At the same time, you confess your faith in the European model of representative democracy and see it as central to the enactment of liberal values – reaching perhaps greatest prominence in the work of John Rawls.


    Can you not see the contradiction here? If you support a capitalist system, a system that is based on exclusion, social alienation, and mindless consumption, and champion a political structure whose goal is to serve this structure, then surely the virtues of liberal democracy are virtually impossible to achieve? The idea that constitution-making and institution-fixing (central to liberalism) will somehow shelter us from the unruly storm of financial capital is clearly mistaken. It simply misunderstands the power of capital to distort the system, to mitigate the cohesive unity of the social whole, and to lay siege to the institutional integrity of the state.


    The solution posited by most liberals is to say that we need better institutions, equality of opportunity, and limited distributive justice. But this negates the hold that monopolies currently have on government. One cannot have equality of opportunity when one accepts a system that is designed to extinguish its fullest expression. One cannot have distributive justice unless the exogenous pressures of capital accumulation are debated in a serious and studied manner. Moreover, if institutions are largely filled with people from a certain caste – and they are – then how can we create a sufficiently just constitution for all citizens?


    I honestly do not think checks and balances are enough. We need to deal with the corrupting influence of capitalism itself.





  • Ben Franklin

    “Only when there are many Independents elected will the failing parties change.”

    IMO, those who vote independent are protest votes against the traditional Parties, and little else.

    The Indies attract the deals when the vote is close, and often the values demonstrated are Party affiliated, especially when the Indie has changed out of his former political suit. That usually result sin the name ‘independent’ becoming just as tainted.

  • Jay

    According to one, of many, labour MP,s who was aired on rodeo 5.

    What we need is to pop into B and Q, too get the economy going.

    Sorry the economy will have to stay where it is for now.

    Now where’s that handbook!

  • Mary

    The more stones you turn over, the more slimy objects you can find.

    I was looking Bridgepoint up in another connection and discovered that Patten, chair BBC trust, and Milburn, ex Nu Labour Health Minister and a stooge for the ConDems, are on the European Board.

    Found this. Next time you hear the BBC slagging off the NHS and finding deficiencies, remember this link. It is disgraceful state of affairs.


    Thursday, 22 March 2012
    BBC chief Lord Patten of Barnes, Bridgepoint and the Conflicts of Interest

    Lord Patten, the current head of the BBC has direct links to a company heavily involved in private healthcare.

    Lord Patten of Barnes is a member of the European Advisory Board for a private equity investment company called Bridgepoint.

    The company who also have Alan Milburn the former Secretary of State for Health under Tony Blair, as chair of the board, have been involved in 17 healthcare deals over recent years listed below. Eight of these companies remain as their current investments, which include four in the UK at a combined investment worth over £1.1 billion.

    One company acquired by Bridgepoint was residential care company CareUK in a £414 million acquisition in July 2010. CareUK made the headlines in the same year when it was revealed their chairman Jonathan Nash had donated £21,000 in November 2009 to run Health Secretary Andrew Lansley’s personal office.

    Another deal saw Tunstall, a telehealth company with contracts in the NHS, acquired by Charterhouse Development Company for £555 million; who have another Lord Patten as their senior advisor. Four companies were involved in the transaction, including; Goldman Sachs, Clifford Chance, KPMG, and LEK, three of which have Lords in senior positions. Lord Griffiths is a director at Goldman Sachs; Lord Harris is a senior advisor at KPMG, and Lord Wakeham is an adviser to LEK.

    Further transactions for Bridgepoint and a private healthcare company involved Alliance Medical, who sold the MRI scan company for £600 million to Dubai International LLC in 2007. The sale was a weighty profit, following its original purchase for £90 million, purchase made while Alan Milburn was working at Bridgepoint.


    PS When I worked at a local district general hospital Alliance were providing diagnostic scans such as PET and CT from mobile scanners. Never could find out the value of the contract but Milburn was on the board at the time when he was an MP and maybe even Health Secretary but I am not sure of my dates for the latter.

    Cameron appointed Milburn to produce a report on social mobility. He knows a lot about job mobility.

  • Jible

    If you don’t want political parties funded by rich organisations then there needs to be some form of state funding, and we all know that too.

  • Mary

    Frank Bowles above may discover that the NHS is not there, having been eviscerated and left as an acronym for the privateers to use, when he or members of his family need its services.

  • Vronsky

    “My suspicion is that the percentage splits between parties by pollsters are an illusion”

    There’s a doctoral thesis in there, Craig. The Vronsky Conjecture: if you ask people an important question requiring a yes or no answer but to which the answer is both unclear and obfuscated by propaganda, they will divide one third yes, one third no, and one third undecided.

    Apologies for being uncharacteristically on topic.

  • Vronsky


    Fascinated by your many links. Reminds me a bit of the Douglas Adams ‘Dirk Gently’ stories (dark jokes about ‘the interconnectedness of all things’). In the spirit of Craig’s post and your own researches perhaps you/we should invent some sort of political Wiki (Clark? You around?). A database of who is owned by whom. My web shortcuts begin with this list(but treat them with caution too):


    I think yours would be ‘moneywatch’.

    Got to make dinner now..mac and cheese.

  • Nextus

    The 2004 documentary The Corporation also examines the applicability of psychopathic diagnostics to business. It goes through the checklist and shows how businesses strip their employees of common humanity.

    Eminent Canadian law professor and legal theorist Joel Bakan contends the modern business corporation is created by law to function like a psychopathic personality. The Corporation includes interviews with 40 corporate insiders and critics – including Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Milton Friedman, Howard Zinn, Vandana Shiva and Michael Moore – plus true confessions, case studies and strategies for change.

    You can read the script and watch the movie on the website.

  • lysias

    The ancient Greeks thought electing officials was an aristocratic or oligarchic way to choose officials. In their view, the democratic way to choose them was at random, by lot, like for our juries.

  • nevermind

    @Ben Franklin. Just because the Scottish example of Conservative default is becoming popular south of the border, this should not mean one should colour all Independent minds with the same party political critical thinking, would you not agree.

    The Greens ideals at the heart of their MFSS are/were decentralising power. Then, after nearly 15 years of desperate attempt of centralisers to barrage any other attempts base bottom up democratic structures and after they’d had the swept uf the refuse of labours membership, principled, but led armchair activists, they felt the need to copulate with the media, desperate to get coverage and changed their structure by adopting a centralised leadership, so don’t think that any party is free from dogma.

    I’m currently working with Greens Conservatives and some very pissed off Lib dems, all absolutely fed up with their parties, that’s how far it got.

    But help me here, are you not supposed to be in the US?

  • OldMark

    Excellent post Craig. War is still, and illness is becoming, very good business for the PTB, and their enablers.

    Related to the subject of state protected actors like BAe profiting from war and the ‘terrorist threat’ this Telegraph obituary from a couple of days ago was very revealing-


    Until his downfall, Wilson was a crony of Secord, Clines, Shackley & Ollie North, and lived high on the hog courtesy of his Agency contacts, which were of course played down after his fall from grace.

    I never thought I’d see a neutral reference in the Telegragh (or one which didn’t dismissively apply the ‘conspiracy theory’ tag) to Lester Coleman’s ‘On the Trail of the Octopus’. Very strange.

  • Rose

    Good one Craig – back on track.
    At one level it is depressing to read about this cynical and opportunistic looting and pillaging by our leaders (sic); at another,it’s at least evidence that such behaviour is not restricted to one side – we’ve always known about the Tories’ propensity to look out for number 1 – but as someone above observed, surely nobody will be daft enough to be taken in by the Labour label again – or Lib Dem for that matter.
    Question is – what to do when the time comes to vote? Just hope there’s an Independent standing here worth a punt; abstaining would go very much against the grain.

  • tony roma

    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 : )

    ed balls rubbing shoulders with alan greenspan earlier in the year at high flying wall street shin digs.
    westminster is just an opposing view puppet show for the dumbo’s and the medicated.
    makes the masses feel like change is a comin but it is the same old tired show.

    let us be clear it is not just about wealth creation and future corporate jobs for these rats it is also blackmail based on video,foto and audio recordings.
    on a side note but kind of connected.

    who was protecting now then now then wicked uncle jimmy and why where they protecting him and not the kids.
    could it be they where all members of the same old mens club.


  • Rich Tee

    My father was killed by the NHS. He went into hospital for a routine operation, caught an infection that he didn’t originally have and died, by all accounts, a pretty horrible death. I never saw him before he died because, in those days a few years ago, I still had faith in the NHS.
    I cannot forgive the NHS for that now. I have private medical insurance, paid for out of my own pocket, so that hopefully I will never have to have an operation in an NHS hospital.
    Many other countries, including socialist countries like France, have a mixture of private and public healthcare. If it works in other countries, why can’t it work in Britain? I am not going to sacrifice my own health for ideological principle. You can if you want to.

  • tony roma

    what was fukyuppyshima.
    why are som many nuke plants allowed to leak.
    why is cancer treatment and cancer care all over tv and radio advertising.
    why in a post modern world is cancer a major growth area.
    because cancer cannot be allowed to be cured.
    why would you want to destroy a trillion dollar industry.
    problem nuke power station leaks,depleted uranium missile fall out gone global
    reaction cancers
    solution trillion dollar pharma and medical industries to help make you better or kill you trying.

  • Anon


    Ed is no Zionist although he is a non-religious Jew. It’s his brother David that’s the Zionist.

    He managed to upset the “usual suspects” at the Labour Party Conference in 2010.


    During his conference address in Manchester last week, the 40-year-old told delegates they must “strain every sinew” to make Israel end the naval blockade of Gaza and said “the attack on the Gaza flotilla was so wrong”.

    Jewish Labour supporters believe they must come to terms with Mr Miliband taking a different approach from that of staunchly pro-Israel former leaders Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

    Senior figures within the Labour Friends of Israel group admitted to “serious concerns” about his election as leader. One LFI member said: “We have got Ed whether we like it or not.”

  • guano

    The delegation with Rabbi Weiss that showed such respect to President Ahmedinejad puts to shame all of those who pretend not to understand the difference between Zionism and Judaism. Zionism is political, like political Islam, which works WITH political USUKIS to increase its own power and prosperity. Judaism is spiritual.The Jews pray in exactly the same manner as the Muslims are instructed to do, standing, bowing and in prostration.

    Allah explains in the Qur’an that the only reason why he left people out of the fold of Islam was to demonstrate to the Muslims how evil, how unbelievably corrupt and evil people could become if left to their own devices.

    What I see of my Muslim brothers in the UK, but not so much in kurdistan where I am on holiday, is the Muslims rushing at full speed to copy all of the detestable habits of the non-Muslims, lying, spying, corruption, dirty sexual politics and straight religious hypocrisy and falsehood.

    Do they think that these things are somehow acceptable under the camouflage of a non-Muslim country? Yes, they think that they have to play the same dirty games to survive.

    Allah answers this in the Qur’an. For those who will claim that they were unable to practise Islam properly, without lying, spying, cheating etc in the non-Muslim countries – double punishment. Firstly for not practising Islam and secondly for not showing the non-Muslims an example of Islam.

    Who else is there to do it but them?

  • tony roma

    ed ball der dash
    Deepening recession shows why Cameron & Osborne need to change course

    change course always the opposite ying and yang bullshit for the sheeple.

    27 Jun 2007, Balls was promoted to Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families.
    maybe he knows what happened to the missing children of jersey?

    these guys never stop…
    ed balls at a little new york shindig.
    probably working out rothchilds policy for the next rotten government.
    this scumbag should be sorting out street cleaning and local disputes at his Morley and Outwood constituency not swanning around new york.


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