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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  • Max

    Agree absolutely with Evgueni’s post.

    BTW, why should ‘popular initiatives’/referenda lead to mob rule? Switzerland seems to manage pretty well.

    But on the other hand, Switzerland has a pretty educated public.

  • nevermind

    Hi Evgueni, good to see your thoughts, you have put your finger on the British calamity, their inability to think small, to be responsible for one’s own local decision, the engrained genetic party membership handed down from their forefather who went down the pit, into the office, always voted for…., blah blah.

    Or could it be sheer lazyness? too much salt on the butter? utter disinterest due to the existing political dogma merchant, or….

    in reality they are still the same slaves the Vikings took them for, in which case they will be asking for more fish and salt and grain, instead of a more efficient accountable fairly elected Government.


  • technicolour

    I think anyone who has any interest in politics must agree that, since it is of, and for the people, allowing the people as a whole to decide on national and local issues has to be the only honest way to go. It is strange that, despite my general affection for the public, I get some kind of instinctive fear from the idea. Perhaps it is that fear of ‘the mob’. But in fact, people would be able to decide on their own individual consciences: this is not a rabble rousing exercise. And one can reflect that we would not have attacked Afghanistan; we would not have attacked Iraq; we would have taxed the rich; we would not have bailed out the banks; we would not have supported these cuts.

    I think there are caveats: the media, for one thing. Opinions change, depending on how much Fox News you watch or how much Daily Mailstrom you read. I’m not sure what one would do about that – except engage in distributing the reality. Which people would be more inclined to, if they were empowered.

  • Mary

    Coe cosies up to Labour just in case they get in next time. He has to keep all options open for his planned rise to become the ruler of the world.

    London 2012: Lord Coe thanks Labour for Olympics support
    (photo) Lord Coe is a former Conservative MP

    Lord Coe has called for cross-party support to ensure the London Olympics leave a successful legacy.

    Appearing in Manchester, Lord Coe paid tribute in particular to Ms Jowell, who remained a key figure in the organising team after Labour lost power in 2010.

    “We could not have got across the line without you,” he told her.

    What a creep.


  • Komodo

    Let’s just call it institutional corruption. Let’s just face the fact, our soi-disant leaders are as much the beneficiaries of(discreet) bribery as those of any of the banana republics we used to laugh at in the 60’s. They’re corrupt. They’re bent. They’re on the take. No greater understanding of the situation of the situation is necessary, and documentation of their colossal mendacity is superfluous because you can take it as a given, and they will barely bother to shrug. They’re in your face and they’re upfront (if discreet) about it, because what the fuck can you do about it, plebs?
    Nothing, Nevermind. Nothing, Mark. Nothing, Komodo. The system can effortlessly absorb your aspirations to change the world, whether by bribery, marginalisation or state terrorism.

    Unless you’re al-Qaeda, that is. It’s that bad.

  • nevermind

    Thanks for that Komodo and technicolour. This talk of mob rule is merely fear of the unknown. There would be no mob rul;e if the current shower would have their party dogmas diluted with more down to earth sense and practicalities.

    putting our face in voting, when the voting system is ancient unreformed and prone to fraud has shown to a receipe for making jibes at each other, it provoked political mob rule on either side of the arguments, a total status quo game show.

    If there is any indication of mob rule in this country it is by political factions who gerrymander it for their own purposes.

    Decentralisation of powers to the smallest possible level, subsidiarity, directly dealing with Brussels from the regions, rather than via manipulations from party apparatchiks in London, has got to show a way forward.

    The overbearing waste in public services happens at the centre, politicians gambling/underwriting risky arms deals to the tune of hundreds of billion/annum, for example, central logistics is full of mistakes, so why prop up a festering system?

    because we can’t live without our national party politics, its leaders, the establishment?

  • evgueni

    glenn, 2 Oct, 2012 – 3:24 am

    Spoken like a true arm-chair intellectual supremacist. Or did I catch you in a bad mood? The Swiss don’t seem to be going around lynching people, are they genetically different from us, or culturally much more advanced? I use Switzerland as an example but DD has taken root elsewhere, too. Uruguay, Venezuela, numerous European states have adopted some elements of it at state level. German lendes and US states have it at local g’ment level. Find some evidence to back up your reflexive objections, please.

    You misunderstood the other bit, the self-correction mechanism. Of course media play a role, and I have written about that elsewhere. That is why I choose my words carefully – *perceived* problem. If a problem is not perceived, e.g. because of media misdirection, then democracy is subverted, direct, representative or hybrid. I speak of the *relative* virtues of DD, not of its absolute superiority in some religious sense.

  • Komodo

    Re. Switzerland:
    Funny how the financial services sector there seems to benefit the population at large, innit? AND just about everyone has a rifle….

  • Komodo

    Gratuitous afterthought: We know they’re screwing us. We – or some of us – know how and why they’re screwing us. Useful information, but how do we stop them screwing us?

  • Clark

    Ben, 1 Oct, 3:06 pm

    “I have been mystified, for decades, at the voting habits of the working classes who make those decisions against their own best interests. “

    Short answer: the corporate media.

    Longer answer: the corporate media on the one hand, irrational conspiracy theorising on the other. Between then, these two neutralise most of the human goodwill when it comes to the ballot box.

  • Ben Franklin

    Clark; Howdy.

    Yes, low-info, low-curiosity voters is part of it. But, taken from the other thread is the ‘belief system’. I think it’s the putative conservative mirroring of their religious values, that makes the difference for a lot of voters. Libs are seen as godless atheists, so they have that going for them.

    Media has a role in that, but to think they are just, as a class, ignorant and stupid doesn’t really fit.

    There is that group-think thing, that the Media reinforces, and when people vote like a mob at a lynching, it’s a clusterfuck of stupid. I’m reminded of a line from a film ( Men in Black) “A person is smart, but People are stupid.”

  • Ginger Nuts (was: Wagon Wheels)

    “Labour to embrace David Cameron’s ‘big society’”


    In other news Tory, Labour and Lib-Dems have agreed on a cost cutting merger. They will now be collectively know as simply ‘The Puppet Government’. This decision will not affect local or national elections so please keep voting – this is a democracy after all.

    [Mod/Jon: posted as Wagon Wheels, but has posted in the past under Ginger Nuts, so fixing]

  • greenmachine

    Craig is right to rage and to the doubters I say …shame on you! A very close friend is very high up in the NHS and he passes me snippets. He told me over the summer that a summit of NHS execs has been told that the DELIVERY of services from the NHS commissioning bodies will be ALL from private providers within 5 years! The plan ensures the mantra ‘ free at the point of use’ can be maintained via the public commissioners, essentially your local GP. EVERYTHING else will by contracted to private companies many alluded to on this thread. Branson’s virgin has signed a deal to deliver community and health visiting services in a major NHS trust area in the south already. Watch those wages fall, working hours escalate, quality of care evaporate, accountability disappear……but there will be plenty of profit..oh joy!

  • evgueni

    Komodo, 2 Oct, 2012 – 2:16 pm

    Re: Swiss financial sector. You reminded me of this – from Article 99 of the Swiss constitution: “.. At least two thirds of the net profits of the Swiss National Bank shall be credited to the Cantons.”

    I know Central Bank profits is far from the whole story, but this demonstrates nicely the benefit of having a written constitution. When every progressive victory, no matter how incremental, is recorded like this in one place, it is easier to educate people about their rights and harder to persuade them to part with them – a very effective ratchet mechanism.

  • Ben Franklin

    “it is easier to educate people about their rights and harder to persuade them to part with them”

    THIS !!!

    Social Security in the US is a prime example. The average American often doesn’t even connect the government to this benefit, yet they are totally addicted to the results.

  • evgueni

    tony roma, 2 Oct, 2012 – 4:18 am

    No thanks. Eustace Clarence Mullins, Jr. (the author, Murder by Injection) is “generally regarded as one of the most influential authors in the genre of conspiracism” (Wikipedia). He apparently thought that the Illuminati were “merely a link in a much longer chain that extends back to the ancient Near East and forward to the nascent communist movement of the early Marx” (again, Wikipedia). His strong antisemitic views are also noted. ‘Nuff said.

    You know, being innumerate is not a crime, but it is a handicap as it can make you easy prey to all sorts of purveyors of anxiety. The rest of your post appears to be garbled..

  • Ginger Nuts (was: Wagon Wheels)

    “but this demonstrates nicely the benefit of having a written constitution.”

    And the United States’ constitution demonstrates nicely the irrelevance of having a written constitution when people don’t read or understand it.

    “It’s just a piece of paper.” GW Bush.

    [Mod/Jon: posted as Wagon Wheels, but has posted in the past under Ginger Nuts, so fixing]

  • evgueni

    technicolour, 2 Oct, 2012 – 12:18 pm

    Agree strongly with your post. Regarding last paragraph – caveats, what I find encouraging is a thread that runs consistently through Noam Chomsky’s work where he asserts and backs up with evidence that the American public in general radically disagree with the ruling elite views on many big political questions like wars, Palestinian occupation, provision of public healthcare etc – in spite of the horribly pro-establishment US popular media. Personally, the US television media make our own propaganda organs look refined and subtle. It seems the people are not easily fooled.

  • Mary

    Good editorial in the MS on Milipede Jnr’s aspirations

    Skating over the real issues

    in contrast to
    Tories and hacks from right-wing papers are queuing up to praise Ed’s “no notes” speech to Labour conference in Manchester — they’ve even cracked open the Tony Blair comparisons:


  • Mary

    The President the US never had, Cynthia McKinney.

    Cynthia McKinney On Leadership

    Those who have followed the Republican campaign for the presidential nomination and current contest between Romney and Obama know that the United States has no political leadership in Washington.

    Billions of dollars have been spent on political propaganda, but not a single important issue has been addressed. The closest the campaign has come to a political issue is which candidate can grovel the lowest at the feet of Israeli prime minister Netanyahu. Romney won that contest. But for the rest, well, it is like two elementary school children sticking their tongues out at one another.

    The question of US political leadership has been on my mind for some time. I can remember when political leadership still existed and when bipartisan cooperation could be mustered on enough issues to keep the country and the government functioning.


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