There is Another World 132

Resigning minister Mark Simmonds earnt 417 pounds an hour for his “consultancy” work for Circle Healthcare, a group looking to profit from the massive privatisation of NHS services and functions. He had to give it up during his time as Minsiter, but presumably can now go back to it. Simmonds gets 50,000 a year from Circle, broken down into 12,500 payments once a quarter, for ten hours a month. That is 417 pounds an hour.

This is blatant corruption. Simmonds has no great expertise worth that money, it is simply that the private healthcare industry is buying the MPs who will vote to privatise areas of the NHS to them. New Labour are just as bad as the Tories. Alistair Darling received 12,000 pounds for one after dinner speech to Cinven Ltd, a firm which does nothing but benefit from privatisation of NHS services. Was it because Alistair Darling is just the entertainment people want after a good dinner? No, they were buying his vote. New Labour and Tory MPs are both up to their eyeballs in NHS privatisation money.

It is the same with defence spending. Lord Taylor of Blackburn epitomises the rampant corruption in this area the professional in infant education who earned hundreds of thousands of pounds as a “consultant” to British Aerospace. This blog now has ten times more regular readers than it did when I wrote this article, and I beg of you to click the link and read it. It may open some eyes.

Simmonds has come into the spotlight by resigning on the pretext that his total salary and expenses as an MP in 2012-13 of 271,000 pounds – including a 25,000 for his “secretary” wife and 32,500 in rental allowance – were not enough for him to be able to live a family life in London. This man voted for the benefit cap that limits the total income of families on benefits to 26,000 pounds – that is under ten per cent of the amount which is inadequate for his family to live on. These bastards really do live in another world.

In their world, however, all is good and foodbanks are a sign of a healthy society. This will take your breath away.


132 thoughts on “There is Another World

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  • Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    U -Yes, you’re probably right. I was brought up in the good times, and now we are reverting to type.

  • Uzbek in the UK


    (although Russians are not the favourite race either).

    Is not this an insult? Criticising Russian government is not equal to hatred towards Russians. Many in KGB/FSB are making this equation but is this really true? If yes, does it not make you British nation hater?

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Ba’al Zevul (With Gaza)

    “I was brought up in the good times, and now we are reverting to type”

    Here is the answer to your question. Large scale housing building programme. Land is released to the developers. In return good part of the properties goes to the local authorities as social housing. Remaining is sold to first time buyers with low or high deposits with clause that these properties cannot be resold for higher prices until mortgage is paid off fully. This will kill speculation. This will remove first time buyers from the market gradually reducing remaining market to speculators only. And we will then see how prices will quite naturally fall down like bird sh..t.

    Anything else will not work. Forcibly reducing mortgages, increase stamp duty or interests rates, etc. only hits hardworking people hardest.

  • Republicofscotland

    Yip read the foodbank article over on “Wings”, it a disgrace, it seems that because the rest of Europe has foodbanks its somehow okay to have them in Scotland, does the same apply to homeless people, it has gotten to the stage the UK has no aspirations at all, with regards to bettering our society.

    Companies now find it easy to gain access to politicians votes, by paying obscene amounts of money for mediorce after dinner speeches, no wonder “Lobby rhymes with Jobby.”

  • Ben-American Fascist Flechette

    “Companies now find it easy to gain access to politicians votes, by paying obscene amounts of money for mediorce after dinner speeches, no wonder “Lobby rhymes with Jobby”

    It’s either Patronage or Payola for those whose influence can be bought. If you run in elite circles, the temptation to curry favor by incorporating what they want to hear into the mix, insures further bookings.

  • Republicofscotland

    @Ben American.

    Re your comment 3:46.

    What does that say about company heads, when average politicians can woo these industry barons by saying what they want to hear. Sure their first and foremost goal is secure their vote, but you’ve got to wonder about big business and their amoral attitude.

    As for ensuring “Further bookings” I’m of the stance a politician shouldn’t have second jobs, they’re well paid and have an expenses account which reimburses them well. Their main goal is to serve the public’s interests, not their own.

    But hey maybe I’m just old fashioned, or even foolish, who am I to expect a public servant to serve the public, what was I thinking (Says I with head in hands).

  • Ben-American Fascist Flechette

    “As for ensuring “Further bookings” I’m of the stance a politician shouldn’t have second jobs, they’re well paid and have an expenses account which reimburses them well. Their main goal is to serve the public’s interests, not their own”

    RoS; If one thinks the system is redeemable, perhaps more discussions about campaign laws would be called for.

    Publicly (taxpayer) funded campaigns would take the steam out of that boiling pot. Also laws proscribing the ‘revolving door’ between such private enterprises might help. I personally think the system is FUBAR and a complete reboot is necessary.

  • Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    And here’s the answer to your answer, Uzbek. No-one’s about to do the obvious and meet demand at a reasonable price because the UK economy depends on structural, inevitable, accelerating inflation* being buried in the housing market. Instead of the pound being worth progressively less, the most expensive essential to life, your house, costs more and more. While the banks pump yet more valueless money into the system, the traders leverage your debt for their own profit, and estate agents immerse their snouts in the delicious gravy.

    While The Markets control the governance of this country, and they do, things will continue to slide. And if The Markets ever stop controlling the country, it will be accompanied by bloodshed. We are not in a good place.

    * due to the only thing we produce surplus to our requirements being imported paper which we have marked with imported printing ink, and, uneaten McDonalds Meals

  • Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    O/T – Blair may be in Co. Durham this afternoon. Anyone any idea why, please?

  • Highlander

    It may of passed those who care that you are only allowed to go to food banks 3 times in six months.
    So its okay for those men and women children to starve?

    Time to change the status quo.

    Keep up the good work.


  • Mary

    A lot of them are solicitors and barristers Ben. Many also rack up large incomes from ‘writing’ stuff for the corporate media and ‘speaking’ at conferences and corporate meetings. They have no shame and do not even possess the grace to resign when found out.

  • Ben-American Fascist Flechette

    Lawyers can be expected to advertise how much they’ve secured for clients in personal injury cases. That’s what they do. But when they seek public office, there should be some perspective on their careers. It only make sense, but not ‘cents’ to do so.

  • Republicofscotland

    @Ben American 4:16

    Re your comment.

    Is the system redeemable, with regards to Westminster, I’m not so sure, almost not a day goes by, without some news breaking, regarding fiscal corruption or political underhandedness coming out, it would appear (and I’m sure Baroness Warsi would think the same) that Westminster is and forever will be set in its archaic ways.

    As for your second point, it is undoubtedly, connected to your first point in the matter that, he who sets the laws should not bend nor break them to suit himself, its a bit like “Do as I say, not as I do.”

  • Mary

    An example Ben. Rory Stewart MP Con Penrith and the Border. Spooky it is said. Look at his extra earnings, mostly literary. Wonder what his connection to Oppenheimer is?

    He recently became chair of the Defence Committee and is a member of Liaison Committee (Commons) and Member, National Security Strategy (Joint Committee)

    This entry made me LOL.

    8 March 2011, £32,650.17 fee from StudioCanal SA for film rights, film options and consultancy services negotiated in 2008. Hours worked: zero. (Registered 30 March 2011)

  • passerby

    It may of passed those who care that you are only allowed to go to food banks 3 times in six months.
    So its okay for those men and women children to starve?

    Also going unnoticed is the fact that those who are referred to the food banks, must first qualify as poor (social workers, etc must verify and refer), before the food bank will entertain them.

    Contemporaneous data is as follows;

    A strapping lad of six feet four inches, built like a break outhouse, married with a child, working as a mechanic all hours that god sends, he was starving because he had not eaten for forty eight hours and was surviving on chocolate bars and hot coffees that his mates were buying for him at his works. Simply put the choice was his child to be fed, or for him to eat?

    This is the data that will not be publicised, and will go unnoticed.

    The scandal of working poor who work all the hours they can yet they cannot earn a living.


    UITU so long as you know it is you!

    You have little to say, and take a lot of space saying it.

    I bet you are a shorty, judging by the hate and bluster you pour, as the other day a Russian guy called you; козел indeed

  • Mary

    Relevant in connection with Circle Health. Simmonds was Shadow Minister for Health (6 Jul 2007 to 11 May 2010)

    His apology was skimpy. It did not even mention the name of Circle Health.

    Mark Simmonds (Boston and Skegness, Conservative)
    It has been brought to my attention that on 31 January and 16 March 2011, I inadvertently omitted to draw the House’s attention to my entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests relating to strategic advice that I provide to a social enterprise health care provider. I would like to take this opportunity both to correct the record and to apologise.

    Link to this: Individually | In context
    Hansard source (Citation: HC Deb, 20 February 2012, c634)

    John Bercow (Speaker)
    We are grateful to the hon. Gentleman.

  • Mary

    O/T Came across this in my travels on the web.

    Tony Blair’s former protection cop to appear at Durham Crown Court on fraud charges

    Aug 11, 2014

    Former Durham firearms officer Vaughan Dodds – who previously protected Tony Blair – will appear in court today on fraud charges

    A former firearms officer accused of a benefits swindle is due in court today.

    Vaughan Dodds – who once served on Tony Blair’s protection unit – is listed to appear at Durham Crown Court later.

    The 43-year-old, formerly of Durham Police, is accused of fraudulently claiming £61,000 in benefits.


  • doug scorgie

    Uzbek in the UK
    12 Aug, 2014 – 12:46 pm

    “Interestingly, whenever there is a debate about healthcare every commentators try to compare to the healthcare in the US (which in my opinion is as segregated as their society was) but no one has even mentioned our good neighbours Germany and France which seem to be able to provide better quality healthcare and spend considerably lower on it.”

    “I say start with reducing pay to the doctors and consultants. Why should nurse or midwife whose working hours are as long as of the doctors exists on fraction of the money paid to the latter? Why doctor in Germany or France is able to deliver better quality for smaller pay? Are we overpaying our doctors?”

    Other commenters on here might remember the above two paragraphs are almost exactly what Habbabkuk said in a thread quite a while back, except for the broken English.

    I’ve had suspicions about Uzbek for a long time.

    Is it Habbabkuk with a funny voice?

  • Mary

    This is Simmonds’ outfit. He (his name is Mark Jonathan Mortlock Simmonds), the wife with a Spanish name (for whom he claims from HoC as his office manager) and a Mr Brown are the directors registered in Hemel Hempstead. Another company without Brown is also registered in Hemel Hempstead.


    Active – 04402906

    His Hanover Square business.

    msbl is an established specialist retail property advisor to occupiers and landlords throughout the UK. We are a young, energetic company, which has grown into a major force in the retail property sector over the last 10 years. Our work with major retailers and landlords demonstrates a detailed understanding of a complex market. Core activities include:
    •Leasehold acquisitions and disposals
    •Freehold acquisitions and disposals
    •Rent reviews
    •Lease renewals
    •Re-gearing leases
    •Corporate advice and strategy
    •Portfolio asset management’ based W1.

  • Tom

    Yes, the MP has made a fool of himself. And even if his salary and allowances weren’t enough to live in, he should have realised this before he stood as an MP. I suspect, as with Warsi, there is an ulterior motive to this self-serving excuse.
    As for foodbanks, if they exist people will use them – some in desperate need, some who spend their money on things they believe they are entitled to but can’t afford.
    Your underlying assumption that Salmond would spend more on the needy is also, I believe, wrong. Given that if he were forced to introduce a new currency, a fledgling independent Scotland would struggle to borrow, as well as losing many UK jobs, he would be more likely have to cut government spending.

  • Clark

    Uzbek in the UK, 1:56 pm; no, I don’t propose conspiracy.

    It is entirely expected that the corporate media promote views that advance corporate interests; it is structural.

    The voting system encourages oppositional voting, ie. voting for the party with the best chance of defeating the unwanted candidate. In most UK parliamentary constituency elections either (1) the outcome is a foregone conclusion (a “safe seat”) or (2) most of the swing voters will vote to keep [Tory/Labour according to preference] out.

    Either way, independents and candidates of small parties, outside the establishment, stand very little chance of being elected. This can be seen by comparing the total votes for such candidates with the much smaller proportion of seats they actually win.

    Uzbek, I think you should be a bit more suspicious of the UK (and US) system(s). The Russian systems (Soviet and current) were/are far more brutal, but the USSR only lasted seven decades. The UK system is much older and its arts of control are correspondingly more advanced. One of the reasons it’s lasted so much longer is that it has conceded a little more power to the people. But greed doesn’t just become extinct in a country when an advance in democracy is achieved. It just finds different avenues of influence.

    The concentration of power upon long-standing MPs in the major parties is obviously advantageous for powerful entities (personal, corporate or otherwise) who wish to influence government policy; the MPs can be cultivated personally (eg. “consultancy work”) or donations can be made to party funds.

    Very little threatens this system. The major political parties argue over apparent ideological disagreements, but they all become filtered and influenced by the mechanisms above. The results are obvious; “opposing” parties’ policies converge towards corporate utopia, their broad economic agreement approved by the corporate media.

    Uzbek, you experienced the iron fist of Russia. Here, the affliction of the politically aware is frustration with bloated stagnant complacency. I’ve voted thoughtfully all my life but it’s never changed a thing.

  • Peacewisher

    Why were they the good times, Ba’al?

    This might give the answer:

    Of course it took a while for these radical changes to work their way through the system…

    The baby boomers benefited; subsequent generations thought it was their “right” and let it all slip away… yet according to opinion polls, the smartphone generation think the answer is a more right-wing government.

  • Peacewisher

    @RepublicofScotland: How incompetent are the “yes” campaign to not enable making this public knowledge… ?

  • Peacewisher

    Words from Ukrainian government regarding the “missing” photographer Andrey Stenin:

    “We assume that Andrey Stenin may have been aiding the terrorists. This is not journalism, this is aiding and praising terrorism,”

    For this, perhaps:

    But since when has taking pictures (the truth?) been “aiding and praising terrorism”.

    [This could possibly be slightly off topic, but perhaps not, in context of its title “Another World”]

  • Rose

    Peacewisher at 7.46 Good times because a narrow window was opened up for the likes of us to squeeze through. After the threatened social unrest after 2 world wars, our betters were forced to concede a little.

    And those concessions did indeed benefit those of us born in the 1940’s. My sister would have died at birth without the NHS, we had free milk,vitamin supplements and basic dental care; we were all beneficiaries of the 1944 Education Act.

    It truly was a golden time. But the door to all that was firmly slammed in 1979 when Thatcher rose like a malignant Britannia from the waves and stuck her trident into everything that was “true, honest, just,pure, lovely and of good report”.

  • Porkfright

    Good post, Rose. Those of us born not too long after the war had the benefit of those who had served and wanted something different-and who could have made things very nasty for governments had they wanted. Then along came the “Tea Lady” and the wacky “Film Star” and people bought it, not realising they were the original Neocon plants. The foliage grew quickly after that, and now they’re like Japanese Knotweed.

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