It fails again and again, but still gets the business. Why?
The Slog: As Bain’s tentacles reach into the Department for Education, The Slog asks what the basis is for choosing these privatisers, and what the rationale might be for continuing with an obviously failed philosophy.
I have been exposed to so much US corporate bollocks over the last three decades, I’m never surprised on coming across it again. It’s chiefly characterised by (1) protesting far too much and (b) being Orwellian in spouting the exact opposite of what the company is really about. Take the Bain website as a starter for ten (my Italics):Bain’s commitment to enduring client results.
Our people are passionate about making a measurable impact.
True North: we are committed to doing the right thing—always.
I suppose you could say that Bain’s passionate commitment is out there on its sleeve like a Dayglo kestrel, but the three things they claim to ‘stand for’ are not what most objective commentators associate with the Bain Group. Their main commitment has always seemed to me to be to the fast buck, a lack of any emotion about anything except money, and a moral compass that broke years ago and never seemed worth fixing.
Hence the outrage here and elsewhere when the Newscories decided to sell them 80% of the Blood Transfusion Service.
But now insiders at the Department for Education inform me that Bain is well in there too. Michael ‘Deregulate Crime’ Gove employs them on this that and every other consulting bullsh*t project he can give them to do….so it’s surely only a matter of time before he sells the management of Universities to them.
The line-up of destructive corporate entities thus favoured by the Government now reads like this. Media to be run by Newscorp, a corrupt and criminally indicted organisation both here and in the US. Long term unemployment to be run by G4S, the company who fraudulently overcharged the taxpayer and lied about its capacity to prove Olympics security. The blood supply to be run by Bain Capital, a company responsible for moving more US jobs offshore than most. The Helicopter rescue service to be run by Bristow helicopters, a company guilty of aggressive tax avoidance charging £1.6bn, when before the armed forces did it for free; and the already horribly depraved care home system to be run by various shady nonentities, none of whom show any likelihood of rising above the risible performance of private sector companies in that area thus far…with G4S also rumoured to be in the running.
Not only in the running, but also already cheating to get what they want. G4S’s standard tactics are already in play and they didn’t even win the business yet. But the good auspices of Open Democracy, I can show you one card dealt off the bottom so far: the company recently made a planning application to convert a house into a children’s home, under the name of one Simon Herbert, to Buckinghamshire Council.
A Statement in support of Mr Herbert’s application, purporting to come from ‘Childrens Services’, was sent to Aylesbury Vale District Council. In fact, both were issued by G4S. Using a false identity and forgery of a DC document? Hmm, nyeeece,
The forged DC document went on to say that ‘Both Local and National Planning Policy support the proposed change of use.’ G4S simply made this up.
Other applications also exist to Milton Keynes Council to convert a property in Great Linford, and to South Northamptonshire Council to turn a house into a children’s home in the village of Middleton Cheney. They were all written by ‘private individual’ Simon Herbert’. Simon Herbert is in fact on the Board of G4S. Conspiracy to misleading a Council Planning office as to purpose and identity? Nyeeece.
Children’s Homes Regulations 2001 (amended in 2011), require registered providers to meet a fitness test of ‘integrity and good character’. I wish them well in their long search, but the last place they should start is G4s, which lied from the start about its capabilities for the Olympic games, and then overcharged the taxpayers for its services…but is still it seems a preferred Government supplier. Why?
Now call me wacky here, but I seem to remember the whole point of privatisation was to provide more efficient services with better facilities at costs kept down by competition. So regardless of where one’s political loyalties lie, surely even a cursory examination of the Coalition’s activities would suggest that we are being offered lower quality, overcharging, increased costs, and an unwillingness to pay a fair share of tax on the money being creamed off?
I think it’s happening for xxxxx reasons. First, Gove and Co are revolutionaries in a hurry: they see Crash 2 and 2015 elections coming up, so they need to get a move on. Once the infrastructure’s in place, it’s harder to reverse policy. Second, they’d rather privatise with their pals than in an open market – oronic given the supposed beliefs. And third, one simply has to suspect that someone somewhere is on the take.
I’m struggling now thirty years on to think of any privatisation or demutualisation that could be deemed an unalloyed success. In the financial area, it’s been an unmitigated disaster costing the country over £1.2 trillion. Rail services are as bad as ever and horrendously expensive. Water companies are charging more and investing less in the infrastructure. Telecoms are vastly improved, but BT itself has been underperforming and overcharging for years. The NHS Private Finance Initiative (PFI) lost £400bn of taxpayers’ money. The involvement of private IT contractors in the NHS cost us £23bn and delivered nothing. And does anyone really think the electricity and gas companies are competing? Is anyone worried that, so inept was our privatised management, French company ETF has bought up the lion’s share of the market?
Imagine how such as this would play in the right wing press if the boot was on the other foot, and those grey failures from yesteryear were running things like this in what was the Public Sector? We would say things like “Oh aye – jobs for the boys, eh?” Now I would be inclined to called this Privatisation for Pals.
But who are these pals?
Well, Baroness Frontbottomley’s close, um, relationship over twenty years with Jeremy Punt has been covered here many times. She is the Lords’ leading private health lobbyist.
As indeed has the close, um, working relationship across several continents between Mr Puntstruck and his Australian blackmailing, illegally taping, Met police threatening hero Mr Rudeshit Murder. And other admirers of Mr Merdeschlock include Michael Gove and Boris Johnson. Funny how the same names just keep on turning up.
But who is ensuring the survival of G4S through thick and thin, and how are they being ‘rewarded’ for their loyalty? Don’t assume they’re all in Westminster by the way…it is alleged that more than one is a senior Mandarin. The lawyers tell me this is as far as I can go. So far.
All up, these incoming crosses between Gradgrind the millowner and Lord Copper of the Daily Beast are the choice of the Risible Right because (1) there’s filthy lucre in it and (2) they couldn’t give a flying sh*t about the poor devils who are going to ‘benefit’ from the bidding winners.
Can you in any way envisage the mentality behind putting a bunch of wideboys like G4S in charge of keeping care homes paedo-free? Would you give a London taxi contract to a corrupt bastard like Tim Yeo? Would you place a major national communication medium at the disposal of the man who brought you Fox News and Page 3 tits?
Just as Mayor Borisconi of Londinium cares more for his chum Tim Yeo’s bank account that he does for the Londoner’s air-quality, so too the current Government cares more for building contractors, security companies, ISPs and news barons than it does for those who foolishly voted for it. Or rather, voted for none of it, but wound up with a cynical Coalition anyway.
What a lovely way to start Friday.