Clinton’s Charity Ties With Oligarchs Behind Ukrainian Coup Revealed By Ekaterina Blinova

Global Research, September 14, 2015 Sputnik 23 March 2015

The Clinton Foundation contributed to the February coup in Ukraine, having longstanding ties to Ukrainian oligarchs who pushed the country to European integration.

A sinister atmosphere surrounds the Clinton Foundation’s role in Ukrainian military coup of February 2014, experts point out.It has recently turned out that Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Pinchuk, a vocal proponent of Ukraine’s European integration, made huge contributions to the Clinton Foundation, while Hillary Clinton was the US Secretary of State. Although the foundation swore off donations from foreign governments while Mrs. Clinton was serving as a state official, it continued accepting money from private donors. Many of them had certain ties to their national governments like Viktor Pinchuk, a Ukrainian businessman and ex-parliamentarian.
Remarkably, among individual donors contributing to the Clinton Foundation in the period between 1999 and 2014, Ukrainian sponsors took first place in the list, providing the charity with almost $10 million and pushing England and Saudi Arabia to second and third places respectively.
It is worth mentioning that the Viktor Pinchuk Foundation alone transferred at least $8.6 million to the Clinton charity between 2009 and 2013. Pinchuk, who acquired his fortune from a pipe-making business, served twice as a parliamentarian in Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada and was married to the daughter of ex-president of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma.
Although the Clinton’s charity denies that the donations were somehow connected with political matters, experts doubt that international private sponsors received no political support in return. In 2008 Pinchuk pledged to make a five-year $29 million contribution to the Clinton Global Initiative in order to fund a program aimed at training future Ukrainian leaders and “modernizers.” Remarkably, several alumni of these courses are current members of Ukrainian parliament. Because of the global financial crisis, the Pinchuk Foundation sent only $1.8 million.
Experts note that during Mrs. Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State, Viktor Pinchuk was introduced to some influential American lobbyists. Curiously enough, he tried to use his powerful “friends” to pressure Ukraine’s then-President Viktor Yanukovych to free Yulia Tymoshenko, who served a jail term.Viktor Pinchuk has always been one of the most vocal proponents of Ukraine’s European integration. In 2004 Pinchuk founded the Yalta European Strategy (YES) platform in Kiev. YES is led by the board including ex-president of Poland Aleksander Kwasniewski and former NATO Secretary General Javier Solana. According to the website of the platform, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, Kofi Annan, Radoslaw Sikorski, Vitaliy Klitschko, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Petro Poroshenko and other prominent figures have participated in annual meetings of YES since 2004.
No one would argue that proponents of Ukraine’s pro-Western course played the main role in organizing the coup of February 2014 in Kiev. Furthermore, the exceptional role of the United States in ousting then-president Viktor Yanukovich has also been recognized by political analysts, participants of Euromaidan and even by Barack Obama, the US President.
Experts note that after the coup, the Ukrainian leadership has actually become Washington’s puppet government. Several foreign citizens, including American civilian Natalie Jaresko, Lithuanian investment banker Aivaras Abromavicius and Georgia-born Alexander Kvitashvili have assumed high posts in the Ukrainian government. It should be noted that Natalie Jaresko, Ukraine’s Financial Minister, have previously worked in the US State Department and has also been linked to oligarch Viktor Pinchuk.
So far, experts note, the recent “game of thrones” in Ukraine has been apparently instigated by a few powerful clans of the US and Ukraine, who are evidently benefitting from the ongoing turmoil. In this light the Clinton Foundation looks like something more than just a charity: in today’s world of fraudulent oligopoly we are facing with global cronyism, experts point out, warning against its devastating consequences.

Copyright © Ekaterina Blinova, Sputnik, 2015


An inclusive well done to all who worked to bring about the UN Inquiry into the systematic and grave violations of disabled people’s human rights

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I reported last August that the United Nations is to carry out an unprecedented inquiry into “systematic and grave violations” of disabled people’s human rights by the UK government. The UK is the first developed country to face such an inquiry, a fact which should be a source of shame for the Conservatives.

Many campaigners have been concerned for a long time by the disproportionate impact of the Tory-led cuts on disabled people. Many of those campaigners have themselves been adversely affected by the Tory’s draconian welfare cuts, myself included.

My own experiences of the Government’s Work Capability Assessment process led to a deterioration in my health in 2011. (I have Lupus, a chronic and life-threatening autoimmune illness). I was wrongly assessed as fit for work, after being forced to give up my job as a social worker because I was deemed to ill to work by my doctor, and my benefit was withdrawn – my only source of income. I appealed and after waiting nine months for the tribunal, I won.

Since then I have worked to support others going through this dreadful and extremely punitive process. I co-run a group on Facebook called ESA/DLA, which offers support and free legal advice to sick and disabled people facing adverse circumstances because of the draconian Tory policies. The other administrators are Tracey Flynn, who is a hard-working human rights specialist, Robert Livingstone, a friend and fellow campaigner, and Sonia Wilson, who originally set the group up. We are all ill and affected by disabilty. We welcome the United Nations inquiry, and both Tracey and I have made our own detailed submissions to the UN.

I reported in 2013 that the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights conducted an inquiry into the UK Government’s implementation of Article 19 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) – the right to live independently and to be included in the community. The inquiry which began in 2011 has received evidence from over 300 witnesses.

As I reported earlier this month, the UN inquiry has taken place under the Convention’s Optional Protocol on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which is a side-agreement to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It was adopted on 13 December 2006, and entered into force at the same time as its parent Convention on 3 May 2008. As of July 2015, it has 92 signatories and 87 state parties.

The Optional Protocol establishes an individual complaints mechanism for the Convention similar to that of other Conventions. But this Protocol also accepts individual economic, social and cultural rights. Parties agree to recognise the competence of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to consider complaints from individuals or groups who claim their rights under the Convention have been violated. The Committee can request information from and make recommendations to a party.

In addition, parties may permit the Committee to investigate, report on and make recommendations on “grave or systematic violations” of the Convention. The mechanism has allowed many disabled campaigners to submit reports and evidence to the United Nations, including myself.

The inquiry has arisen because of the hard work of many campaigners, since 2012.

I would like to say a special thank you to Samuel Miller, a Canadian disability rights specialist who has supported many campaigners here in the UK, and who also recognised the retrogressive and draconian nature of Tory policies. Samuel has worked hard to submit reports and evidence to the UN over the last few years, he has included and incorporated the work of other campaigners, such as myself, as well as supporting other campaigners with their own independent submissions.

The WOW campaign also deserve a thank you for their work in raising awareness of the need for a cumulative impact assessment of the welfare “reforms”. Another thank you goes to Jane Young, for her work and leading authorship of the Dignity and Opportunity for All: Securing the rights of disabled people in the austerity era report for the Just Fair consortium.

A massive thank you to everyone who has contributed to awareness raising and campaigning for the rights of disabled people, many have worked so hard independently, unsupported and with quiet determination and strength.

Every single contribution is precious and every effort is valued and deserves recognition, inclusion and thanks.

Another thanks goes to Dr Simon Duffy, director of think tank The Centre for Welfare Reform for his research and hard work. He said that independent research carried out since 2010 had shown the UK Government has targeted cuts on people in poverty and people with disabilities.

Many of us have consistently and repeatedly pointed to the disproportionate, negative impact of the bedroom tax on sick and disabled people; the closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF); the political stigmatisation of sick and disabled people and the role played by the media in inflaming disability hate crime; the extent of cuts to local authority care funding; the government’s persistent unwillingness to carry out cumulative impact assessment of its “reforms” on sick and disabled people; the impact of benefit sanctions on disabled people; delays in benefit assessments; and the government’s reluctance to monitor disabled people found fit for work and who have lost their lifeline benefits – their only means of support.

Dr Duffy said:

In fact the people with the most severe disabilities have faced cuts several times greater than those faced by cuts to the average citizen. This policy has been made even worse by processes of assessment and sanctions that are experienced as stigmatising and bullying.

The government has utterly failed to find jobs for the people they target – people who are often very sick, who have disabilities or who have mental health problems.

Instead we are seeing worrying signs that they are increasing rates of illness, suicide and poverty.

In December 2014, the UN Human Rights Council created the role of UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities. Part of the Special Rapporteur’s broad mandate is to report annually to the Human Rights Council and General Assembly with recommendations on how to better promote and protect the rights of persons with disabilities.

The Special Rapporteur, Catalina Devandas Aguilar, will be coming to the UK in the next couple of months to gather further evidence of the grave and systematic  violations of disabled people’s human rights.

United Nations (UN) investigations are conducted confidentially, I’ve already submitted evidence. Anyone wishing to make a submission may contact the UN here:

Catalina Devandas Aguilar
Special rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities
Address: OHCHR-UNOG; CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

536738_306169162785952_999031084_nImages courtesy of Robert Livingstone

Financial wars, war games and proxy wars by 4bitNEWS

Posted by Editor on September 3, 2015. — WORLD

The United States is pushing news sanctions against both Russian and Chinese for cyber attacks against U.S. commercial targets. Russia has now said it will step up sanctions against the USA over Ukraine. Both Russia and China are now dumping the dollar in a currency war. But now, the USA has gone one step further as it targets scores of Russian, Chinese, Syrian firms over Iran.

Miffed with the USA, China has actively dumped hundreds of billions of dollars worth of U.S. Treasuries over the last 15 months, in fact, half a trillion dollars with some $224 billion having been offloaded in just the last 90 days.

And just to show a little muscle, Five Chinese naval ships are currently positioned in the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska, three are combat ships US officials confirm. In this international arm-wrestling match – The US has sent 1,000 troops as well as five warships, two submarines and six aircraft to war-games on the doorstep of Russia. Staring at each other down the barrels of their artillery, both Russia and NATO have rival war games at the same time in Europe.

Not to be outdone – Russian Military Forces Arrive In Syria and Set a Forward Operating Base Near Damascus. Britain has joined in, in jolly good “tally Ho” fashion and sent British SAS Special Forces “Dressed Up as ISIS Rebels” Fighting Assad (and now Russia) in Syria. All these wars are not really going to help settle things peacefully, now are they!

– See more at:

To the author of this report – “I don’t think peace was ever on the table, but you knew that anyway”. Britain (I mean the British government not it’s people) is already neck deep in the proverbial and cannot easily extricate itself from it’s duplicitous role in it’s collusion with the US on matters regarding Iraq, Syria and Ukraine. After almost 50 years of anti Ruskie propaganda the British people are bigoted Russophobics and if you were to ask them why, they will spout to you what they perceive as examples of “Russian Aggression” without knowing a thing about the conflicts, believing instead the bigoted propaganda from the likes of the BBC and the Guardian. Peace will never win out while Washington and the neoliberal corporates draw breath. The Crimeans were lucky, the Donbas not so, which is why they died in Donetsk under NATO shelling. If ever the sheeple were to learn the truth of the real state of affairs worldwide, the various governments would not have the easy ride they do, it is the ignorance of the masses that enables the atrocities committed in their name to continue unabated. The Paris Treaty, which specifically gave people the right to self determination, thrown out the window to enable EU false outrage at Crimea’s bid for that “self determination”, the UN Charter, strictly outlining the rights of native and indigenous people’s not to be ethnically cleansed, thrown out the window to enable NATO aggression in the Ukraine, allowing the west to bomb the crap out of Syria, also allowing Israel to continue it’s assault on the Palestinians. So many treaties made and broken to suit the powerful west and it’s allies in the Arab Spring, they chucked the baby out with the bath water to pursue their own agendas. We, the sheeple, allowed this because it was easier to remain ignorant and bury our heads in the sand. Meanwhile people are dying, the ethnic Russians in Ukraine and the Muslim Arabs in Syria. We just love to hate.

Israeli gov’t used my image for propaganda purposes without my consent by Mukarram Abu Alouf

Israeli gov’t used my image for propaganda purposes without my consent Israel/Palestine Mukarram AbuAlouf on September 12, 2015 31 Comments Adjust Font Size Mukarram AbuAlouf, image courtesy of author
On September 9, the Israeli agency for Coordination of Government Activities in the (Palestinian) Territories, or COGAT, posted the photograph below, aimed at proving that Palestinian students are freely leaving Gaza for opportunities abroad. “It wrote: LIVE: 65 students exit #Gaza to study abroad #LikeEveryMonth.” The student in the propaganda photo saw it and wrote a response. She has allowed us to publish it. –Editors. My response to COGAT’s photo of me as I crossed Erez from Gaza Not only was I shocked to see the Israeli “Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories” photo of myself on their facebook post, but even more disgusted by the fact they have used it to make a claim that is 100% false. This is ME in this picture- the Palestinian woman. Mukarram AbuAlouf (left) leaving Gaza by Erez Crossing, in Israeli propaganda photo And yes, I did get out of the Gaza Strip through The Israeli Erez Checkpoint on December, 29th 2014 which was eight months ago. The laugh I have on my face is a laugh out of fear and indeed it was a miracle the photographer caught that moment given the ordeal I had just been through. I spent the entire time extremely scared as the checkpoint was full of Israeli soldiers with their advanced weapons, knowing full well they controlled our entire lives. I was thinking to myself that they can shoot me in the blink of an eye and I will be just another number of the Palestinian body count, killed by Israel and forgotten by the outside world. So I was indeed relieved just to get through and experience those extra steps of momentary freedom that nearly all of my people in Gaza are never permitted to take. Especially given that I had already lived through the three Israeli assaults from 2008-2015 against the Gaza Strip that had their own impact on me and my family. Too scared to focus, I even lost my wallet that had my I-20 in it, and without the I-20 that comes along with the visa I could not travel to the USA to join the university – I actually got stuck in Amman-Jordan for two weeks. This created other complications and obstacles for me. I lost a lot of other personal items at the checkpoint and who wouldn’t, with the kind of nerves that anyone would have traveling abroad for the first time and facing up close the guns and soldiers who had long denied me my freedom and spent the whole of last summer massacring my people. On the day I left Gaza through Erez, I was planning to spend a few days in Ramallah with my uncle and his family, but I was not allowed. Eventually, I found out that we were a group of students (who had got their scholarships through the PLO – unlike me) who had received coordination from the Palestinian Authority to ONLY pass through present-day Israel directly to Amman. Luckily, I was included in this group because I had the American F1 student visa and a visa to Jordan. This and the fact I had frequently applied to get a permit and been rejected so they just let me through. For many others, places abroad are dashed for Palestinians just as deserving of their placement abroad. In the end, we got on a bus, were driven directly to Amman and had a police car from the Israeli government right behind us for the entire journey until we got to the Jordanian crossing. This picture was published WITHOUT my consent and is an example of how the camera lies. But what do I expect from an occupation that evolved into a state that was built on manipulation, aggression, lies and the destruction of other peoples’ lives? To imprison and kill us with the world watching – we are used to this. To use us as photo opportunities to falsely present Israel’s treatment of us as kind, is an even greater insult. Mukarram AbuAlouf –
See more at: AbuAlouf on September 12, 2015

Mordechai Vanunu:Uncensored and Enshrined by Eileen Fleming

Open Letter to Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Israel Mission to UN, Israeli Media and what my fellow Americans need to know about Israel’s Nuclear Whistle Blower Mordechai Vanunu and USA collusion in Israel’s Nuclear Deceptions by Eileen Fleming

Israel’s latest torturing of Mordechai Vanunu has been a non-story in USA Press, but not in Israel!

In a Google Search for: Mordechai Vanunu News FULL COVERAGE, twenty-one articles fill the first page regarding the aftermath of Vanunu’s first Hebrew speaking interview on September 5th which lasted all of fifteen minutes.

Only two of the reports were written by a reporter who actually interviewed Mordechai Vanunu: this reporter.

After Israel’s Police arrested Vanunu following the TV broadcast, the UK, Russia and Iran covered Vanunu’s 7-day house arrest sentence, but in the “land of the free and home of the brave” the only reports filed have been by this reporter.

In 1958, journalist Edward R. Murrow gave a speech at the Radio-Television News Directors Association, which nailed the network television establishment and its emphasis on popular entertainment over programs that would enlighten and educate the public.

That speech was the climax of the 2005 motion picture “Good Night and Good Luck” and in this must see clip Eisenhower delivers another grave warning to US:
Edward R. Murrow also warned, “We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it.”
Isidor Feinstein was born in 1907, and became known as I. F. Stone or Izzy Stone an independent investigative journalist who noted:
If God, as some now say, is dead, He no doubt died of trying to find an equitable solution to the Arab-Jewish problem.
The only kinds of fights worth fighting are those you are going to lose, because somebody has to fight them and lose and lose and lose until someday, somebody who believes as you do wins.
In order for somebody to win an important, major fight 100 years hence, a lot of other people have got to be willing – for the sheer fun and joy of it – to go right ahead and fight, knowing you’re going to lose. You mustn’t feel like a martyr. You’ve got to enjoy it.
Over my last 10 years online, I have had great fun fighting the good fight for a FREE PRESS and freedom for Palestine, but I have also endured tons of BS which would have caused a lesser reporter to give up!
Good thing is all the BS just fuels me with more energy to persist in telling the truth and inspiration always comes from my many heroes and muses; such as Brenda Starr, Dorothy Day, Helen Thomas, Jon Stewart, the Daily Show Correspondents, Edward R. Murrow and Izzy Stone!
Izzy Stone spent his career challenging government deception and press complicity confronted lies of the American government in a time when nobody else had the ker-bangers to do it!
Izzy Stone understood that dissent is the only thing that keeps democracies healthy but his peers and colleagues viewed him as a pariah.
Izzy reminded us, “All governments are run by liars and nothing they say should be believed.”
Izzy was one lone voice out of the wilderness of all the BS that emanated out of D.C., but he lived long enough to see himself vindicated on “searing issues such as the Holocaust and fascism, the McCarthy purges, the nuclear arms race, the civil rights movement, the war in Vietnam, and the endless struggle between Israelis and Palestinians.”
As another lone voice I have been confronting the BS about Israel’s Nuclear Deceptions for the last ten years online and so I reiterate:
In 2005, this American was writing her first historical fiction while in east Jerusalem. I became a reporter after Vanunu told me:
The French were responsible for the actual building of the Dimona. The Germans gave the money; they were feeling guilty for the Holocaust, and tried to pay their way out.
President Kennedy tried to stop Israel from building atomic weapons. In 1963, he forced Prime Minister Ben Guirion to admit the Dimona was not a textile plant, as the sign outside proclaimed, but a nuclear plant. The Prime Minister said, ‘The nuclear reactor is only for peace.’
When Johnson became president, he made an agreement with Israel that two senators would come every year to inspect. Before the senators would visit, the Israelis would build a wall to block the underground elevators and stairways. From 1963 to ’69, the senators came, but they never knew about the wall that hid the rest of the Dimona from them.
Nixon stopped the inspections and agreed to ignore the situation. As a result, Israel increased production. In 1986, there were over two hundred bombs. Today, they may have enough plutonium for ten bombs a year.
View “30 Minutes with Vanunu” which did NOT go through Israeli Censors and was taped a few weeks after Vanunu’s FREEDOM of SPEECH Trial began in 2006. All of my questions were based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Vanunu’s freedom of speech trial culminated in 78 days back in solitary in 2010 essentially because he spoke to foreign media in 2004!

Israel can soon END the Vanunu Saga when their nuclear whistle blower returns to High Court for the 8th time seeking to end the restrictions which have denied his inalienable human rights.
Godspeed on a Free Vanunu, good day, good night and good luck to US All!
I am
Eileen Fleming, Senior Non-Arab Correspondent for USA’s The Arab Daily News


September 12, 2015· by Akira· in Syria.

In light of the catastrophic outcome of the “western” war on Libya the Russian government declared to oppose any further such “regime change” in the Middle East. But the U.S. continues to train, arm and finance insurgents against the Syrian Arab Republic and, under the disguise of fighting the Islamic State, prepares to take down the Syrian government. Eliminating the Syrian government would likely create a radical jihadist state in Damascus and lead to massacres and mass refugee movements.
But Russia means what it says and will now use its military capabilities to confront the U.S. plans:
Russia is providing Syria with precision military and destructive equipment. Russia will start soon operating in Syria sky to hit rebels The participation of the Russian Air Force in Syria worries Israel that won’t be able to have a free sky to hit Syrian troops.
This is THE major change in Russia approach and support to Damascus regime, to prevent game change on the ground in Syria
Russian air-support for Syria against the various forces attacking the state will allow for additional air attacks against those forces. The Syrian air force is today already flying more than 100 sorties per day against it enemies. The Russian forces will add to that but not necessarily in a decisive amount.
The main support for Syria by Russian air assets will come by keeping away those foreign air forces forces that threaten the Syrian government under disguise of “fighting terror”. With Russian fighters in Syrian skies Israel will no longer be able to use its air force in support of Jabhat al-Nusra (and for its oil stealing endeavors in the Syrian Golan heights).
The U.S., Britain, France and others announced to enter Syrian skies to “fight the terror” of the Islamic State. Russia will use just the same claim to justify its presence and its air operations flying from Latakia. Simply by being there it will make sure that others will not be able to use their capabilities for more nefarious means. Additional intelligence from Russian air assets will also be helpful for Syrian ground operations.

The Russian air capabilities will be supplemented with air defense cover from Russian naval assets on the Syrian coast. Russia announced several air defense drills with live missile launches off the Syrian coast near Tartus. New land based air defense assets are said to be on their way. I would not be surprised to see, over time, some Chinese naval assets joining the Russian presence.
Secretary of State Kerry whined to Russia that its intervention in Syria might intervene with the U.S. intervention in Syria. Well, yes sir, that is the sole purpose:

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday coordination was needed between Russia’s military and the Pentagon to avoid “unintended incidents” around Syria, where both countries have a military presence.Lavrov said Russia would continue to supply weapons to Syrian President Bashar Assad to help the Syrian armed forces fight against ISIS militants.

He told a news conference Russia was conducting military exercises in the Mediterranean Sea, that it had been for some time, and that they were in line with international law.

The neoconned State Department childishly pressured Greece and Bulgaria to disallow Russian military air transport over their countries. But Russian planes can just as well fly via Iran and Iraq and both countries are very unlikely to ever block such flights. As Russian ground forces will not be involved in any fighting the supply needs can be kept limited.

Any attempt by Turkey, pressured by State Department lunatics, to block the Bosporus sea route between Russia and Syria would be in breach of the Montreux Convention and could be interpreted as hostile act against Russia on which Turkey depends for a large amount of its energy supplies. After losing control over the predominantly Kurdish south-eastern city Cizre Turkey also has to take care of its own civil war which Erdogan foolishly ignited to regain a parliamentarian majority. That internal war will hinder resupplies for the Islamic State through Turkey.

The U.S. plan to use the fight against the Islamic State as cover to remove the Syrian government is now in tatters. The months long U.S. supported “Southern Front” attack in south Syria failed to make any gains against the government. The Islamic State attack against Syrian government forces in Deir ez-Zor was repelled and further moves against Syria in the north will have to defy Russian air power.

Washington will now have to decide to risk war against Russia or to shelf the Syria regime change project.

Sooner or later the endless spectacle is over. Then we will take revenge. Mercilessly. -Alexander Dugin

Cameron is wrong: Public services are nothing like business. Tax Research UK 2 . A Richard Murphy post.

David Cameron is wrong: public services are nothing like business
Posted: 10 Sep 2015 11:10 PM PDT
David Cameron is apparently going to announce a new shake-up of government services today. In the process it is reported by the Guardian that he will say that government is not unlike a business.
They add that he will stress that he is not seeking to turn Whitehall into a business, but will claim that:
“What energises many markets are new insurgent companies, who break monopolies and bring in new ways of doing things. We can apply this thinking to government.
“So many of our country’s efforts to extend opportunity have been undermined by a tolerance of state failure. Children in care and prisons being two standout areas. Reform – be it breaking state monopolies, bringing in new providers or allowing new ways of doing things – can cut the costs of these failures both economically and socially and help advance the progressive causes of spreading opportunity and enhancing social mobility that we should all care about.”
It is very hard to know where to start with claims like these that are so wide of the mark that it is very hard to believe that a person charged with responsibility for public services has made them.
First, let’s be clear why the government is not like a business. The explanation is easy to supply. The difference is that in business the prospect of failure, whilst uncomfortable, is embraced and even provided for as a matter of fact. The reason why so many businesses operate as limited companies is that their owners recognise that the activities that they plan might fail and that they wish for the opportunity to walk away from them in that case and leave the social consequences to others whilst mitigating their own downside risk.
Although it is counter-intuitive, we have found that society has benefitted overall from this approach, but it has done so for three reasons. The first of those is that we assume if a private sector supplier fails either what it provided was not needed, or could be supplied by someone else more efficiently. Second, because of these facts the social significance of failure is not too high (unless the failed entity is a bank when we now know it is enormous). And third, given adequate disclosure of risk it is assumed that those dealing with private sector entities at risk of failure can afford the consequence of it happening (which is not always true, but is a compromise that has broadly worked).
None of these facts hold true in the case of public services. The possibility of failure cannot be comprehended in those services. To even consider adopting that mentality is wrong. It was wrong when train operators walked away from their franchises and hospital contracts. It will be wrong in every other circumstance where it might arise and the alternative option of state supply has been removed by the abandonment of appropriate skills to provide the services within the state sector.
The reason why that possibility of failure cannot be embraced is because those who need many state services are wholly dependent upon them. And there is no alternative supplier. You do not remove a natural state monopoly that exists precisely because the market cannot and will not supply a service by pretending there is a market when there is none. What you do instead is supply public services of the highest possible standard at lowest possible cost to ensure effectiveness for as many people as possible whilst always asking the question about why the service faces such demand.
If, then, and for example, the prison service is not succeeding because of the excess demand on it the real question is not how innovation in supplying more prisons is required but why we have so many prisoners when it is known that prison is not an effective punishment or deterrent in a great many cases. Privatisation, that perversely commits the government to supplying a continual stream of prisoners for the private sector to manage, is not an answer in that case.
And let’s just deal with the supposed business innovation case. Building a prison is no light-hearted gesture. Few businesses, let alone the supposedly innovative SME sector, can come close to securing the capital needed to build a prison and none could do so without long-term contracts for the continuing supply of prisoners at prices guaranteed to supply a profit that the financiers of such schemes would accept as a condition of backing them. There is no process of innovation or enterprise in such a process. This is instead an exercise in building real estate and extracting a rent from it by ensuring the supply of a continuous and guaranteed income stream from the most reliable customer anyone rent seeker can find, which is the government itself.
This is the reality of much (not all, but much) private sector involvement in the supply of state services. Large companies (not small ones) build infrastructure which the government must then service whether or not it may continue to be beneficial to the state to use that structure. And in the process those companies make pretty much the most guaranteed and lowest risk rate of return they can get. This is the basis of the rise of the very few, and rather monopolistic looking, government outsourcing companies in all of which there have been continuing problems of deteriorating service quality and outright failure on occasion.
I am a big fan of the private sector, and have run real businesses and offer no apology for doing so. But to pretend that business risk and public sector service are related and that the chance of failure from the type of innovation David Cameron is supposedly applauding (and which is in the sector he is considering largely a figment of dogmatic imagination) is low or non-existent is absurd.
To put it another way, the chance that David Cameron is anything close to getting his logic right on this issue is remote in the extreme. And we all might pay the cost of that.