On January 21st 2018 the Sunday Times ran a scaremongering story claiming that Jeremy Corbyn’s renationalisation plans would be a “£176 billion gamble”.
On further investigation the Centre for Policy Studies report that this “£176 billion gamble” headline is derived from was written by a former adviser to the Tory MP Amber Rudd and the unelected Tory lord Nigel Lawson called Daniel Mahoney.
The Sunday Times conveniently forget to mention that the author of the report they’ve churnalised into an anti-Corbyn hatchet job is an outright Tory!
Aside from uncritical appraisals of his “report” in numerous right-wing newspapers, Mahoney was also invited onto the BBC to opine about why the Carillion collapse isn’t a demonstration of the failure of the hard-right privatisation and outsourcing agenda, without them even bothering to explain that he’s a Tory. Neither did they identify his Tory party links when they quoted his objections to Labour’s plan to bring hospital cleaning services back into public hands.
Then there’s the fact that the Sunday Times article tried to dress the Centre For Policy Studies up as some kind of neutral and impartial “think tank” when in fact they’re undeniably a shady hard-right pressure group that is completely riddled with Tory politicians and Tory party donors (see image).
Far from being the kind of organisation to be quoted extensively by the BBC and the mainstream press as if they’re a reliable and impartial research organisation, this is a hard-right pressure group that reads like a who’s who of the pro-privatisation lobby.
The 16 person board of directors includes eleven out-and-out Tories. The other five include a fanatically right-wing academic, the chairman of HSBC bank, the editor of the hard-right Spectator magazine, the wife of the Daily Mail owner, and the chairman of the Times Newspaper Group.
It’s interesting that the Sunday Times omitted the fact that the Centre for Policy Studies is a hard-right pro-Tory, pro-privatisation pressure group. Given that their chairman is actually a member of it, it’s hardly likely that they didn’t know exactly what it was when they decided to churnalise it’s “report” into headlines.
Aside from being absolutely riddled with out-and-out Tories and representatives of the right-wing press, the Centre For Policy Studies has also been given the lowest possible ranking for opacity by Who Funds You? because they release no information whatever about where any of their donations come from.
So the next time you see a newspaper citing the Centre for Political Studies, remember that they’re an incredibly shady hard-right pro-privatisation propaganda unit staffed almost entirely by Tories and people with links to the hard-right press.
The collapse of the construction and outsourcing giant Carillion is a textbook example of the Tory privatisation ideology in action.
We now have 43,000 workers worrying over their jobs; hundreds of public services at risk (including hospitals, schools, prisons & other public infrastructure); a government in chaos because they carried on handing out £billions in contracts to this stricken company even after three profit warnings; and a pension fund with a £600 million black hole in it (which will be bailed out by the taxpayer).
Meanwhile executives at the company stand accused of rewriting their bonus rules in 2016 (when the company was already in huge trouble) so that they could keep all their bonuses, even in the case of corporate collapse.
A bunch of private profiteers has walked away with stacks of cash, leaving the public to pick up the bill for sorting out the chaos they’ve created.
However, the problem is that the Tories are pro-privatisation extremists. There’s no way they’d bring the services back in house to protect jobs and public services. Their fanatical hard-right ideology prevents them from doing that, so they’ll scrabble around trying to get other private sector profiteers to take over Carillion’s contracts, and likely pay extortionate inflated prices, because other private sector companies know that the Tories need them to take over the contracts more than they actually need the contracts themselves.
The corporate executives got rich. The shareholders were handed dividends every year as the company drained vast sums out of employees’ pension schemes. And now the scam has collapsed, the Tories are going to ensure that the taxpayer covers the cost by bailing out the pension fund, and by re-tendering all the contracts at inflated prices.
From a taxpayers’ perspective, or from the perspective of good governance, the Carillion collapse is an absolutely scandalous failure.
However from a Tory party perspective it’s actually another success story, because it’s yet another example of the private sector soaking up all the profits at the taxpayers’ expanse, then dumping the debts onto the taxpayer when the hollowed-out husk of the company collapses into liquidation.