Cowering Before Capital

If this were debt cancellation and stimulus it would be interesting and the details are not out but I somehow doubt this will be much more than doing what the markets want, the level of debt created by financialisation and neoliberal policies is socially unsustainable unless police states become standard. Nowhere in the article are people mentioned, just banks & governments. The quote ‘inability of the Greek government to live within its means‘ is such a poisonous falsehood, as if financial institutions did not for years bribe key people into endless debt restructuring not because it helped them but because it made money for the banks. This is a merry game played by elites with the costs passed onto those not allowed to participate, yet the besuited oligarchs have the chutzpah to project their irresponsibility onto their victims. This is a rescue package within the rules of the game, better than what could have happened but ultimately it prolongs the scam. Neoliberalism, does not work, financialisation in place of actual productivity does not work (excuse the pun), capitalism unregulated and unconstrained does not work, Adam Smith was actually very clear on that despite what Randroids and laissez faire fundamentalists prefer to read into his works (by current standards he’d be labeled a socialist by corporate media). What we are seeing is a rolling breakdown of  systems of human activity because we are serving the economy not making the economy serve us.

Oh and some spurious wonky shit about elections, is it just me or are you sick of the (very masculine) obsession with numbers and deals and very little mention of the consequences to people of the cuts no one seems to want to think about (is this I suspect because they are all convinced of the neoliberal arguments and wouldn’t know a socialised market if they fell over one). Or am I just stupid for hoping just a tiny bit a coalition and public appetite for reform might stymie the cuts agenda of a lib/lab coalition because they can see the tories waiting to profit off the market fetishised ‘austerity’ measures (nice euphemism for class war and shock doctrine beloved by all those who fully expect not to suffer one iota because of them, until maybe that crime spike means it’s their home invaded and they get beaten the shit out of to give up all their valuables, no really I’m trying to feel sympathy for the self absorbed privileged twats).

What? You didn’t order a rant, well you got one anyway. Try the veal, I’ll be here all week… then I’ll be at

Peace out motherfunkers.

Flat Tax, The Smackdown

Tory Shadow chancellor George Gideon Oliver Osborne (heir to the Osborne baronetcy of Ballentaylor) is a flat taxer, yet what happens to those nations praised by flat tax messiahs, such as Iceland, Latvia… they crash spectacularly and repeal it. Richard Murphy lays it out. So will this end Tory dreams of flat taxes or just mean we have an easily visualised predicator for the UK after some years of Tory thieving.

Greed Will Eat Itself

A rift has opened up between the government and the financial authorities after a furious Alistair Darling was kept in the dark over the lifting of the ban on short-selling, which may have contributed to this week’s tumultuous crash in the value of banking shares. The chancellor is thought to have been given just one hour’s notice by the Financial Services Authority that hedge funds would once again be able to place bets that bank shares would fall. Darling believes the ban will have to be reintroduced, given the fragility of the financial system.

D’you think?

Money Transfer, Wealth Transfer

What clearer lesson do you want that government has been colonised by a plutocracy and used as a means to siphon off public money into the private sector and at every stage generating private profits at public expense. So here we go-

Britain’s public finances took a big hit in December from the government’s recapitalisation of Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS).

So public money going to a private bank, then-

A scheme to renovate England’s secondary schools could grind to a halt because banks are not lending money, the building industry has warned.

Oh dear the bailout has not encouraged the banks to behave for the common good, how strange it’s not like they are explicitly profit making corporations with zero moral accountability, oh wait…but you see it’s far funnier than that-

Speaking to the committee of MPs later, Schools Minister Jim Knight said the current problems with lending could have an effect on Building Schools for the Future (BSF) because the scheme used private finance initiatives (PFI). Under PFI, private companies fund the building of schools, typically with the local authority repaying the costs over the next 25 to 30 years.

But Mr Knight added: “It is not the case that the money has dried up.” He said there was still interest from banks wanting to take part in the scheme, and there were alternative sources of funding. The feedback we are getting is that this aspect of investment, in public sector projects, is the lowest risk of them all, and probably the last to feel some of the difficulty and heightened risk attached to it.”

Get it? See the government could have used our money to build our schools but…no it used our money to keep the financial sector going with few reforms, so the PFI schemes would keep going, so private corporations would profit off safe investments in public projects, investments made with, er…our money (well they will be when they start lending). Exactly how including a third party who must take a certain amount in profit is ‘more efficient’ remains a Holy Mystery that must never be discussed… Of course PFI’s are disastrous for value and public accountability but what they do do is provide long term sources of revenue to private corporations with cosy relationships with government, who also benefit by appearing to be doing stuff and hoping no one notices the decades long bill future generations will be paying. So at the end of all this banks & politician’s who helped cause the crisis under the guise of neoliberal zealotry are rewarded while ….well some schools will get built, maybe, and end up costing us far more so PFI’s remain a good source of profit. It’s all down to who our representatives really work for and just how democratic we are, can we really have a say in how and by whom the country is run? Or are we just running occasional popularity contests for middle management, and let’s face it, an awful lot of people let themselves be lied to, as long as the living was good. Yeah, that worked out.

Hell In A Handbasket

An interesting lengthy Bloomberg (!) article about how the Chicago School are reacting to the failure of the idiotic, cruel & inhuman beliefs. Some are moderating their fundamentalism, some retain it even while continuing to sweep under the rug their demonstrable failure and their role in torture and murder around the world. But this small paragraph is rather funny and suggests the huge breadth of debate being permitted amongst the ruling class-

Barack Obama, who will referee the laissez-faire versus free- market debate as U.S. president, has pledged the largest spending on infrastructure since the 1950s to save or create 3 million jobs.

It goes on to repeat what we already know, Obama’s team is full of Chicago drones, but really, they are vacillating between laissez-faire versus free- market? So the free market and the French phrase meaning…the free market. Whom does Bloomberg think their audience are?

So Friedmanite fundmentalist vs. Friedmanite pragmatists, oh yeah everythings gonna work out just fine. Democratic -party- debate at its finest. And you thought Rick Warren was bad.

So How’s That Deregulation Ideology Worked Out For You?

Not so much?

Madoff Securities was also a member of five self-regulatory organisations, including US independent securities regulator Finra and the Nasdaq.

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Faith Based

US President George W. Bush said Thursday that the global economic crisis was not “a failure of the free market system” and warned against seeing government intervention as “a cure-all.”

“The crisis was not a failure of the free market system. And the answer is not to try to reinvent that system,” Bush said in a prepared speech to lay out his agenda at Friday and Saturday talks with world leaders in Washington.

Naomi Klein if you haven’t already.

Posted in Media. Tags: . Comments Off on Faith Based

Barclays Bankers

Obviously you are not going to find a paragon of ethical socially minded banking in any of the banks, but one corporation du moolah has consistently delighted in pursuing profit at the expense of basic morality, apartheid South Africa? Yep. Arms sales with added depleted uranium? You betcha. Mugabe? kerching! War profiteering & looting in the Congo? Why certainly. Now once again Barclays have proved themselves far and away the bestest ever at being total bankers. Rather than take government bailouts they eschew what little control that process entailed and instead royalty from Abu Dahbi and Qatar have filled their coffers in a deal giving them preferential treatment over any government package. They prefer rich princes who won’t baulk at their shenanigans to govt with a nod to regulation and some social/ethical aspect to their operations. After all royalty understand it’s important keeping ones subjects…er..subjugated in order to enrich oneself (as they do in Bush favourite ‘Teh Emirates’) and Barclays certainly hate their average high street customer, branch closures, ridiculously excessive account charges and penalties. Also I just love to hear ‘Royal family’ (sorry sovereign wealth funds, gosh nope even with that newspeak it’s still ridiculous) it’s like being a wee child again and reading fairy tales, after all who but a child would accept people having great wealth and power due to an accident of birth (has anyone studied how fairy tales impact adult attitudes to Royalty/class? or for that matter bridge related trolls).

Really we should be sort of pleased Barclays remains the biggest bankers on the block, at least they have the courage of their convictions- greed is good, evil is fun, total class war- even if that’s as near to any ‘convictions’ they will get. They clearly are not about to change how they do things-

Barclays has said it should gain a competitive advantage by not having government as an investor, and will also avoid the scrutiny that its rivals may face, analysts said.

Should though we be happy they are not getting public capital? Which I think is the wrong question, while regulation should of come without a price tag it is better to have some oversight than none at all, as this crisis of capitalism demonstrates. What’s noticeable is Barclays prefer worse deals from ideological allies than regulation, which gives the lie to business being only about the bottom line, it is about irrational greed now-

A large chunk of the £5.8bn investment will buy “reserve capital instruments”, similar to the preference shares which the UK government is taking in RBS and Lloyds TSB-HBOS. They will pay a dividend of 14% a year, compared with the UK government’s 12% a year. The new shareholders will also own warrants allowing them to buy shares in Barclays at 197.775p any time in the next five years.

“We have to ask why Barclays it is willing to offer a better deal to foreign investors than the British taxpayer,” Cable said. “The answer is simple: they don’t want the British government stopping them from paying massive bonuses to their executives.

“More than the other banks, Barclays operate a high-risk casino operation which makes the bank particularly unstable but which gives very rich pickings to the top executives. The British government must not simply let this pass.”

Marcus Agius, Barclays chairman, insisted the ability to keep paying bonuses “had nothing to do with this at all”.

“It’s to do with self-determination,” he said.

As their record clearly shows they are all about supporting democracy…no wait the other thing, being rich and fuck everyone else. And for all the talk of self-determination, which I’m sure is getting libertarians engorged (bless their simple little socks) even as I write, they are in fact being subsidised by the tax payer-

What’s more Barclays is paying a whacking coupon, loads of income, to Abu Dhabi and Qatar. They get 9.75% on the convertible notes, and 14% (oh so loverly, a time of falling interest rates) on the reserve capital instruments. And the 14% coupon is tax deductible (and, before you ask, the coupon on the prefs being sold by HBOS, Lloyds TSB and RBS to the Treasury is not tax deductible). That means we as British taxpayers are subsidising the payment to these oil-rich states to the tune of £120m per annum…

I’ve already been rung this morning by sore investors and bankers who allege that Barclays has tapped Abu Dhabi and Qatar because it doesn’t want Gordon Brown and Darling putting a ceiling on what it can pay its top execs.

What did they pay themselves last time?

Bob Diamond, head of investment banking at Barclays received pay and shares worth over 21 million pounds last year, just down on 2006 but putting him among Europe’s highest-paid bankers.

Chief Executive John Varley, whose 2007 pay and shares could reach 4.2 million pounds

Investment banker Marcus Agius [chariman] will be paid a salary of £750,000


A fraudster posing as the chairman of Barclays stole £10,000 from the bank after tricking a member of staff into sending him a credit card, it emerged today. The conman duped call centre staff into issuing a credit card in the name of banking boss Marcus Agius and then used it to withdraw funds at a high street branch.

It is believed that the thief, working alone or as part of a gang, used the internet to find out details concerning Agius, such as his date of birth and address. He then contacted a Barclaycard employee and requested that a new card be sent out. Armed with the information and the card, the conman entered a branch of the bank and walked away with £10,000 of Agius’s cash.

Although their excessive charges meant the customers paid to replace moneybags stolen 10 grand I suppose. Agius is the lowest paid, £10,000 was a loss of one and a third percent of his salary, how did he ever survive the poor lamb?

Posted in Capitalism, Corporatism. Tags: , , . Comments Off on Barclays Bankers

Stupid, Stupid, Stupid

Acolyte of Ayn Rand Alan Greenspan (initiated into her cult of objectivism in her apartment in New York in the early 60’s if I’m not mistaken, cue JK Galbraith quote- The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.) figures he might be wrong about unregulated free markets (even Adam Smith advocated a regulatory framework fer chrissakes) even as Peter Mandelson launches a pre-emptive strike against any ideas of questioning the free market gods as we say hello to a recession caused by those very same beliefs (insanity?). Clearly these people should not be in charge and are a danger to themselves, you needn’t look on it as a revolution, it’s an intervention for their own good.

Posted in Capitalism, Corporatism, Media. Tags: , , . Comments Off on Stupid, Stupid, Stupid


And now a news report with added comments from Archbishop Olly Garrke of the Church of the Free Market for your reading pleasure-

Fears are mounting that many Wall Street banks and financial firms will refuse to participate in the US government’s $700bn bail-out package, leaving global markets and world economies in a perilous state for months to come. ‘There is a growing feeling that banks … might instead decide to tough it out,’ said Thomas Caldwell, chairman and CEO of Caldwell Financial, a $1bn-plus fund manager.

For the past two weeks all eyes in the market have been focused on US Congress and its attempts to pass Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s bail-out package – a bill to allow the US government to buy up to $700bn of toxic mortgage-related assets from American banks, which would in theory free the credit markets and set the gears of global commerce spinning once more.

Last Monday, after the bill was thrown out by the House of Representatives, more than $1 trillion was wiped off the value of US stocks as the market was gripped by panic. The bill was passed on Friday afternoon, however, after the inclusion of $149bn of tax breaks and strict rules for participating banks. But Wall Street analysts, believe the addition of so many terms to the bill might deter potential participants.

{Hahahahahahahahahaha, how dare you not do exactly as we say, for fuck’s sake our guy Hank gave you our 3 page ransom note, yet you quibbled? This is a negotiation and we used fear, threats of martial law, cats & dogs living together to aid our side, and even the cosmetic and advisory limitations are not acceptable, how dare you! Still it’s great we chatter about these fripperies, it stops anyone talking about the institutional, structural and ideological changes necessary, it’s like setting preconditions on talks with countries you want to attack, sweet misdirection for the rube-ulace.}

One of the least attractive elements is a section designed to curb executive pay at banks that participate in the bail-out package. These include limiting stock-related pay and banning ‘golden parachutes’ for executives.

‘I think this hodge-podge of regulations and rules will be enough to put many [chief executives] off participating,’ Caldwell said.

{At this point our greed is an out of control addiction that we will do anything to enable, and by ‘anything’ yes that does include having you all gassed in Blackwater camps (which incidentally you will have paid for, hahahahhahaha), so fucking behave untermenschen}

Sources close to Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch indicated the banks might choose not to participate in the bail-out as there is a growing view on Wall Street that the market may be bottoming out.

Analysts also believe that the mere presence of the government as buyer of last resort will be enough to get credit markets moving again, and that a large number of banks would not need to take part for the legislation to succeed.

{We’ve seen we can blag an ass load of cash out of you and flog you our worthless debts, that is encouraging, now watch as we concentrate the toxic shit in throw away banks we sacrifice to the bailout ‘oversight’ with its virtually non existent regulations that nevertheless we abhor and refuse to even entertain their mere suggested presence. Meanwhile we will get richer and the recession will still come, but we don’t care, did I not mention we will get richer? Now fuck off while we get our marketing department, I think you call them ‘political parties’ to say – ooh look we’ll have to tighten our belts, balance the budget, healthcare, schools, welfare– I don’t think so! Keep gossiping about Palin suckers. Kerching!}

Cooperation To Solve Free Market Competition’s Problems

Just wondering has anyone noticed members of the Church of the Free Market falling to their knees saying they are sorry, they are wrong and please please help ickle them? Because I don’t know about you but continued arrogance in the face of one’s own absolute failure is y’know just a tad unattractive (just a tip there oligarchs and masters of the universe). I mean at least Patrick Bateman has the excuse he is severely mentally ill (and fictional).

The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Dominique Strauss-Kahn, had earlier urged the EU to take co-ordinated action, saying the financial crisis was presenting Europe with a “trial by fire”.

Europe’s biggest economies have agreed to work together to support financial institutions – but without forming a joint bail-out fund. French President Nicolas Sarkozy hosted the meeting of the leaders of Britain, Germany and Italy in Paris.

Srsly dudes, are university courses right now being stopped and economics and business students told to go home while they figure out a new syllabus because all the made up shit they’ve been parroting for decades is demonstrably utter-fucking-bollocks. Because if that is happening (and it should) it’s failed to make it into the nooz meejah.

Of course my problem is a lack of the correct perspective…Oh noes, the system we used to get richer than ever has collapsed because no one trusts anyone anymore (who knew everyone lying and fucking each other over to get obscenely rich might have consequences, we’re not psychic for chrissakes!). Our assets are all completely made up! Quick, rescue the system before we stop getting richer than ever, give ’em some shit about small businesses not being able to get loans or making payrolls, all of which they managed to do for centuries before our system came into play (erm, don’t say that last bit). No keep telling them they need our unregulated untaxed shit, change isn’t the answer, mending the rails for our runaway train of our greed is. And don’t, do not let them get the idea we should be blamed we need to ensure that remains redirected towards workers, unions and the unemployed. Why the fuck do you think we own the fucking media? The world is failing us, we cannot fail, we are Teh Awesome. All Ur Kapital R Belong 2 Us.

Kucinich on the Stopgap Con

But what this bill does, unfortunately, it just kind of helps things keep going until the next trillion-dollar crisis, which is coming in a few months when the Alt-A or jumbo mortgages, which are being reset in ’09 and 2010, will find their maximum financial stress on marketplaces. So I think that you have to realize that this—what we’re doing today is not going to forestall a recession, it is not going to solve the problem of a collapse of mortgages, it’s not going to help homeowners.

Also see his statement posted @ GodlessLiberalHomo.

Anyone remember when Paulson was appointed, he was exempted from paying a tax liability of $200 million! This is not about helping anyone but the rich to get even richer and their loyalty to America is conditional upon how wealthy it can make them, essentially they are asset strippers of nations and America has been one of the most useful vehicles for them doing that. That they threaten to take it all down with them shows how ruthless they are when feeding their greed. They treat everything as negotiating a deal with zero social consequences considered. They are perhaps culturally and psychologically incapable of doing anything else, the conditioning through business schools and one set of economic theories (to the zealous exclusion of any others) being presented as incontrovertible laws of nature have had decades to do this. The more free market economics and corporate articles of faith you learn the more dishonest and selfish you become. (ht2 BB)

So fuck them, bailout the borrowers, stop foreclosures, fund universal healthcare and start a govt. works program on renewable energy & all the failing infrastructure, withdraw from imperial occupations and defund the huge parasitic military industrial sector, it doesn’t help oligarchs get richer but it does y’know result in an actual real and working economy by and for the people that isn’t predicated on slaughter & infinite derivative interest scams. They are not even particularly left wing just some basic mixed economy stabilisation that set up some firewalls against predatory capital. That those measures are seen as impossibly impractical demonstrates how deranged & extreme our elites have become with neoliberal cancer. There are workable solutions but the discourse is limited to only those that are within the narrow confines of free market corporatist dogma. I’m sick of hearing how ‘the Left’ does not have a response to this, it has plenty but they are not considered as none of them start with- Give the markets assloads of public capital while kissing the feet of billionaires for allowing us the opportunity to get into this ‘crisis’ (y’know, like it’s a crisis when a drunk runs out of booze and his cards are maxed out, that kind of impossible-to-foresee disaster). It’s like people trying to figure out how to put out a fire but only solutions approved by the gasoline industry are considered- Hmm how about we pour so much gas on the fire it gets bored and puts itself out? That could work yeah? The real crisis is what happens now our ‘democracies’ actually have parties with no policy difference economically, so here we are stuck with no options other than do more of what created this in first place.

Gasoline or petrol, our choice. Or has the massive public resistance opened the possibility for something else?

Credit Where Credit’s Due

If ever proof were needed of the impact of the move from traditional forms of capital, community and politics to a globalised economy built on unstable labour markets and consumerism then Steve Hall, Simon Winlow and Craig Ancrum’s extraordinary new book – Criminal Identities and Consumer Culture – provides more than enough evidence. The book’s basis is a long-term, ethnographic study of a range of contacts in the north-east of England.

Taking as their starting point the idea that “smart liberals” have not controlled capitalism’s “nasty side”, they show how an expansion of consumption through credit has created a culture obsessed with material goods, and where competitive individualism – the “me project” – has emptied old, solid, working-class communities of value and meaning so that these have become places to escape from, rather than fight for and improve as a collective. In such communities they argue that “crime is an instrument for achieving fantasised positions of social distinction and ‘respect’ in consumer culture”, and where as a result most of their respondents wanted to become “stars” of a criminal underworld as a means of gaining access to the material possessions that conferred status and meaning on their lives.

Privatisation Shills Reform Fail Again

The Church of the Free Market shills ‘think’ tank Reform once again try their ridiculous hand at pushing the privatisation of the NHS this time with…insurance vouchers, sensibly no one is buying, or admitting to it, Clegg’s a bit of a worry though-

Healthcare organisations should compete to insure patients under a state-funded scheme which would radically transform the NHS, a think tank is proposing. Plans from Reform would see everyone given a £2,000 “voucher” each year, funded out of general taxation, to buy health insurance. Competition between private firms and primary care trusts would drive down costs and improve choice, it argues. But leading politicians from all parties criticised the proposals.

Labour described it as a “step backwards” while the Tories said the idea made “no sense”. In a speech on Tuesday, Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg will “welcome” Reform’s call for patients to be empowered but reject calls for the way the NHS is funded to be fundamentally overhauled.

Also the piece should start with “A pro-market think tank”, not the proposal in a cold opening which gives it far too much attention before you realise where it comes from. A cursory reader might not twig what a load of old bollocks it is or is the journo fond of Reform? Shares in insurance corporations have we?

Prisons Run For Profit & Charity

…& fun? Leftwing Criminologist (over in Bangor boiling his water because privatised Welsh Water are incapable of supplying potable supplies…for the third time in as many years!) posts about a very strange phenomena-

This article in yesterday’s Financial Times reported that charities are forming consortiums with private companies to bid for new prisons in the UK.

Already NACRO has joined forces with Group 4 Securicor (G4S) and Rayner Crime Concern is teaming up with Serco. Apparently this is so that “involvement of the voluntary sector at an early stage in design and management of new jails would help improve conditions and effective resettlement of inmates” according to NACRO’s Paul Cavadino. Previously charaties occasionally subcontracted things like resettlement and drug rehabilitation.

Of course this is presented as far more humane than just letting the private companies run prisons like they already do in 11 across the country. But privately run prisons are on average run worse than public sector ones and are overcrowded so why let the private sector be involved at all, if we assumed that the involvement of charities was a good thing in prisons surely this could be done in the public sector?

The article gives the game away later on when it says “Ministers believe that such building and operational models will make it politically easier to push ahead with the prison-building programme.” Exactly, PFI has become so unpopular because it is a disaster waiting to happen (or alreayd happening in many places), and the involvement of charities is meant to make it seem all cute a cuddly and safe…

[more at Leftwing Criminologist]

I would add this from a while back in The Independent, apparently corporations are wary of running jails, they like the money for building them but they don’t want the problems when their profit driven ways end in horror. To some extent this is good news, while they may be cheeky sods it does hint we are not as far gone as the US prison industrial system-

Most importantly, there is division in the business community over how the prisons should be procured. The much-vilified Private Finance Initiative (PFI), under which the public sector has paid companies to build, maintain and operate hospitals over a period of 25 to 30 years, is thought to be the model favoured by the Government.

However, Chris Booton, a director at construction company Wates and one of the key advisers to Lord Carter when he looked into the idea of Titan prisons last year, believes PFI is flawed in this instance.

He says that a notice in the Official Journal of the European Union last month, which invited builders to express an interest in the Titan projects, “implied it is likely to be PFI”. But he adds: “The public sector should operate these prisons. They’re flagship, so why not use Titans to prove the public sector is the best at operating them?”

He suggests using the existing prisons roster of construction firms to build the Titans. A dozen companies, including Galliford Try and Kier, have worked on around 50 projects for more than 20 prisons across the country. Mr Booton argues that they have built up expertise and the Government could run a quick and simple “mini-competition” to select the construction teams.

While not dismissing PFI as the most effective model for Titans, Mark Fox, chief executive of outsourcing trade body the Business Services Association, agrees to an extent with Mr Booton. “Delivering prisons is unique in the public sector in that it is the imprisonment of human beings,” he says. “We need really good management from the private sector and strong public sector management overseeing that. The public sector mustn’t aggregate responsibility on the private.”

Yes, try and hold back your tears of sympathy. So they want the charities in perhaps because they acknowledged they are incapable of running prisons humanely (perhaps lacking human capacity the business peep hints at, it’s not our fault, we’re profit driven sociopaths mate, we should be locked up!) but as well as the odd spectacle of charities running prisons I think they may also be convenient fall guys when shit hits fans. As LC notes NACRO is called a charity but- NACRO for example gets over 80% of funding from the state– so there is some arms length shenanigans in this. Sort of public run prisons a bit but not really and enough parties involved for them all to to deny responsibility when the Titans, which every independent concerned body has derided but the government insists on pushing through, are an enormous horrific failure.

It’s also a weird ideological mash-up, of course no one would commit heresy against The Church of the Free Market so something that is demonstrably done best by public bodies cannot be seen to happen, the government will not have democratically accountable public projects even in basic law and order so this unwieldy hybrid of PFI, charities (real and arms length) and government is concocted so the disciples don’t get aroused. It is being done in welfare too (also similar as it is proposed that unemployed people are forced to do community service just like convicted criminals, the moral assumption behind it is clear) where charities are being drawn into running proposed workfare programs. And that’s where the ‘not as bad as the US’ wears off, essential services run by charities is a right wing wet dream, it fundamentally implies:- you have a choice about helping some people and if you choose not to, fuck ’em they starve (let them eat cake?), humans have no duty to other humans, there is no such thing as society. Even though we implement a ruthless system relying on a reservoir of unemployment and inequality we have no moral responsibility towards the victims of our policies. The world is for winners and not losers, why trouble our beautiful minds with them.