40 thoughts on “Are these the men who would be king?

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  2. Andy

    I’m so so so so glad you’ve run with this !!!! the problem is that the relationship with KPMG is ubiquitous throughout the political world both here in the UK and around the globe…. I’ve just seen this post on the Huffington Post about Ed Milliband and Socialism being brought back to England – http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/09/21/ed-miliband-labour-socialism_n_3967287.html … one huge glaring problem though…. quote from the article – “Miliband revealed he has appointed Alan Buckle, deputy chairman at accountants KPMG, to investigate how the role and powers of the Low Pay Commission could be extended to strengthen the minimum wage.”

    KPMG is a freaking arm of ATOS!!!

    If Labour manages to disentangle itself from these guys i would vote 100% Labour but as it stands I seriously am on the fence while Unum-Atos-Kpmg has the ear of Ed

    1. Andy

      also re: Mark Britnell –

      from wikipedia – Mark Britnell (born 1966) has been a partner and Head of Healthcare, Europe & UK for advisory firm KPMG since 2009. He was previously Director-General for Commissioning and System Management for the National Health Service (NHS) of England (July 2007–September 2009).

      This is the brochure from the APAX conferance back in 2010 in New York… the conference was a grouping together of private insurance and business to conflab about global policy with respect to health care and health provision. This is where it’s on record that Mark Britnell says

      “In future, The NHS will be a state insurance provider not a state deliverer.” In future ‘any willing provider’ from the private sector will be able to sell goods and services to the system. Britnell comments: “The NHS will be shown no mercy and the best time to take advantage of this will be in the next couple of years.” – http://www.powerbase.info/images/f/fe/Apax_Healthcare_conference_2010.pdf

      the above info comes from this article by Tamasin Cave from Spinwatch-

      1. Andy

        🙂 you’re welcome, i should’ve been clearer.. plus you get to see just what was taking place at the time he said those comments and what others are saying as well for other countries….it’s also that the APAX brochure shows just how global the whole thing is…. it’s a conspiracy theorists dream.. the only problem is this aint any make-believe .. it’s there and its recorded with dates time and place

        I also wanted to point out via the wikipedia article that before he entered the job that he’s now doing he was Director-General for Commissioning and System Management for the National Health Service (NHS) of England (July 2007–September 2009) under Labour.. this isn’t a judgement about Labour but it is a judgement about Mr Britnell which i suggest shows an element of the revolving door.. also just what was his working relationship with KPMG while he was working for the NHS so to get such a good position with them later on? But that’s speculation on my behalf

  3. Adam Clifford

    It is vile stuff.Leading politicians either extremely uninformed or totally contemptuous of the electorate.Commercial capture of the political system writ large,and these arrogant incompetents,either corrupt or being corrupted,dont give a toss.The conflict of interest…Well there is no conflict of interest.The plan is working.
    Into the valley of shame went the 645,KPMG,ATOS,UNUM,Mckinsey and Company to the right of them,KPMG,ATOS,UNUM,Mckinsey and Company to the left of them of them,KPMG,ATOS,UNUM,Mckinsey and Company in front of them

    Some one had blunder’d,everybody knows now
    Theirs not to make reply,
    Theirs not to reason why,
    Theirs but to do and and keep their jobs,enjoy the perks,bleed publically and laugh privately.

    1. Mike Sivier

      I am, however, awaiting the bullet through the window, swiftly followed by the investigation that ‘finds’ porno on my computer and the vilification as a “filthy pervert”, or somesuch, that would follow. I said on Facebook, that seems to be the usual way!

      1. Malcolm Burt

        What a superb & brilliantly sourced article this is.Many thanks for the startling revelations through it`s content.It is the contention of many that our N.H.S.is being stolen from under our very noses,& for my part i have had difficulties in finding a link between private companies & C.C.Gs.This article provides that link with clarity & i wanted to seek your consent in the use of some points made,for an article that i would like to do in relation to our own hospital.

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  5. Deborah Harrington

    You won’t be alone, Mike. Andy posts on KONP about Britnell and Co and I’ve ranted on about their deep and devious connections over many months, as have a few others. My partner told me I’d better be prepared for a knock on the door one of these days… I commented to Andy yesterday that the Transparency of Lobbying Bill is trumpeted as dealing with undue influence, but the undue influence isn’t coming from a lobby group it is actually right there in the very heart of government. I’ve always known our democracy was a flawed thing, but does anyone know of a time in our recent history when it was so corrupt?

  6. Guy Ropes

    Go on then – name the politicians (at Westminster) who aren’t “in it” for themselves. How come you appear to be the person who reveals these alarming facts? Why hasn’t an MP? The dots are not too far apart to be joined up. Maybe they’re too engrossed in their Party Conferences. Doing nothing is – for them, as far as I’m concerned – not an option. Is there really no switched-on parliamentarian who has researchers who can dig this out and reveal/repeat it on the floor of the House? With your media contacts (and this is not disrespectful) contact any MP you wish to disclose it or any MSM title. I wait in anticipation and will congratulate you wholeheartedly if these facts are brought to the attention of the British public without them having to rely on well-intention blogs. Why so cynical? Because I’ve been there.

    1. Mike Sivier

      Then you’ll be aware that the mass media seems to be under orders never to mention the connection between Unum and the government.

      Individual MPs acknowledge public feeling about the corporate influence of Unum and its buddies but getting them to say anything in public is another matter.

      If you have been there, then you will know this to be true.

      What else is there but word of mouth and “well intention blogs”?

  7. Roy Watson

    Yes, you can make a difference. But not with a pen or a keyboard. With a flaming brand, a big stick with a nail in the end and WITH EACH OTHER.

    1. Mike Sivier

      I very much want to disagree. It would be good to be able to say the time of violent response and revolution is over.
      However, that has yet to be proved. Verbal protest in this country has produced only cosmetic change at best, and we may yet see violence on our streets if the current government takes its ideologically-based repression to extremes.

  8. Peter A Bell

    This is scary stuff. Having read it, I would make a few observations from a Scottish perspective.

    I share the author’s annoyance at the intellectual indolence of asserting of politicians that “they’re all the same”. It is a dangerous attitude for a number of reasons. Not least that it discourages political engagement and when the masses abandon the democratic process it is inevitably taken over by extremists and exploiters.

    From what the article tells us, we might actually be better off with the extremists. At least they would, by their overt extremism, be likely to provoke a reaction which might restore some democratic balance. The exploiters are more insidious and likely to be able to have their way without the general public even being aware.

    The point about these exploiters getting their tentacles into every aspect of government until they are all but impossible to remove is well made. Perhaps the most troubling thing about the way they operate is that eventually they leave governments with no alternatives. People should keep this in mind when they demand that the Scottish Government disengage from firms like Atos. It may not be so simple. Which doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep pressuring them. Only that we should be realistic about possible limits to what might be done by a devolved administration within the British state.

    There is obviously a lesson here for people voting in the referendum on Scottish independence. This article gives a clear and deeply troubling picture of the way the British sate is going. People really need to think very seriously about whether they want to continue to be part of that state. because, as part of the UK, there is no way Scotland can possibly avoid being affected by the machinations of these companies and their agents in the British political parties.

    It may be difficult for Scotland to stand against the power of these global corporations even as an independent nation. But at least we’d have a chance. Notwithstanding the rather naive hopes of the article’s author (born, I’m sure of desperation rather than blindness to the realities), there seems little hope that writing to politicians and newspapers or “bitching like hell” will stem the tide. The British state has made its accommodation with these forces. To break that accommodation we must first break the British state.

    Or break away from it. Which may amount to the same thing. In Scotland we have an option that is distinctly ours. We can vote to take our government out of the hands of the British state. We can vote to bring our government home. We can vote for the hope of something better than the dire fate described in Mike Sivier’s blog post.

    We can affirm the sovereignty of the people of Scotland so that they might be empowered to stand as a bastion against the predations of the exploiters.

    We can take back the democracy that is being stolen from us.

    We can vote to restore Scotland’s rightful constitutional status.

    We can go to the polls on Thursday 18 September 2014 and we can vote Yes.

    1. Mike Sivier

      Naïve, am I?

      Not quite as naïve as any Scottish readers coming to your comment without realising that it is an attempt to divert the narrative into an argument for Scottish independence.

      You do a disservice to the power of the pen, sir – while trying to use it to persuade others to effect real change. If people vote for – and get – Scottish independence, even partly as a result of what you have written, how is that any different from people demanding – and getting – change because of my article?

      1. Dave

        I thinks Peter’s comment is very relevant as the issues affect Scottish people. The Scots have an opportunity to break with the right-wing policies of the British state, and make decisions for themselves, which the rest of us, don’t as yet have. They will then have a much better chance of addressing these disturbing trends.

        History has taught us that protest rarely if ever has anything but a marginal effect on what is decided at Westminster and Whitehall. That power has to be broken or removed f government is to become the servant, not the master of the people.

      2. Mike Sivier

        The way popular feeling – as evidenced by the written word – influences votes may change massively in the near future, thanks to the power of the Internet (in my opinion). As people become more aware of what their votes can achieve, it seems likely that their use of the vote will become more fluid.

        Also, it seems likely that far more people will become involved in politics as a result of the current interest in the damage being wrought by the Coalition. They’ll join the parties of their choice and carry out activities that will, in turn, galvanise more of the people into taking a more active interest in their political life.

        It won’t happen tomorrow, but it will happen. Picking up a pen or going to a typewriter is where it starts.

        And it’s a lot better than violence!

      3. Peter A Bell

        I see now that my comment may have given offence and for this I apologise unreservedly. It was not my intention to imply that you were naive in the sense of being blind to the difficulties of addressing the issues that you have so eloquently described. My impression was, rather, that you felt you had no choice but to resort to a letter-writing campaign due to the lack of any political avenue by which to take effective action. I meant the naivety of desperation, not the naivety of innocence.

        I do not, however, see my comments as irrelevant to your article or as an attempt to “divert the narrative” but, rather as an attempt to expand that narrative.It might have been better if you yourself had pointed out the ways in which Scotland differs from the rest of the UK, both in the effects of the corporate activities you allude to and in the way these issues are being handled. This is particularly true of health services where, as you must surely be aware, NHS Scotland is and always has been a totally distinct entity entirely separate from the NHS in England. NHS Scotland is not being privatised in the way that you describe as happening in England. At the very least this stands as evidence that there is another way.

        And if we are talking about methods of combating the insidious influence of global corporations it is surely appropriate to at least mention an option that is available to the people of Scotland. The fact that the Scottish Government, even as a devolved administration, is dealing with these issues in ways that differ significantly from the approach of successive UK Governments surely suggests that improving on its ability to take a different path is at least as valid a way of seeking to stem the erosion of public services as writing to newspapers.

      4. Mike Sivier

        So is the Welsh government – and without the threat of secession from the union. The Welsh NHS is also separate from the English model.

        No offence taken; you’re far more polite than some who have commented here.

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  10. Nick Jardine

    This is utterly horrific. I had no idea the extent in which these corporations were involved.
    I’ve said many times over the last year, as I’m sure many others have across the nation , ‘ How can GP’s run the administrative aspects of a regional medical provisions when they spend all day working as doctors ?’

    It’s a simple question, an obvious question even, yet not once have I ever heard this question being put forward by a ‘national’ journalist (tv news) nor by another politician.

    I agree with you on the power of the internet, it’s power is obviously a worry for government as they try to invent new way of monitoring and spying on us and have them legislated.

    I think that Peter’s point about Scotland voting for independence could prove to be a very positive factor. Scotland does have the same unwelcome influences – we have Reform Scotland, the same Tory think tank that constantly puts out reports that call for more private sector involvement in health provision, particularly in building new clinics and local practices and one of the main donators to this think tank is The Buccleuch Group, who happen to build health based infrastructure.

    However, the Scottish administration has different laws regarding political lobbying, we are having a discussion about a written constitution which would enshrine what we regard as ‘national assets’ in public ownership – most importantly Scottish Water. The Icelandic people have just done exactly that (this being the country that actually managed to jail a couple of bankers for their crimes.)

    There’s absolutely no reason why we could not add the Scottish NHS to that list, or as was announced last week by Alex Salmond, the desire to keep the Royal Mail in public hands north of the border.

    Hell we could do anything with a written constitution – we could ban business lobbying, we could enshrine in law that all political parties are publicly subsidised and receive say, £10m quid a year from the public purse. Madness you may say, but think on this,

    Do you really think David Cameron and the tories will regulate the banks satisfactorily when £47m of the £100m worth of donations to the party have come directly from the city ?

    These ideas of fair play are a key to the debate that’s currently happening up here, and i think that a new independent Scotland that started taking action against overbearing business control could soon be influencing discussion south of the border. And that would be no bad thing.

    1. Mike Sivier

      Trouble is, without Scotland, discussion south of the border might also become very limited, unless there is an extremely strong swing against the Conservatives. England is a mainly-Conservative country and the loss of Scottish votes may consolidate the Tories in power.

      1. Peter A Bell

        There is also an argument, and a fairly powerful one, that constitutional reform in Scotland could spark a transformation of politics in England. The “beacon of progressive reform” of which Alex Salmond speaks may be the stuff of political rhetoric. But it might also be that there is something in the idea of leading by example. If nothing else, an independent Scotland with distinctive policies that are shown to be viable could provide ammunition for the forces of progressive reform elsewhere. Indeed, there is much truth in the claim that this is what worries the British establishment most about Scotland’s move towards independence.

      2. Mike Sivier

        Leadership by example is the best form of leadership there is – and the example set by David Cameron is one of the best arguments for getting rid of him.

        There is indeed an argument that the example of an independent Scotland could spark change in the rump-UK that remained, but the problem with that is that Britons are extremely resistant to outside influence. I think change, if it’s coming, will have to come from inside.

      3. Nick Jardine

        I understand where your coming from Mike and completely agree, leadership by example is the ultimate form of leadership. It’s just a shame that there doesn’t seem to be a mainstream political alternative.

        At least for us north of the border we have an option, it by no means is a perfect option, but it’s there.

        In the meantime, your suggestions for writing to MP’s and spreading the word is vital and armed with questions based on good information like this is enlightening, so thank you for the article.

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  12. archie

    Mike, thankyou for your informative article and the contributions made by others. The link to your blog and this article in particular was posted earlier today on the Wings over Scotland website and has now been read by many of the contributors to that forum. I think it would be fair to say your article has raised many an eyebrow. I for one was shocked at your revelations regarding UnUm and others pulling the strings behind the scenes.

    I do think that Peter and Nick hit the nail on the head when they both suggested there is a ‘different way’ and believe it or not we are all ‘Britons’ albeit Scottish Britons. On that note, I am sure you did not infer that ‘outside influence’ was coming from Scotland, Wales or N.Ireland. Surely these countries are inside the Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland. As you said ‘Change, if it’s coming will have to come from the inside’ It is Mike, it is.

    Thanks again for your article.

    1. Mike Sivier

      I think I’m right in saying that Britons resist change from outside – whether we’re Scots who don’t want to be told what to do by England, or Great British who don’t want to have Europe or America dictating to us.

      Thanks for the endorsement!

  13. archie

    I think that perhaps the resistance to change is commonly called happiness with the ‘status quo’ I would suggest to you that the ‘status quo’ has been totally been blown out of the water nationally and internationally.

    These are not my own words but I can see the meaning behind them : It is a natural & default state when people of like minded ideas and ideals come together, that eventually they will aim to shake off their vassal bonds and fight for an independent togetherness.
    I am paraphrasing there.

    I am having a chuckle at the Pandora’s box you neatly covered in a few lines. I am resisting the temptation to open it, but thanks for the offer.

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