The state of the UK

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Re: The state of the UK

Post by Scot Dutchy » Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:15 am

Chumocracy.
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Re: The state of the UK

Post by Brian Peacock » Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:51 am

Kleptocracy.
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Clinton Huxley » 21 Jun 2012 » 14:10:36 GMT
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Re: The state of the UK

Post by Scot Dutchy » Tue Feb 23, 2021 11:08 am

The Covid contracts furore is no surprise – Britain has long been a chumocracy
Polly Toynbee wrote:From questionable appointments to toothless watchdogs, favours to friends is the Conservatives’ modus operandi

The sums are so vast, the secrecy so shocking, that “chumocracy” doesn’t begin to capture what Britain has become – redolent as we are of banana republics, the Russian oligarchy and failed states. Lost is Britain’s self-image as the bowler-hatted beacon of civic rectitude, as our erstwhile Rolls-Royce civil service goes the way of, well, Rolls-Royce, no longer a British-owned car company.

The Good Law Project, the admirable not-for-profit public-cleanser, last week proved in the high court that the government had breached what the judge called the “vital public function” of transparency over “vast quantities” of taxpayers’ money. A VIP fast-lane for protective equipment contracts made the contacts of ministers, MPs, peers and officials 10 times more likely to win contracts. PPE prices sky-rocketed: even bodybags were being charged at 14 times their previous cost. The Good Law Project’s demands for publication of those favoured suppliers, their VIP sponsors and prices paid have been denied so far.

Why the secrecy? The Guardian has already revealed that the medical regulator is investigating Alex Bourne, health secretary Matt Hancock’s ex-neighbour, who won £30m of work producing medical vials, despite having no experience in the field.

In the panic over empty PPE shelves in hospitals and care homes, that dash to procure might be forgiven were it not that favours to friends is the everyday modus operandi for Boris Johnson. But before a litany of his civic shame, pause here to enjoy this, the foreword he wrote to the ministerial code: “There must be no bullying and no harassment; no leaking; no breach of collective responsibility. No misuse of taxpayer money and no actual or perceived conflicts of interest. The precious principles of public life enshrined in this document – integrity, objectivity, accountability, transparency, honesty and leadership in the public interest – must be honoured at all times; as must the political impartiality of our much admired civil service.” Ha!


When these had been whittled down to 30, the disappointed selectors found they had mainly picked identical top graduate types. By instinct, unconsciously, they chose the kind who wrote like them, thought like them. Unconscious bias courses help us understand inbuilt prejudices, but eradicating it from deep within is far harder.

Due process in public appointments matters not just for good government, but because it sets a benchmark of fair employment. Nepotism stinks as badly as awarding contracts to VIP pals: glorying in both, the government, rotting from the head, spreads the stench of corruption through everything it touches.
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Re: The state of the UK

Post by Brian Peacock » Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:00 pm

The Tories seem keen to embrace the Russian model of capitalism: a kind of feudal corporatism.
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Clinton Huxley » 21 Jun 2012 » 14:10:36 GMT
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Re: The state of the UK

Post by JimC » Tue Feb 23, 2021 7:51 pm

Brian Peacock wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:00 pm
The Tories seem keen to embrace the Russian model of capitalism: a kind of feudal corporatism.
With the inestimable advantage of the Old School Tie; something those dreadful little Russians could never comprehend... :smug:
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Re: The state of the UK

Post by Brian Peacock » Tue Feb 23, 2021 10:05 pm

Putin's old school tie network was the KGB itself. Like mafiosos aurocrats place their trust in, and demand loyalty from and to, the family.
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Clinton Huxley » 21 Jun 2012 » 14:10:36 GMT
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Re: The state of the UK

Post by JimC » Tue Feb 23, 2021 11:25 pm

Yes, but the KGB is so common... :tea:
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Re: The state of the UK

Post by Svartalf » Wed Feb 24, 2021 12:14 am

JimC wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 7:51 pm
Brian Peacock wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:00 pm
The Tories seem keen to embrace the Russian model of capitalism: a kind of feudal corporatism.
With the inestimable advantage of the Old School Tie; something those dreadful little Russians could never comprehend... :smug:
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Re: The state of the UK

Post by Brian Peacock » Wed Feb 24, 2021 12:19 am

'The Old School Tie' was a euphemism for the post-war establishment of ministers, civil servants, and business leaders etc, all of which seem to have gone to one of a handful of private schools before popping off to Oxford or Cambridge. At that time one may have also sought to establish credentials by asking of them "Are they a good sort?", or even, "Are they on the square?" The latter being an enquiry as to whether the a bloke was a member of a masonic lodge.
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There are two other possibilities: one is paperwork, and the other is nostalgia."

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Clinton Huxley » 21 Jun 2012 » 14:10:36 GMT
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Re: The state of the UK

Post by Scot Dutchy » Wed Feb 24, 2021 8:17 am

Chumocracy: the spreading of the country's money amongst chums.

The billions spent by the UK government on fighting Covid need proper scrutiny
Simon Jenkins wrote:When ministers use emergency powers, they rely on public sympathy. But their crony bonanza is rapidly eroding it.

The point of Brexit, according to its champions, was to liberate Britain from intolerable EU rules. One of these was that government contracts should always go out to transparent competitive tender. This was supposed to aid efficiency and avert the endemic corruption of certain European states. One such state now appears to be Britain.

Last November the National Audit Office estimated that since the coronavirus pandemic began, Whitehall had given out £18bn in procurement contracts, largely for PPE supplies and test-and-trace services, including to firms with little or no record of such work. It turned out that the government also secretly set up a fast conduit – a so-called VIP lane – for contracts to people personally known to ministers, peers and MPs.

Unsurprisingly, this became a crony bonanza. Of the £18bn spent, the NAO has traced £10.5bn awarded directly without competition. About one in 10 bids to supply through the fast-track system were awarded contracts, against one in 100 from open tender bidders. Meanwhile, the procurement consultancy Tussell found that of £15bn in health department contracts to buy PPE by October, only £2.68bn of the contracts had been published.


The government clearly hopes that its success with the Covid vaccination will wipe out memories of its failures in the early days of the pandemic. Yet it may be the case that its slapdash approach to PPE contracts has contributed to the raw fact that Britain has one of the highest Covid death rates in the world. When this emergency is over, the most searching of all inquiries will be needed: only this will ensure that a government all too happy to avail of emergency powers will actually bring them to an end.
Chumocracy continues.
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Re: The state of the UK

Post by Scot Dutchy » Wed Feb 24, 2021 8:34 am

Image

The vaccine passport; the backdoor ID card?
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Re: The state of the UK

Post by Brian Peacock » Wed Feb 24, 2021 9:19 am

It's interesting that the Tory press have always been against ID cards on civil liberty grounds - often referencing how the Nazis made everyone carry their 'papers' etc. I suspect that they do so because a comprehensive ID system would reveal how much the economy relies on immigrant and undocumented labour.
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Clinton Huxley » 21 Jun 2012 » 14:10:36 GMT
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Re: The state of the UK

Post by Scot Dutchy » Wed Feb 24, 2021 9:46 am

Brian Peacock wrote:
Wed Feb 24, 2021 9:19 am
It's interesting that the Tory press have always been against ID cards on civil liberty grounds - often referencing how the Nazis made everyone carry their 'papers' etc. I suspect that they do so because a comprehensive ID system would reveal how much the economy relies on immigrant and undocumented labour.
It also was one of the main reasons the UK is always a favourite for illegals along with the easy access to benefits which suits the tory business model.
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Re: The state of the UK

Post by Brian Peacock » Wed Feb 24, 2021 10:12 am

Benefits are not easy to access, either for citizens or others. Undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers don't qualify because they don't exist for the purposes of officialdom, and those granted the immigration status of leave to remain usually have a job lined up. It's a conservative lie not borne out by the evidence that people are 'coming over here' for free houses and operations.
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"It isn't necessary to imagine the world ending in fire or ice.
There are two other possibilities: one is paperwork, and the other is nostalgia."

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"This is how humanity ends; bickering over the irrelevant."
Clinton Huxley » 21 Jun 2012 » 14:10:36 GMT
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Re: The state of the UK

Post by pErvinalia » Wed Feb 24, 2021 10:25 am

You've been drinking the Kool-Aid, Brian. Scot knows the truth.
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