PRIVATISING SERVICES: How closed can a Newscory mind be?

Maybe somebody should close in on Jeremy Hunt

huntwhoa“Whoa…wait a minute here, I have done nothing wrong”

Ever higher and higher piles the evidence that British taxpayers are being cheated, ripped off and lied to by private contractors chosen by useless mandarins from a Pally Privatisation shortlist put in front of them by bent MPs.

The PFI disaster under Gordon Brown should’ve been enough evidence to last a lifetime showing how the feral amorality of our business culture makes corrupt underperformance an absolute certainty. Fast forward to the present day, and nothing has changed.

Serco has been caught out lying about prison reform, charging the Government £50m for work it never did, and failing to deliver anything beyond a joke service in place of GPs out of hours. It shows no sign of being fired: Chris Grayling says their behaviour is “unacceptable” – the great political gesture-word of the 21st century – but clearly not so acceptable that it stops being short-listed for further NHS assignments. Nobody in the Government has any answer to this whiff of sleaze suggesting that bribery might be involved. Why not? At the last count, its annual pre-tax profits were up 27%, at £302m. Why isn’t some of this being sequestered in the taxpayers’ interest? As the Health Secretary, how does Jeremy Hunt feel about the GP services failure?

G4S is a company that needs no introduction, but it doesn’t seem to lack introductions. Despite an atrocious track record of lying about capability and shambolic Olympic Games delivery, it is still a favoured supplier. In his role as CM&S Minister, did Jeremy Hunt have any role in pushing the selection of this cowboy outfit? As a favoured supplier to the British Council, Hunt made a fortune through his company Hotcourses, despite completely cocking up the first job he did for them. He too went on to remain a monopoly supplier for years afterwards. Are his instincts about the way to do business going forward with him as he climbs the greasy pole….and now finds himself Health Minister? Does he have anything to do with the process of putting Serco forward for NHS outsourcing?

Drugs companies stand accused of “highway robbery” by using a legal loophole to push up the price of medicines for the NHS in some cases by up to 2,000% – at a cost to the taxpayer of tens of millions a year. At least 15 drugs have substantially increased in price after being “flipped” from one firm to another, according to information obtained by doctors. The British Medical Association  has warned that vital treatments risk being denied to patients if costs rise so much that the NHS can no longer afford them. And once again the Health Secretary is….ooooh, Jeremy Hunt. What’s he doing about it – will there be tweets telling us more of his Knightly exploits?

Poor old Jezzer: he does seem to be the victim of outrageous circumstantial rumour and innuendo. Mind you, the dear boy is no stranger to such coincidence. He was in New York doing “media research” and had umpteen “drinks” with James Murdoch…shortly after which, Newscorp switched its support to the Tories. He found himself at the CM&S when, spookily, Newscorp was pitching for the right to gobble up BSkyB. On all his trips he was bankrolled by JHJ Lewis…the Chairman of the Groucho Club found illegally spying on his clients, and the man who hastily took down a paedophile exchange site when it was revealed by an investigative reporter.

He really is Jeremy Hunt, international man of mystery. But surely somebody should now call for an investigation into why these private suppliers screw up time after time…but somehow don’t fall off the A-list.

Isn’t Ed Miliband the man who should be pushing that line? Today he spent the entire PMQs opportunity on Lynton Crosby. If only he’d had the balls to ask which angels of death are protecting Jeremy Hunt, and raise public doubts about the private sector.

Earlier at The Slog: Andy Pandy goes bank result analysing