And it’s not just in housing: £1bn of government contracts was given to Tory ‘friends and donors’ during the crisis (The National) for PPE equipment, much of which was unusable or hopelessly late. The result was death rates which were four times above average amongst social care staff of racially oppressed groups.
“Every week, the inquiry into the fire brings new revelations. They chill the blood. In the language of joshing emails and office politics, of manipulated presentations and dishonest marketing materials, you hear how 72 people were condemned to be suffocated, poisoned and burned to death. Many thousands more, still living in fear in blocks clad by similar materials to those that caught fire at Grenfell, unable to sell or move, have had their lives wrecked.
“Philip Heath, then technical manager at another manufacturer, Kingspan, had boasted by email of overwhelming a certification body with data – “we probably blocked his server” – after obtaining approval for its cladding. A contractor who raised questions about it was “getting me confused with someone who gives a dam [sic]”. A facade consultancy who also asked questions “can go fuck themselves and, if they are not careful, we’ll sue the arse of [sic] them.
“This year, we have seen the extraordinary spectacle of the government’s response to Covid-19. Objectives are announced – for procuring protective gear, for organising testing – and contracts handed out to companies whose expertise in these fields is hazy. Then, sometimes, nothing or little happens. The gear and the testing just don’t show up in usable form. It appears impossible to get things done.
“While it is too soon to know everything that is going on with the Covid response, it is a good guess that the mania for outsourcing and privatisation played a role.”
Read the full story here: Guardian
Meanwhile, Kier Starmer has as one of his senior private advisors a lobbyist for the private sector providers in the NHS; Ben Nunn. He’s worked for the healthcare lobbyist Incisive Health. Incisive was founded by Sarah Winston, Mike Birtwhistle and Bill Morgan – a former special advisor to then Tory health secretary Andrew Lansley. At Incisive’s launch in 2013 Birtwhistle explained the ethos of the new firm and the need, in the words of PR Week, for private interests to work harder and smarter to make [the NHS] adapt and change in a way that will help their businesses. Birtwhistle explicitly stated how Morgan’s proximity to Tory policy on healthcare was commercially advantageous Novara Media