Was away yesterday so hence lack of posts but having got back I see the BBC are still running with their meme that the private sector and the “profit” motive are deleterious to our good health. They have been combining  the issues of Southern Cross and Bristol Nursing Home  to weave the narrative that only the well run financially responsible always-caring NHS can provide us with good healthcare. I believe they betray their own inherently Statist mentality in the way they portray this meme. The BBC seems to believe that the State is morally virtuous because it never has financial issues since it can thieve from the taxpayer. I can think of £3 billion reasons why they hold such an opinion.

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  1. London Calling says:

    The Government’s own annual “license fee” amounts to somewhere near 50% of our income. At the present rate Cameron will be wanting 100%. Just have your salary paid straight into the Government, and The State will meet your needs. If its a good enough system for the BBC, then it should be good enough for everyone else, no?


    • deegee says:

      Like a kibbutz? From each according to his ability, to each according to his need (or needs)  Karl Marx in his 1875 Critique of the Gotha Program.

      How many Beeboids would live on a kibbutz? Even most Israeli collective settlements have given up on that idea.


  2. cjhartnett says:

    To be fair to Evan, he did a good job on the hedge fund bloke, who revealed as much as I needed to know about the thinking behind Blackstone, Suthern Cross etc.
    The bloke was garbled,defensive and lost us all before he`d spoken for a minute. This reveals the old adage that no-one understood any of it, but they`d not let that stop them from  stuffing  their pockets. We could have their IOUs instead. 

    Today though continue to let the last Government off with this shambles…all these things were festering since 2007 and well before. Yet like defence, PFIs and all the other scandals-we`re supposed to blame the current greenhorns and ask Balls back in to put it right again!
    New Labour have left us this toxic landfill-and Johnson,Prescott should not be shaking down the taxpayer to play air guitar or read a line in a play.
    Mandelson was very happy for his chums to get rich-and Levy,Blair were and are up to their necks. Yet we`re soon to be expected to blame this shower for all our ills…as if history at the BBC is just Tristam Hunts wander round Stanley Matthews old house.
    Labour were able to blame Thatcher until 2005…and there are STILL times when they do..the last  Labour lot are due many more years in the  stocks, and we` ve hardly started to get to the real scandals to come I`m sure.


  3. Umbongo says:

    In his statist ranting – or “interviews” as Today refers to them – John Humphrys on Today made no mention of the Staffordshire hospital “caring” for elderly patients or Mrs Shoesmith’s social work department in its “care” for Baby P.  Oh no: everything’s the fault of the hedge funds for making a profit out of Southern Cross (with a minimal nod to “Care” Commission incompetence.  BTW why was I only made aware that the “correct” route for whistleblowing in this case – to the local authority’s trading standards department – by an interviewee and not by a BBC “specialist”).  Also BTW, was it B-BBC commenter cassandra who noted the convenience for the BBC narrative in broadcasting Panorama’s exposure of a private care home just as Parliament was debating the NHS reforms?  Such cynicism!!

    BTW Southern Cross is not too big to fail (as RBS was not).  There’s an old-fashioned process for dealing with bankrupt companies: it’s called administration/liquidation.  In my experience of these things, where a valuable (and viable) service is being carried out, the service goes on albeit under different (and more competent) ownership/management.  In the private sector incompetence and folly lead (very publicly) to bankruptcy and something is done sharpish.  In the public sector, incompetence and folly lead (very privately) to more taxpayers’ money being thrown at the problem and, effectively, exoneration of all politicians and public sector managers concerned (“learning lessons” dontcha know).  The contrast is invisible to BBC-employed broadcasters who (naturally) favour bringing everything into the (infallible) public sector.


    • MarkE says:

      I have some knowledge of Southern Cross and have seen a lot of the comments from the company’s directors recently.  They are trying to blame cuts in social services’ funding for state funded residents and ignoring their own actions in expanding faster than they could manage the business through debt funded acquisition, and in selling and leasing back properties (on poor terms) to try to pay down the debt when that became a problem.  Although I am always keen to highlight areas where the state causes problems, in this case the whole problem is one of poor management.

      If there were any justice Southern cross would be allowed to fail, other operators would buy the viable homes at fire sale prices (and the unviable ones would be sold for other uses, also at fire sale prices), the investors and bond holders would take a bath, and the directors would never work again. Sadly we don’t have justice, we have Cameron as PM, so I expect to see either direct state aid or (more likely) increased fees from Social Services.  Presumably the increased fees would have to be applied to all care homes (otherwise it would be illegal state aid, banned by Cameron’s beloved EU), not only Southern Cross, but hey, it’s only taxpayers’ money, no one worries.

      The previous owner/manager of at least one Southern Cross home made a very comfortable profit and provided decent care for his residents but Southern cross weren’t interested in profit per se; the directors wanted the status of running a large public company, hence the over ambitious growth.


      • Grant says:

        Mark E,
        Don’t know anything about this case, but I wonder where they got the idea of sale and leaseback ?


  4. Roland Deschain says:

    It gets a bit tedious to continually hear the argument that because investors are more interested in profit, they will not provide proper care.  It’s possible,yes and at the moment there’s a high profile nursing home here in Edinburgh (Elsie Inglis) where exactly that seems to have happened.

    And what’s the result? Closure of the home and no more profits for Mr Investor.  It simply isn’t good business to fail to care properly for your customer.

    Now look at the public sector.  What’s likely to happen?  Some underling will be sacked. The person at the top will wring their hands and, despite their huge salary, will say it was nothing to do with them, it was all the fault of the regulator/government and that lessons have been learned.  And carry on taking said large salary (and pension).


  5. Will says:

    Have not heard this angle from the BBC

    “The man who made £13m from Southern Cross believes that ministers should let the care home business fail and says that board directors must share blame for the company’s plight. In an interview with The Times, Philip Scott, who built the company into the biggest elderly care provider, also accused its new bosses of scaremongering. He said that directors, including Baroness Morgan of Huyton, the new head of Ofsted, who had been brought on to the board because she had been Tony Blair’s policy chief, were partly responsible for the decline, reports the Times. “


    • Umbongo says:

      Morgan is another one of the parasites who infest our political (and politically-related commercial) life.  Apart from 4 years as a geography “teacher” (those poor kids must think that Timbuctoo is in South London whereas in reality only a selection of Timbuctoo’s inhabitants are) she’s been on the political gravy train sucking life – and pots of taxpayers’ money – from whatever she touches.  Incredibly (given that he had the opportunity to appoint somebody competent and not complicit in the failure of this country’s education system) Michael Gove – the CINO at the Ministry of Education – appointed this socialist leech to head Ofsted.  AFAIAA she sat there while Southern Cross went down the tubes.  After all, what does she really know about commerce (or anything else for that matter) apart from being first in the queue to cash her pay and expenses cheque at the end of the month?


    • cjhartnett says:

      Thanks for this!
      So after the catalogue of disasters that was Woodhead-via a few nondescripts that were happy to lead Blunkett round from crisis to socialite-to Tony Mc Nultys partner-Christine Gilbert…we`re now getting Particia Morgan!
      She makes Cathy Ashton look a better bet. Maybe she`s Europes revenge for not labelling our waste.
      You can set the education watch  back further now to 1897 now-and these self basting turkeys and trough digging stool slicers dared to mock Victorian values when Thatcher was well able to defend herself!
      If Gove appointed her as you say-he`d better get ready for the storms to come! How many zombies does Cameron need round him to look alive then?


  6. My Site (click to edit) says:

    Attempts across the chatterati/blogosphere to swing failures of personal responsibility and state oversight over one messed-up private sector company into some neat anti-cuts mantra based on the hopes and desires of now discredited social engineering dreams and pc-based erasing of effective personal and corporate accountability are being given short shrift.

    The BBC and its minions are on the wrong side of this, and where not venally biased by dogma, ill-informed by the irony of their often 5* privately cosseted health and care needs.

    Those who have are and mostly will live the nightmares of a zero accountability, but market rate ‘responsibility’-rewarded system are in no mood for their patronising defences of flawed ideals designed almost exclusively to make them feel better in their ivory towers whilst abusing the broadcast system to convince those at the lower ends they are being well served.

    Yes, the programme was made and kicked up a sh*t storm. Well done. But the ‘debates’ I am seeing now dragged out seem to be more on how money and training will make the likes of the CQC somehow less inept than they have been shown to be, or confer a lightbulb moment on NHS nurses who currently can’t grasp that a glass of water will help a dehydrated patient.

    As history has proven, p*ssing money away on anything, from schools to care to uniquely funded media entity pension pots, does not make the service they provide any ‘better’ if they are run and staffed by individuals unfit for purpose. Or held to account on the basis of delivery.


  7. David Preiser (USA) says:

    David V, I think I see now why you have trouble getting elected.  You’re attacking the largest employer in your area: the public sector.  Never mind how this is ultimately financially unsustainable, of course.  It’s ideological with the Beeboids and all those on the Left.