by John Ward
When the pension liabilities alone of the British governance élites are three times what the People produce in GDP, it is potty to talk about this or that economic direction, social policy, or Stay versus Leave vis a vis the EU. When those same people are fiscally incontinent and commercially incompetent, they cannot be called the Government Classes: they are leeches on the scale of the French Bourbon aristocracy. And when they steal the pensions of the People, it is time for everyone to demand justice for the One Voice Back to 2020 and WASPI victims.
HS2 – the high-speed link bringing Manchester closer to you – was (to quote one retiring Sir Humphrey four years ago) “worked out on the back of an envelope….we were asked to cost it with zero access to information, so we thought of a number”. When it came to producing an audit of support for it and the likely payback, another pinstripe told the Public Accounts Committee, “we made it up”.
In fact, there is only lukewarm support for it. Estimated at £35 billion, the cost (before a metre of track has been laid) is somewhere around £58 billion today. Like The Big Society, it was an idea David Cameron got from one of his spin advisers.
Already, the cost of building a North-South link (when many northern business concerns would prefer a Lancs-Yorks Pennine link) is over four times more expensive than the EU’s TGV linking Paris to Strasbourg. Which has, er, been built while we’ve been talking about HS2.
But 1950s born female victims of State Pension Reform are told to grow up and stop fantasising about “a money tree”. Sixty-six is a tad old for the growing up thing: most of the SPA women are growing old waiting for money our Government classes stole from them.
“Tories out!” I hear the Momentumistas yell. But Whiteminster spending incontinence has very little to do with politics, and everything to do with rank, mind numbing incompetence. Tony Blair’s vanity project was Connecting for Health – the total overhaul of NHS hardware and software communications that would give the biggest healthcare provider on the planet a “World Class” (that wonderful banality wrapped in a cliché) intranet all to itself.
All it gave us was a write-off of £23 billion. The “official” figure was £12.4 billion, but IABATO applied here: a sympathiser leaked the breakdown of write-offs to me in 2007; trust me, it was £23.5 billion. Nothing at all was gained from CfH other than an increased national debt. It does not exist. Not even a bit of it exists. The French equivalent (CPAM) has been up and running for a decade.
After the careful parsimony of the first Blair administration, Gordon Brown gave the NHS a whopping extra £27 billion per annum to spend. It all went. Three years later, a “reorganisation” that increased both bureaucrat numbers and rigid process rendered the £27 billion “investment” null and void. More money was poured in by Gordon the Bountiful.
But still there wasn’t enough to upgrade the crumbling built infrastructure of “our” National Health Service. So the business-friendly Blairites called in the private sector for a joint building and update programme, by expanding the 1992 Tory-invented PFI scheme dramatically. More than 900 schemes were completed with a total capital value of £56 billion. But by 2011, the cost of all that to the taxpayer in terms or repayment had ballooned to an astonishing £229 billion…..usury on a Greek bailout scale. Today, debt management from the PFI era is one of the biggest millstones on the back of the NHS.
However, Britain’s SPA victim women are told that their case cannot be reviewed, that austerity is an important element of “recovery”, and “we are all in the same boat”. It’s just that some of them have their seats booked in the lifeboats, and we don’t.
“Labour always wastes money!” the Blue Rinsers scream, “only the Conservatives can manage the nation’s finances”. Well it plays well at the Party Conference, but it’s poppycock: apart from David Davis and Jeremy Hunt, almost nobody in the Tory Party has any commercial experience; and in Whitehall, the figure is close to 0%: the mandarins get their commercial experience after they’ve made an illogical mess of privatised structures. They turn from gamekeeper to poacher and join private company boards on fat salaries – it’s supposed to work the other way round, but our bureaucrats seem able to pull off the scam with ease.
The UK has huge debts and regular deficits because of the following factors:
- Cabinet vanity projects
- Indolent budgetary management by the Civil Service
- Hopeless naivety when costing and negotiating supplier costs
- Toothless Parliamentary cost monitoring
- Private sector cheating on a grand scale
- Corruption among both the pols and the desk-pilots.
An eastern European acquaintance who supplies Whitehall continues to insist when we talk that “the UK is the most corrupt country in the EU, and it’s bureaucratic class the most stupid”. Over and over again suppliers like G4S are caught cheating or have to be baled out of organisational disasters….but still they get rehired. Whitehall has created a long history of complicated private rail services and hiring incompetent franchisees. Eastern is now run direct by the Government after a shambolic mess was made of the region by private owners. Virgin trains continue to be late and overcrowded, but this hasn’t stopped Richard Branson from casting aspersions upon the less than above board practices used to award contracts in various regions where he lost.
But the core of the problem lies in the amateurish way that Whitehall recruits ‘trainee’ senior officials after University without any formal commercial training whatsoever. Compare this to the senior ranks of the French Civil Service, all of whom have to take rigorous exams and show evidence of business acumen. There is no equivalent of the Ecole National d’Administration in Britain. Our Sir Humphreys advance from trainee to section head and beyond. The only missing element is training.
Whitehall is riddled with turf wars, obstructionism, political bias and HR practices that defy description. It is also a monster that looks after its own, spends money just to prove it needs it, and – when the need arises – is quite happy to resort to illegality
Britain has a total Unfunded Pension Liabilities debt for civil servants and OAP citizens of £7.6 trillion – that’s over three our GDP, and in the last five years alone it has increased by £1.1 trillion.
Now that latter fact is kind of hard to reconcile with five years during which female SPA victims have been told to wait an average of four to six years for pensions they were promised would kick in during 2010: if the cost of OAPs has fallen, why has the figure for ALL State pensions continued to sky-rocket?
The answer is simple: a massively inordinate proportion of those liabilities apply to only about 450,000 bureaucrats. The same was true during the Brown Chancellorship years, such that by 2010 an IOD/IEA report was referring to the public sector UPLs as “an unstable Ponzi scheme. Back then, the liability was only 96% of GDP: now it’s 305%.
A liability is a liability: if costs remain the same, then the only factor should be inflation. But Whitehall’s UPL has more than doubled. Anyone know of an OAP that’s getting twice what he or she received eight years ago? Over two million of them have yet to receive a penny.
The Old Age Pension accounts for only 53% of that £7.6 trillion UPL.
47% of it is the murky area no Sir Humphrey wants audited. Because from roughly 2005 onwards, senior bureaucrats and public sector fat cats have been quietly gaining approval via the Parliamentary back door for more civil servants to be brought in at a senior level….and the pension deal itself to, as it were, “change with the times”.
I was first alerted to this scandal by a senior Treasury official and friend then working for Alistair Darling. It was made clear to me that both Brown and Darling were aware of the increases. I was also reminded that the Whitehall seniors know where every last political body is buried, and so no Party is going to refuse the offer that cannot be refused.
So there are money-trees a-plenty if you’re a Humphrey…..but not if you’re a Waspi, or a One Voice Back to 2020 activist.
The official line is that it’s all to do with different levels and professions and complexities and wage levels and don’t you lovely citizens worry your little heads about it. But the maths tell a different story of a privileged minority growing fatter and fatter while the political class cries poverty.
It matters not a jot whether in 2022 or sooner we end up with Jeremy Hunt, Jeremy Corbyn or Jeremy Paxman as Prime Minister: the liability is climbing higher and higher as the University, NHS, Local Government and Whitehall leeches sit on our backs, ignoring women with a delayed pension of just one nineth the size of theirs any respite from obfuscation, lies and embezzlement.
When globalist corporations are given an easy ride, banks defraud customers and run up mad leverages, political egos cost billions, the bureacrats cost trillions and most of these self-styled élites are incompetent, it becomes clear that Britain problems are legal and constitutional, not political or economic. When the cost of the greedily dyfunctional governing class is three times the GDP, it is utterly ludicrous to argue the toss on policy ideology.
We have the same type of debauched aristocrats on our backs heading into 2019 as the French people did in 1789. It’s just that today they live in ivory towers, not chateaux.