The Discreet Charm of Lord Coe

Lord Coe has been on TV a lot lately. It’s been a year since the London Olympics, and the BBC has been full of pieces on their sports programmes debating whether it has been successful in encouraging more Brits to take up sport. The Beeb’s opinion on this issue has been ‘yes… and no’. More people are taking up sport, and thanks to the Games more facilities have been built, and the area of east London on which the Games were held has been regenerated. On the other hand, some sports still have no funding, and not enough facilities are available everywhere. In fact Private Eye noted that many people, who wished to take up a sport, simply couldn’t because the Conservatives had closed and sold off many venues. Those that remained were massively oversubscribed.

Coe himself, because of his leading role in the Games’ management and promotion, has effectively become their public face. Many voters will no doubt consider voting for him simply because of his role in the Games, and the ‘feel-good’ factor their success has generated. So it’s worth reading Another Angry Voice’s article on Coe’s connection to a number of healthcare companies looking to profit from the privatisation of the NHS. It’s entitled ‘Lazy Lord Coe and Tory NHS Reforms’. Coe is lazy, as his voting record in parliament is extremely low. When he does appear, it’s to defend his own commercial interest by voting against amendments to preserve the NHS. The Angry One’s article states

‘Sebastian Coe is a lazy lord. He has occupied a place in the House of Lords since the year 2000, and since then he has bothered to participate in just 136 out of 1,714 votes, which works out at a feeble 7.9%.

It is interesting to note that of the 11 votes he has bothered to participate in over the last 24 months, 4 have been in support of Tory NHS reforms.

As you should know, the Tory Health and Social Care Bill and the keystone SI257 amendment (which compels NHS commissioners to tender virtually all services to the private sector and to accept the lowest bid, irrespective of other considerations such as patient safety, quality of service or long-term continuity of service provision) have been designed to carve the NHS open in order to allow the private sector to cherry-pick the most lucrative services.

In October 2011 Coe voted with the government three times in order to help the hugely controversial Health and Social Care Bill pass through the upper house, including a vote against allowing a specialist health select committee to scrutinise the bill properly before it became law.

In April 2013 Coe voted against a motion to overturn the secretive anti-democratic SI257 amendment on the grounds that it went against assurances that were made in both houses of parliament that “NHS commissioners would be free to commission services in the way they consider in the best interests of NHS patients”. So along with his fellow Tories, and all but one of the Lib Dem peers to vote, Sebastian Coe voted against NHS commissioners freedom to commission services in the best interests of patients.

One must wonder which interests Sebastian Coe places above the best interests of NHS patients?

Is there a possibility that it could be his own financial interests?’

He then supplies numerous evidence to show that this is very definitely the case.

The article is at

It’s worth reading, especially if you’re inclined to believe that ‘he’s all right’ or a ‘good bloke’, because of what he did for the Games.

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3 Responses to “The Discreet Charm of Lord Coe”

  1. Mike Sivier Says:

    Of course, nobody is likely to vote for Coe because he’s a lord and doesn’t need public support. They might think it’s okay to vote for his party (the Conservatives) because of the games, so it is worth pointing out that the vast majority of the groundwork was carried out under Labour; Conservative decisions (such as handing the security contract to G4S) tended to be the ones that didn’t work out so well.

  2. beastrabban Says:

    Thanks for putting me right about nobody voting for Coe, as he’s a lord, Mike. As Homer Simpson would say ‘D’oh!’ Still, there is the danger that some might vote for his party, as you say, because of his involvement. And you’re right about all the good stuff about the Games having been introduced by Labour. Nevertheless, there is the danger there that the Tories would take the credit for those as well, in the same way that Boris Johnson’s mayoralty in London owes much of its success to policies introduced by Red Ken

  3. A Lesson from Weimar Germany: Gustav Stresemann, Company Directors as Politicians and the State Funding of Political Parties | Beastrabban's Weblog Says:

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