Posts Tagged ‘Private Equity’

Private Eye: Blair and Cronies Return to Fund Progress Thatcherites

June 14, 2018

According to this fortnight’s Private Eye, 15th-28th June 2018 Tony Blair and other wealthy donors have returned to fund Progress, the Thatcherite entryist group in the Labour party. The article states that ‘since its foundation, Progress has promoted Blairite candidates and motions inside the party’. The article goes on to state that it has, however, lost most of its internal battles since Jeremy Corbyn came to power, and that Lord Sainsbury’s announcement that he was no longer donating to it was a major blow. It’s now looking for new funders.

The article cites the Electoral Commission to reveal that the liar and unindicted war criminal gave it £10,000 on 26th March. The article states that this is the first time Blair has given it anything from the vast wealth he’s made from his various consultancies since leaving office.

Other donors include the City headhunter, Jeremy Breaks, who gave Progress £8,000 in April. He’s never given to the Labour party, but did give £2,000 to Owen Smith’s campaign for the Labour leadership.

Another financier, private equity investor Stephen Peel gave them £10,000 in January. He also hasn’t donated anything to the Labour party, but tellingly he did give the Tories £50,000 in 2008. He also funds and sits on the board of a business-orientated Remain group, Best For Britain.

Martin Clarke, the chief financial officer of the AA, also gave Progress £10,000 in February. He’s a long-standing Labour supporter, but his only recorded donation to the party was £2,960 to the Morley and Outwood Constituency Party in 2014. He also gave money to one of Corbyn’s rivals. In 2015 he gage £37,500 to Yvette Cooper’s campaign to gain the Labour leadership. (Page 12).

Blair and the other donors to Progress are thus the same City types, for whom Blair decided to sacrifice the manufacturing sector, and betray the party’s working class roots and supporters, privatising industry, including the NHS, cutting welfare and state aid, all to ingratiate himself with big business, Murdoch and the right-wing press, and swing voters, who would otherwise vote Tory. It also shows just a touch a desperation on the part of Progress and Blair himself. Progress were never more than a tiny faction in the Labour party, which succeeded because they held the levers of power. Now their power’s waning, they’re desperate to get more money. And if Blair’s donating to them for the first time ever, it shows that he’s worried that his political legacy is also in jeopardy.

Private Eye on Private Equity’s Firms Mismanagement of Hinchingbrooke NHS Hospital

July 24, 2013

I found this article in the 22nd December-10 January 2013 issue of Private Eye. It reports and comments on the appalling mismanagement of Hinchingbrooke hospital in Cambridge. This was the first NHS hospital to be given to the private healthcare company, Circle Health, to run.

Circle Squared

The abrupt decision of the once irrepressible Ali Parsa to step down as chief executive of Circle Health has ben followed by an abrupt change of management style at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, the first NHS hospital to be run by a private company.

A film crew from Channel 4’s Cutting Edge programme who turned up recently at the Cambridgeshire hospital, expecting to continue work on a documentary Parsa had initiated, were abruptly escorted from the premises and told not to return.

Could the change in management style have anything to do with the fact that things had already been going seriously adrift at Hinchingbrooke, which Circle Holdings plc took over in February in a ten-year, £1bn deal?

Despite Parsa’a boasts about making huge savinigs, the hospital is already running a deficit of more than £4m, with no prospect of delivering profit for Circle’s private equity and hedge fund shareholders. If the Hinchingbrooke deficit hits £5m, the contract allows Circle to cut its losses and walk away.

Interim chief Steve Melton is no doubt exploring whether Circle can benefit from the PFI meltdown at Peterborough hospital, 24 miles up the A1. Hopes of any rescue for Peterborough City Hospital depend on it getting extra patients (and therefore funds) through its doors.

Circle has always been keen to close Hinchingbrooke’s small but costly A&E unit and would no doubt be happy for Peterborough to take over those urgent and complex cases, so that it could run the hospital more like one of its boutique private hospitals in Bath and Reading. But these services area also key to its financial viability’.

More proof, if any were needed, that private equity firms cannot and should not run NHS hospitals.