Chapter 6
PRIVATIZATION IN THE WEST

6.1 Public Private Partnership
6.2 The Policy Comes from the Top

 

6.1 PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP

In Britain, privatization started under Margaret Thatcher at the beginning of the 1980s, before the World Bank imposed the same policy on lesser developed countries. Even now, the privatization process is far from complete, but a report in The Guardian newspaper summarized when the family silver was sold:

Cable & Wireless: Oct 81, Amersham International: Feb 82, Britoil: Nov 82, Associated British Ports: Feb 83, Enterprise Oil: Feb 84, Jaguar: July 84, British Telecom: Nov 84, British Gas: Dec 86, British Airways: Feb 87, Rolls-Royce: May 87, BAA: July 87, British Steel: Dec 88, Regional water companies: Dec 89, Electricity distribution companies: Dec 90.(1)

At the same time, Margaret Thatcher introduced Compulsory Competitive Tendering (CCT) which started the sell off of national and local government. John Major renamed this Private Finance Initiative (PFI) in 1992, and the policy has continued unabated under Tony Blair.(2) The Public-Private Partnership (PPP) industry website boasts:

564 PFI deals with a capital value of more than 35bn have been signed. (3)... There has been wide coverage on the use of PPPs in health and education, but PPPs are being used in a diverse range of projects like helicopter simulators for the Ministry of Defense and the redevelopment of the main Treasury building... Chancellor Gordon Brown said in a recent speech that "there should be no principled objection to PFI expanding into new areas, such as the provision of employment and training services, the renovation of schools and colleges, major projects or urban regeneration and social housing.(4)"

The most ironic PPP initiative is the 'Strategic Transfer of the Estate to The Private Sector' (STEPS) by the Inland Revenue (IRS equivalent). In March 2001, it signed a Private Finance Initiative deal, selling off its entire estate for 220 million to Mapeley Steps Ltd. a company controlled by George Soros located in the off-shore tax haven of Bermuda.(5)

Britain has led the field in PPPs, but almost every government in the world has been implementing the PPP model.(6) Having firmly established themselves in Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia, the water companies are expanding into the far more lucrative market of the United States. The U.S. still has publicly owned water but that looks set to change as the French and German multinationals are winning the battle in Congress to allow them to take over America's aging water infrastructure.(7)
 

 


6.2 THE POLICY COMES FROM THE TOP

Although the World Bank introduced privatization to developing countries with strong arm tactics at the end of the 1980s, it now has an army of policy forums giving intellectual credibility to it. The Water Barons investigation reveals that the water companies have joined forces with the World Bank and the United Nations to create an array of international think tanks, advisory commissions, and forums that have dominated the water debate and established privatization as the dominant solution to the world's water problems.

"What we have seen during the 1990s has been the setting-up of a kind of global high command for water," wrote Ricardo Petrella, a leading researcher on the politics of water.

The U.N. is now promoting PPP as a key component of the United Nations' programme for sustainable development.(8)

At the same time as the World Bank/ IMF imposed its privatization policy on the Third World, Prince Charles launched his Prince of Wales Business Leaders Forum. Since 1990, when he conducted his first city conference in Charleston, North Carolina, he has amassed over 5,000 multinational and national corporations whom he works with in setting up public-private partnerships.

 

This is a key institution in the globalization machine, hence its members include 65 of the world's biggest companies. As noted in chapter two, the multi-trillion dollar shareholdings of the British, European and American elite are hidden behind false fronts, trusts and Bank of England nominee accounts.(9)(10)

N. M. Rothschild & Sons has guided the privatization process, especially in the U.K.

 

Their website boasts:

1985 saw N. M.Rothschild & Sons win the 'beauty contest' to advise the British Government on the sale of British Gas. This was the most significant piece of privatization work to be undertaken by N. M. Rothschild & Sons, pioneers in such business from 1971. Further advisory roles were taken with regard to the privatization of British Steel and British Coal as well as the regional electricity and water boards.

 

It would lead to business in over 40 countries worldwide. ... [ in 2000] the British Government appointed N M Rothschild & Sons as financial advisers for 3G mobile phone licensing. The bank adopted an innovative and highly successful auction process whereby telephone companies bid for the available licenses, and was subsequently approached by other governments worldwide to undertake similar projects. (11)

Lord Wakeham was the Conservative Chief Whip from 1983 to 1987 and Secretary for Energy from 1989 to 1992. He authorized Enron to buy into the privatized water and electricity systems, and then, in 1994 when he resigned as leader of the House of Lords, he joined Enron as a non-executive director and sat on its audit committee. Lord Wakeham had also awarded a contract to N. M. Rothschild to advise the Government on coal privatization. In 1995 he became a director of N. M. Rothschild.(12)

In November 2003, Oliver Letwin resigned his directorship of N. M. Rothschild, which he had held since 1991, to become Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer for the Conservative party. He is author of the book 'Privatizing the World' and has worked as an adviser to foreign governments on privatization.(13)

Norman Lamont was the Tory Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1990-1993. After he graduated from university, he worked for N. M. Rothschild for eleven years and was a director of Rothschild Asset Management. After leaving government he became a director of N.M. Rothschild 1993-1995.(14)

Eddie George was Governor of the Bank of England from 1993-2003. After retirement, he joined the Rothschild group and sits on the board of Rothschild Continuation Holdings A.G., the Bank for International Settlements, Switzerland, and N. M. Rothschild . (15)
 

 


SUMMARY

A Western money monopoly was well established by the beginning of the twentieth century but still remains hidden today. The money monopoly is dynastic and transcends national borders enabling the Anglo-European-American elite to transfer all the world's wealth into their hands and to create a global government under their control - a new Dark Age of global feudalism or global fascism. Since the late 1980s, the sale of the world's resources and industries to the international bankers has accelerated.

 

Now all that remains is to strip Westerners of what remains of their property and the vision of John D. Rockefeller's General Education Board will be fulfilled:

In our dreams we have limitless resources, and the people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hands...
-Fred Gates,

"Occasional Paper No.1", 1904, General Education Board

So, remembering the question put to Tony Blair of whether or not someone can become too rich, the second section of this book examines 'the art of killing quietly'.
 

 


Chapter 6 End Notes

  1. Larry Elliott and Jill Treanor, A whole world sold on sell-offs, The Guardian, London, 22 Nov. 2000. See http://www.guardian.co.uk/Thatcher/Story/0,2763,401129,00.html

  2. Timeline: outsourcing and the public sector, The Guardian. See http://society.guardian.co.uk/microsite/outsourcing_/story/0,13230,933819,00.html 

  3. Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Rt Hon Paul Boateng MP, 11 June 2003, Completed Projects, PPP Forum website. See http://www.pppforum.com/completed.html

  4. Frequently Asked Questions, Ibid.. See http://www.pppforum.com/faq.html

  5. Stefan Armbruster, Revenue sell-off to tax haven firm, BBC, London, 23 Sept. 2002. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/low/business/2263208.stm

  6. PPP websites: Canada http://www.pppcouncil.ca/index.asp  Netherlands http://www.pppcentre.com/  Ireland http://www.ppp.gov.ie/ USA   http://www.ncppp.org/councilinstitutes/index.html

  7. Erika Hobbs, Low Rates, Needed Repairs Lure 'Big Water' to Uncle Sam's Plumbing, The Water Barons, a report for The Center for Public Integrity. See http://www.icij.org/water/report.aspx?sid=ch&rid=54&aid=54

  8. Public Private Partnership, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe website, Introduction. See http://www.unece.org/operact/ppp/introduction.htm

  9. Joan M. Veon, synopsis of Prince Charles the Sustainable Prince. See http://www.womensgroup.org/APPENDIX.html

  10. The International Business Leaders Forum website, members section. See http://www.pwblf.org/csr/csrwebassist.nsf/content/f1b2a3.html

  11. N.M. Rothschild website, Timeline http://www.rothschild.info/history/default.asp?doc=articles/chistory2-1

  12. Andrew Clark and David Hencke, Master fixer who ended up in a fix, The Guardian, 30 January 2002 http://www.guardian.co.uk/enron/story/0,11337,641545,00.html

  13. Oliver Letwin, Political Profile, BBC News Online http://news.bbc.co.uk/vote2001/hi/english/key_people/newsid_1179000/1179357.stm

  14. Lord Lamont of Lerwick, Benador Associates http://www.benadorassociates.com/lamont.php

  15. Nestle, CorporateWatch http://www.corporatewatch.org.uk/profiles/food_supermarkets/nestle/nestle3.html

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