No struggle for social justice that lacks a grounded understanding of how wealth is accumulated within society, and by whom, is ever likely to make more than a marginal dent in the status quo. Much work has been done over the years by academics and activists to illuminate the broad processes of wealth extraction. But a constantly watchful eye is essential if new forms of financial extraction are to be blocked, short-circuited, deflected or unsettled. So when the World Bank and other well-known enablers of wealth extraction start to organise to promote greater private-sector involvement in ‘infrastructure’, for example through Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), alarm bells should start to ring. How are roads, bridges, hospitals, ports and railways being eyed up by finance? What bevels and polishes the lens through which they are viewed? How is infrastructure being transformed into an ‘asset class’ that will yield the returns now demanded by investors? Why now? What does the reconfiguration of infrastructure tell us about the vulnerabilities of capital? The challenge is not only to understand the mechanisms through which infrastructure is being reconfigured to extract wealth: equally important is to think through how activists might best respond. What oppositional strategies genuinely unsettle elite power instead of making it stronger?
As the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire of 14 June 2017 has slowly revealed a shadowy background of outsourcing and deregulation, and a council turning a blind eye to health and safety concerns, many questions need answers. Stuart Hodkinson has those answers. Safe as Houses weaves together Stuart’s research over the last decade with residents’ groups in council regeneration projects across London to provide the first comprehensive account of how Grenfell happened and how it could easily have happened in multiple locations across the country. It draws on examples of unsafe housing either refurbished or built by private companies under the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) to show both the terrible human consequences of outsourcing and deregulation and how the PFI has enabled developers, banks and investors to profiteer from highly lucrative, taxpayer-funded contracts. The book also provides shocking testimonies of how councils and other public bodies have continuously sided with their private partners, doing everything in their power to ignore, deflect and even silence those who speak out. The book concludes that the only way to end the era of unsafe regeneration and housing provision is to end the disastrous regime of self-regulation. This means strengthening safety laws, creating new enforcement agencies independent of government and industry, and replacing PFI and similar models of outsourcing with a new model of public housing that treats the provision of shelter as ‘a social service’ democratically accountable to its residents.
for the Republic’s economy but for the relationship between North and South, and the fluid nature of the border itself. Such was the general hysteria surrounding media reports of shoppers flocking north and the worries of economists (see Millar, 2009) that the Office of the Revenue Commissioners and the Central Statistics Office agreed to attempt to quantify how much was being lost in tax to the Irish exchequer. It devised a series of questions that were incorporated into the Quarterly National Household Survey in 2009 and 2010. The findings, although extremely
. Sanlam Investment Management (Pty) Ltd 1.34% South Africa. Financial services group. Sources: 4-Traders 2015 and company websites rather than through the PPP.8 The big difference is that the public money used to finance the project would have remained just that: public money. All profits (not just the taxes paid by the consortium) would have been returned to the Lesotho exchequer to be used for all the people of Lesotho. By transforming a portion of that public money into private profit, the PPP does more than just enrich the consortium’s shareholders: it also
-sanctioned farming ideologies and values that support and promote the productivist paradigm, conceding minimal resources and offering little validation for other approaches to farming to allow them to develop as truly viable alternatives. The knowledge culture of the state’s farm education, research and advisory system and its agents Teagasc provides advisory, training and research services to farmers, the agriculture and food industry and the wider rural community. It receives 75 per cent of its funding from the Irish exchequer and EU,2 absorbing much of the public monies
their implementation. These, together with exchequer and other monies, enabled national policies to adapt to reflect the changing European agenda and, increasingly, local cum regional realities. In the case of cross-border and transnational cooperation, the International Fund for Ireland4 (IFI) and the Programme for Peace and Reconciliation (or PEACE programme), both dedicated to Northern Ireland and the southern border counties, aimed to stimulate socio-economic revival and growth. More recently, the EU-wide community initiative, INTERREG, has emphasised
. And it is so in two related senses: the devastation we now are facing; and the fact that the established political elites seem to fail utterly to see these risks. A previous Chancellor of the Exchequer of the UK government, George Osborne, stated that “he held out the hope that Britain will become the richest country in the G7 industrialised group of nations by the 2030s” ( Wintour, 2015 ). At the same time, scientific reports were also in the media warning of the collapse of soil health and food production, and the rise of sea levels to the point when the UK
Kleinwort previously involved in the Eurotunnel project.6 In 1998 PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) was contracted to train certain civil servants and Capita Group PLC was awarded a contract for the provision of a PFI conference programme to share best practice.7 New policy guidance was issued that reduced the risks to the private sector in PFI schemes. As Chancellor the Exchequer Gordon Brown told investors in 2000: These are core services … which the government is statutorily bound to provide and for which demand is virtually insatiable. Your revenue stream is ultimately