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24 October 2018

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Tories ensured Carillion meltdown went unchecked

Carillion, photo Elliott Brown/CC, photo Elliott Brown/CC

Carillion, photo Elliott Brown/CC, photo Elliott Brown/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Sam Witts, Birmingham Central Socialist Party

The story of the catastrophic collapse of Carillion took an even more shocking turn recently.

It has emerged that the private construction giant's two flagship projects - the Midland Met Hospital in Sandwell and the Royal Liverpool University Hospital - went ahead without any oversight whatsoever from the industry watchdog, the Infrastructure and Projects Authority.

Even more outrageously, the Guardian reported last week that this complete lack of accountability happened after senior civil servants working for Jeremy Hunt when he was health secretary in 2015, successfully lobbied the Cabinet Office to specifically exempt the hospitals' construction from public oversight.

In other words, Hunt and the Tories trashed the rulebook to make sure that their fat-cat pals in Carillion could do whatever they wanted with our hospitals without us knowing anything about it. No wonder the Carillion crisis has demonstrated some of the worst consequences of privatisation and capitalism.

Fat cat handouts

For masterminding its demise, Carillion's former CEO Richard Howson got a hand-out of £688,000 plus a benefits package for a year after he left. And the interim CEO has been on an even higher salary of £750,000.

Meanwhile, over 2,000 workers have lost their jobs, construction of the much-needed hospitals remains at a complete standstill and the taxpayers are set to foot the £150 million bill to kick-start construction.

Carillion has also had to apologise for disgracefully blacklisting its workers for trade unionism.

This latest revelation rubs salt in the wound and shows how the bosses' representatives in government and big business will always collude to exempt themselves from any rules that limit their reckless exploitation and profiteering. They cannot be trusted for a minute longer.

We need a different system now, not when the current contracts expire. We need to nationalise the major construction companies, with compensation paid only on the basis of proven need, i.e. not to the fat cats.

Only a socialist society - based on democratic workers' control and management of all major industry - will be able to put these injustices right for good.

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In The Socialist 24 October 2018:

What we think

'People's vote' should be a general election

Workplace news

Support RMT strikes against the elimination of guards on trains

Glasgow council workers - historic strike for equal pay

3aaa collapses - 4,500 apprentices left guessing their futures

PCS legal win - build further pressure from below to defeat the Tories

Ladywood Primary school strike


Universal Credit could trap women in violent relationships

Blairites plan to expand their very own academy chain

Tories ensured Carillion meltdown went unchecked

MPs revel in £2m worth of free foreign trips

Them & Us


Welsh Labour leadership election: 'Corbyn candidate' must pledge end to austerity


Join the fight for refugee rights

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Can you donate to the Socialism 2018 appeal?

Enthusiastic response to new podcast

Students and workers march for increased college funding

Joining the Socialist Party has helped me understand the world and how we can change it

Health services in meltdown - fight to save our NHS

Newcastle Utd fans' campaign against owner Mike Ashley continues

International socialist news and analysis

Germany: Bavarian elections and huge anti-racist demonstration mark an historic weekend


1821 Cinderloo uprising: "The crowd thought it had nothing else to lose"

The Socialist Inbox


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Article dated 24 October 2018

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