Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Howard's End: Beware those public-private partners


Howard's End: Beware those public-private partners

"For all their flaws, government institutions are at least partly controlled by democratically elected representatives, but if power leaks away from these institutions to unaccountable private institutions, then important decisions - including decisions for peace or war - might also escape public control altogether." (Walter Read, Los Angeles Times)

Beware those public-private partnerships. Maree Howard writes.

The saga of the Ross Armstrong affair has brought to light that legislation is almost ready to be introduced in Parliament to allow public-private partnerships.

WorldNetDaily editor, Joseph Farah, wrote the following in 1997.

Governments all over the world are waking up to the fact that they can no longer directly tax citizens to fund all their grand schemes.

That may sound like good news. Unfortunately, it is not.

The result of this realisation is something far more hideous than big Government.

Big Government has an address. It's tangible. You can see it work. You can defend yourself against it. There is some measure of accountability to the people.

What is emerging today in its wake is far more slippery, far more nebulous, much tougher to identify, much tougher to combat and almost wholly unaccountable to average people.

When Ted Turner gifted $1 billion to the United nations, Bill Clinton said; " Innovative partnerships with the private sector....and the international financial institutions can leverage effectiveness many times over. His (Turners) gesture highlights the potential for partnership between the U.N. and the private sector in contributions of time, resources and expertise. I hope more will follow his lead."

And what exactly does that mean? It means the elite who want to reshape the social order can do so without asking for our cooperation - without convincing us the direction they want to go is the right one. They'll do it not solely with our tax dollars, they'll do it through public-private partnerships.

It sounds like privatisation which some people like. But it is not.

It's more of a way to blur our thinking about where we are headed. It is, simply, a way for the rich to get richer and the already powerful to grow more powerful.

It's a way to turn politicians into little more than useful idiots for forces and trends too large for detection on most people's radar screens.

Why is the private sector more effective and dangerous? Well, it has virtually unlimited resources, yet faces none of the messiness of public scrutiny, policy debates or constitutional limitations.

In other words, the private sector is free to run like a dictatorship - and, at least in the short run, dictatorships are always more efficient than democracies.

Thus, the elected officials of the world are not nearly as powerful today as the Bill Gates, the Ted Turners or the George Soroses - and the people who manage the world's wealth.

Sovereign national Government's are in retreat. Nation-states are not as powerful as they were a generation ago. Many are cheering this development. But they are missing the point and the looming threat to our democracy that it represents.

So while the public alternately laughs or cries over the latest raging debate in Parliament, the fact is that it may be irrelevant to the larger threat to our society.

The real power today is moving away from the people of the Nation-state. Beware those public-private partnerships.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 


Binoy Kampmark:Greed And The European Super League

Suffocating the grassroots. Mocking the working class origins of the game. World football, and primarily European club football, has long done away with loyalties in favour of cash and contract... More>>


Fatuous Defence: Australia’s Guided Missile Plans

Even in times of pandemic crises, some things never change. While Australia gurgles and bumbles slowly with its COVID-19 vaccine rollout, there are other priorities at stake. Threat inflators are receiving much interest in defence, and the media ... More>>

Richard S. Ehrlich: Cambodia's Hun Sen Feels Politically Vaccinated

BANGKOK, Thailand -- When Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen received his AstraZeneca vaccination shot, he suddenly felt invulnerable and vowed to rule indefinitely. Hun Sen is already one of the world's longest ruling prime ministers, confident his successor ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Brawling Over Vaccines: Export Bans And The EU’s Bungled Rollout
The European Union has been keeping up appearances in encouraging the equitable distribution of vaccines to combat SARS-CoV-2 and its disease, COVID-19. Numerous statements speak to the need to back the COVAX scheme, to ensure equity and that no one state misses out... More>>

Jennifer S. Hunt: Trump Evades Conviction Again As Republicans Opt For Self-Preservation

By Jennifer S. Hunt Lecturer in Security Studies, Australian National University Twice-impeached former US President Donald Trump has evaded conviction once more. On the fourth day of the impeachment trial, the Senate verdict is in . Voting guilty: ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Let The Investigation Begin: The International Criminal Court, Israel And The Palestinian Territories

International tribunals tend to be praised, in principle, by those they avoid investigating. Once interest shifts to those parties, such bodies become the subject of accusations: bias, politicisation, crude arbitrariness. The United States, whose legal and political ... More>>