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World Bank’s ‘Mobilizing Finance for Development’ Not Financing Development

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 25/08/2020 - 11:55pm in

The World Bank is trying to rebrand a failed public private partnership scheme as "blended finance". Developing countries, beware.

UK Government Accused of New “U-Turn” on Local Covid Contact Tracing with Outsourcing Giants Serco and Sitel

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 18/08/2020 - 12:55am in

"Local councils should be doing the whole lot, not just the mopping up. Serco and Sitel are cherry picking and doing the easy bits and leaving the difficult stuff to local authorities."

House Democrats Introduce Urgent Bill to End ‘Deliberate Sabotage’ of Postal Service by Postmaster General

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 13/08/2020 - 12:55pm in

Democrats wake up awfully late in the game to the importance of protecting the Post Office from looting, um, privatizing. Are they too late?

Pandemic Pods: Parents, Privilege, Power and Politics

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 06/08/2020 - 10:34pm in



Private pandemic “pods” are the latest edu-craze to sweep the land. But turns out there’s nothing new about privileged parents fleeing the public school system—or using the threat of departure as leverage. Special guests Jessica Calarco, L’Heureux Lewis-McCoy and Jon Hale help us understand the implications of pods for public education. And Jennifer and Jack discuss why pods have quickly emerged as a policy darling on the right. Hint: conservatives see the pandemic as the best opportunity they’ve ever had to dismantle public schools. Complete transcript available here. The financial support of listeners like you keeps this podcast going. Subscribe on Patreon or donate on PayPal.

Have You Heard · #94 Pandemic Pods: Parents, Privilege, Power and Politics

Preserve Our Post Office, Before It’s Too Late

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 05/08/2020 - 7:14pm in

It ought to be stunning that the Post Office needs to be defended....

The Hijacking of Police Reform by Wealthy Opportunists Resembles the Harm Done to Public Schools

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 01/08/2020 - 4:22pm in

How consultant-grifters profit while watering down police reform and undermining accountabilty to local communities.

Financialization: Tackling the Other Virus

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 14/07/2020 - 5:55pm in

The COVID-19 pandemic provides an opportunity to tackle another virus that has spread throughout the world since the 1970s: financialization.

‘I’ Newspaper: England Could Run Out Of Water in 20 Years

Yesterday’s I for 10th July 2020 carried an article by Madeleine Cuff, ‘England ‘at risk of running out of water’, which reported that MPs had criticized the water authorities for the state of the country’s water supply. The article ran

MPs have issued a stinging rebuke to England’s water authorities, warning the country is at “serious risk” of running out water within 20 years unless “urgent action” is taken to shore up supplies.

“It is very hard to imagine, in this country, turning the tap and not having enough clean, drinkable water come out – but that is exactly what we now face,” said Public Accounts Committee chair Mog Hillier.

In a report published today, it accused the Department of the Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Environment Agency, and the water regulator Ofwat of having “taken their eyes off the ball” in the race to secure a sustainable long-term supply of fresh water. It follows similarly stark warnings from the national Audit Office in March.

England is already extracting groundwater at unsustainable rates, and as climate change brings hotter, drier weather, water supply will come under more intense pressure.

Yet every day more than three billion litres of fresh drinking water is lost through leakages, a fifth of the total volume used. Urgent action must be taken to reduce this “wholly unacceptable” level of leakages.

Meanwhile, industry action to persuade the public to use less water has “failed”, the MPs added.

The water crisis has been going on a long time, and doesn’t only affect England. It’s all over the world. Viewers of Stacy Dooley’s documentary a few months ago into the massive environmental impact of the ‘fast fashion’ industry will remember the scenes of the dried-up wastes of what used to be the Caspian Sea, caused by Uzbekistan diverting the water to irrigate the fields for its cotton industry. Way back in the 1990s the Financial Times covered the emerging water crisis in arid countries in Africa and the Middle East, and predicted that in this century conflict over water would become the major cause of war.

The I and other papers also published reports years ago about the declining state of Britain’s own water supply. Even at the time water extraction, including that for industrial purposes, was exceeding the supply. And when I was at Bristol University studying for the archaeology doctorate nearly a decade ago, we had a visiting archaeologist tell us in a seminar about the effects of climate change on civilizations across the world down through time that we needed to save water.

It is not, however, just the water authorities’ fault. The real responsibility lies with the water companies and their privatisation. They were sold to mostly foreign companies with the promise that this would bring extra investment. It hasn’t. The foreigners who own our water supply simply regard it as a profit-stream, rather than a vital utility. The profits have gone out of the country, while they themselves have done precious little to maintain the water supply to an acceptable standard.

And if the water authorities haven’t done much about this, it’s because they were deliberately prevented from doing so by the Tories when the water industry was privatized. There were a series of reports in Private Eye about how the Tories had cut back the scope and regulatory powers of Defra, Ofwat and their predecessors, so that their ability to interfere in the running of the new, privatized companies was severely limited.

The crisis has been going on for a long time. And it is partly due to Margaret Thatcher and her insistence on the primacy of private industry. But private industry has shown itself incompetent to run the water supply. It’s one of the reasons its renationalisation was in the 2019 Labour manifesto under Jeremy Corbyn.

But Corbyn was massively smeared and reviled by the establishment right and their poodle media. Which is why we now have a parliament, who will do nothing about this, adding drought and thirst to the misery they are inflicting on the poor.


Education 101: Don’t Open a New Charter School in the Middle of a Pandemic

A hard look at charter school misleading ads, racial segregation, and dodgy economics.

David Hulchanski class discussion

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 22/06/2020 - 7:45am in

I recently participated in a panel discussion in David Hulchanski’s graduate-level social housing and homelessness course at the University of Toronto.

Points raised in the blog post include the fact that all English-speaking countries of the OECD have relatively low levels of public social spending, relatively low levels of taxation, and serious affordable housing challenges.

The link to the full blog post is here.