Comment // Politics

The Rise Of The Philanthropists


Philanthropist - the word is supposed to invoke the image of the so-called wealth creator giving freely to good causes for the benefit of his fellow man.

These days, though, it has become something quite different, as Agenda 21 and the Big Society instead invoke images of a (Leo) Straussian hell where laws are created not by accountable, representative, government for the benefit of society, but by corporatised charities and think tanks.

Tony Bliar was intereviewed on Newsnight the other night from Washington, where he had been speaking at the Global Philanthropy Forum. (What is "Global Philanthropy?)

Time and again during the interview, TB refers to the "philanthropy sector", like the "manufacturing sector" or the "services sector". Philanthropy today, you see, has become big business, and will, in time, become the central mechanism of elitist control.

An obvious illustration of this is smoking. We have a smoking ban in place; a piece of government legislation which say we may not smoke in public in an enclosed space. 

I am not a smoker and have no opinion on the rights and wrongs of this legislation. But I do have an opinion on this:

Nowhere in the Act of Parliament does it say I may not smoke in the car park of a hospital. And yet, should I be caught doing so, my local hospital will fine me!

How does that work?

The answer is this: the hospital, run probably by a trust, has made up its own law. While we are using hospital facilities, we are bound by its law. This is not Natural Law created by God. Its not Common Law created by Juries. It is not Statute Law created by an accountable, representative democratic Parliament. It is law created by a private corporation in the guise of a charitable trust funded (at present, but not for much longer) by the public purse.

As the Big Society kicks in, more and more public services traditionaly supplied by government and bound by government regulations (legislation) are being replaced by, or outsourced to, charities and profit making companies who feel they can just make the rules up as they go along. Where will it end?

The implications of the great asset stripping of the nation and the privatisation/corporatisation of the public sector are, as Brian would say, "unbelievably dangerous".