Raytheon, EDS, Privatisation and a New Labour Think Tank

Raytheon, EDS, Privatisation and a New Labour Think Tank

The state is utterly clueless on the public-private divide

Simon Jenkins The Guardian, Wednesday February 20 2008 tells us that Northern Rock is far from unique. The government has long been throwing cash at behemoths that have failed to deliver.

Consider this:The IPPR think-tank published on the 13 Feb, 'The New Front Line: Security in a changing world' from the ippr Commission on National Security, Working Paper No. 1 written by Ian Kearns and Ken Gude. This paper is on British Security
Policy and claims to analyse the key changes taking place in the national and international security landscape and assesses their implications for policy, examining the context within which a national security strategy must now be forged. As a result, they c;aim that it becomes clear that the contemporary security landscape is about much more than terrorism alone. Umm... Yes it is a rather turgid and jargon riddled document. As Henry Porter pointed out this policy work has been sponsored by Raytheon who proudly boast of their support for IPPR.

This is Raytheon Arms Dealers of cluster munitions fame who have been excluded on ethical grounds from the vast Norwegian pension fund. This is the Raytheon who won a 10-year contract to ‘improve’ UK border controls and who the government gave a contract addendum worth £92 million on 12 Feb. Raytheon one of the Metrix consortium who the government wants to run military training not only for British service personnel, but those from any regime or private military company that can fork out the ready cash at St Athan in Wales where there have been allegations of pork-barreling. Raytheon has received over £750,000 in the last four years from Invest Northern Ireland. Just how much have they received in Wales we don't know.

This IPPR paper sponsored by Raytheon is full of turgid jargon like ‘Diffusion of power from state to non-state actors’, ‘Some of this diffusion has been driven by states themselves through use of private military firms’, ‘Governments in any case no longer own and control all of the relevant and necessary expertise and assets required in the making of an effective security policy…. private businesses …add value to the policy making process’, ‘Governments in any case no longer own and control all of the relevant and necessary expertise and assets required in the making of an effective security policy….private businesses ….. all add value to the policy making process.’ Yes whether overt or subliminal we get the message. Public Sector and governments no longer own or control the capability of managing their own security! Private Sector to the rescue, TINA!

Who wrote this?
Ian Kearns is Deputy Chair of the commission on National Security

In the 21sr century Director of IPPR and is currently leading the institutes international and security programme. He has a wide range of experience in the private sector as a former Director of the Global Government Industry practice at Electronic Data Systems (EDS)! EDS another member of the Metrix Consortium. As Jenni Russel commented in the Guardian ‘The collapse of the Child Support Agency, and the years of misery its incompetence brought to mothers and children, was due in large part to the fact that its half-billion-pound computer system, designed by EDS, never worked properly. An internal company memo admitted the system was "badly designed, badly delivered, badly tested and badly implemented". The disastrous implementation of the tax credits system, where a third of the 6 million families involved were over- or underpaid and a billion pounds was lost in the first year, was made infinitely worse because the computer system built to run it repeatedly crashed.’ In addition to the EDS debacle at the child support agency and the Inland Revenue's Tax Credits systems there was the disastrous unworkable MOD new computerised payroll system. Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said: "It is astounding that the MoD is prepared to reward failure by handing over billions more pounds of taxpayers' money to a consortium that has failed to deliver what it said it would.” So a former director at EDS is just the person to advise us on the role of the private sector and Security in a changing world.

ippr’s Commission on National Security in the 21st Century was established in May 2007 and is Chaired by Lord (George) Robertson, and Lord (Paddy) Ashdown. Shami Chakrabarti is one of the commissioners and I wonder if she has thought about it..


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