Interview with Professor David Whyte

Blog 9th October 2016

Interview with Professor David Whyte (Professor of Socio-legal Studies Liverpool University)

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It was a great pleasure to meet with Professor Whyte. In his book “How Corrupt is Britain?” he explains how the structure of public services and the NHS have been re-shaped to enable privatisation. Managerialism, New Public Management, has instilled a target and performance management culture replacing public service ethos, crowding out and silencing traditional leadership provided by those with relevant experience.

Not only has significant funding and effort been diverted away from the delivery of the patient care but perverse incentives have corrupted institutions. We have seen how NHS hospitals manipulate waiting lists to meet targets and how financial penalties and rewards drive activity for a market in healthcare.

British corruption does not take the form of cash changing hands in brown paper bags but in the blurring of the public and private sphere and the creation of the revolving door between the two. Policies developed by Neoliberal think tanks to promote privatisation used to persuade politicians via the lobbying industry to drive more business to private companies through outsourcing of contracts, use of Private Finance Initiative and oiling the wheels, the big 4 accountancy firms.

Yet contrary to the image portrayed in the media, according to research by Liverpool University, the public want an end to this institutional corruption caused by revolving door and lobbying and a return to politicians serving the public interest without the conflicts of interest created by corporate money and influence.

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