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We used to laugh at the Yanks; not any more

In years past, the rip-offs by American defence and aerospace contractors provided an endless source material for witty items in the newspapers. The $30 million space shuttle toilet seat, the $5,000 hammer, etc., etc. But a report released by the National Audit Office in January 2008 has shown that things are just as bad on this side of the Atlantic.

The Labour party has appointed gangs of idiots to administer the finances of Private Finance Initiative projects. These people have no concept of "value for money" where taxpayers' cash is concerned, and the even greater tragedy is that they all have secure jobs on inflated salaries and they can look forward to early retirement on an inflated pension – both at the taxpayer's expense.
   What are we talking about? Try these charges from PFI providers for size:

black blob£47.48 for supplying a key for Blackburn Hospital

black blob£149.71 for fitting a new noticeboard (labour only) at Calderdale Royal Hospital

black blob£302.30 for fitting new electrical sockets at schools in Wirral

black blob£398.30 for fitting new data points at Blackburn Hospitals

black blob£486.54 for fitting a new lock at Blackburn Hospital

black blob£104,000 paid by HM Revenue & Customs for a 'space planning facility' for redoing the layout of its Whitehall offices

black blob£300,000 paid by the Home Office for installing 300 new desks

black blob£6 million wasted every year on unjustified administration fees

black blob£15,000,000 wasted at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich, over staff changes

black blob£25,300,000 spent on extending Fazakerley prison, which was built too small

black blob£180 million paid out in a single year to make contract changes

If you're looking for an even worse bit of news, there are some 500 PFI contracts in operation now at a cost to the nation of £44 billion. The taxpayer is liable for every penny of this amount but Gordon Brown dishonestly excluded it from the national debt, along with the liability for the railway system's track, signals, etc. and all the other familiar hidden debts.

It will come as no surprise to learn that the report was issued in the same week that Prime Minister Gordon Brown came to the defence of Labour party deputy leadership wannabe Peter Hain, who failed to declare £103,000 of contributions to his campaign (he came 5th).
   Hain, Brown insisted, isn't corrupt, he's just incompetent. But is that what we want to hear about a man who holds 2 posts (Welsh Sec., DWP) in Brown's cabinet? Or are we entitled to draw the conclusion that successive Labour leaders, Brown included, have spent the last 10 years surrounding themselves with incompetents in their Cabinet and the civil service in the hope of making themselves look almost acceptable in contrast?

 Brown's new Labour – a grasping hand in your pocket
and an incompetent one holding the public purse 

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