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June 28, 2013

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Dick Pountain

"The Blairite version of 'modernisation', which became increasingly (and I think inaccurately) mocked as mere 'marketisation' was a process of endlessly sacrificing integrity of means"

Absolutely agree there Will. And he signalled it right from the start with that Bernie Ecclestone deal (which is when I started to hold my nose: Iraq is when I left the room).

Ian C

A great post- thanks. I don't know whether to feel exhilarated or depressed, which is probably how you felt at the O2.
Your v good point about neo-corporatist modernity delivering infrastructures and events that are both monstrously costly and yet also shoddy will bear a lot more consideration. Neo-corporatist governments and their agencies require that epic-scale projects be outsourced to the cheapest bidder able to give the impression of of breathless modernity, efficiency and 'passion' for 'delivery'. If you can fake all that, and a growing sector of all-purpose contract-takers can do it, then you're made. The consequence is high price, reflecting profit margins, hyper-inflation in top pay and extreme transaction costs, coupled with cheapness behind a veneer of quality and efficiency. JG Ballard said that the Apollo space programme was the last grand project of the West undertaken out of a sense of world-historical optimism and confidence in Progress. Whether that is so or not, we now need Apollo-scale Earth programmes to create sustainable and fair energy and food systems, Green cities and restored habitats. Now imagine handing all that, or indeed Apollo itself, over to Serco or Virgin. And imagine the inability of our present elites to contemplate not handing it all over to Serco et al.

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