Episode 211

The corpse of Carillion lies stricken on the industrial waste ground of the UK. Great British brands like Tarmac and McAlpine have been trashed; tens of thousands of jobs are in danger; thousands of small businesses are owed hundreds of millions by the dead company, causing the danger of a chain of industrial disasters. At its root, this is an ideological question. Carillion grew out of the privatization mania that was started by Mrs Thatcher, and then embraced ravenously by the Tony Blair/Gordon Brown ethos. “Public bad, Private good,” said the pig to the man, and the man to the pig, until none could tell which were the pigs and which were the men (with apologies to George Orwell). Professor Rudi Klein is an expert in the construction industry and CEO of the Specialist Engineering Contractors SEC. He’s also a barrister, so we invited him to join us in the Sputnik Studio to help us understand just what is going on.

And, it’s a given that soldiers are marched off to war with straw hats and trumpets. They are promised a "land fit for heroes" when they return, but it’s a promise more often made than honored. Any visit to HM Prisons, to the cold pavements of the homeless, and to the mental health system shows the grossly disproportionate presence of ex-service personnel in all three. Sputnik’s guest this week is still an in-demand comedian but spends most of his time running his charity, Care after Combat. He’s a ‘bete noire’ of the left (though even if he spoke French, he'd refuse to); a British nationalist, politically incorrect, and a Tory. He's even a Rangers supporter! However, he cares passionately for those sent into combat and was early in understanding the complete madness of the second invasion of Iraq, so we invited Jim Davidson OBE to take a seat on the Sputnik sofa to tell us about his new book ‘No Further Action’ and much more.

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