Last year haulage firm Eddie Stobart launched Stobart Barristers — a company which has now “emerged as a leading contender in bidding for a new generation of criminal legal aid contracts that would deprive defendants of the right to choose their own solicitor.” No doubt such moves will contribute yet more working-class fodder for our ever growing prison population.
The poor may even be joined in prison by Stobart executives (although this is unlikely) as last month, it was reported that Stobart’s legal director, Trevor Howarth and their CEO, Andrew Tinkler, now face a contempt trial.
Profiteering from the destruction of public services is nothing new for the Stobart clan, as Tinkler is a sponsor of the Cumbrian-based Richard Rose Morton Academy. This educative business is headed by Mike Gibbons, a current board member of Lord Adonis’ Independent Academies Association (see “From Pie Factories to Academies”).
In a similar vein, just last month Alan Kelsey resigned from the Stobart Group’s board room to give more of his precious time to his ongoing efforts to disseminate corporate propaganda to kiddies. Something he does through serving as the chairman of Nord Anglia Education — which “was the first, and is still the biggest, of the private companies whose huge fortunes have been built on privatising state education.”
One notable member of Nord Anglia’s governing body is Mark Logan, who is their Regional Director for Central Europe and the Middle East. Logan came to join Nord Anglia in 2009 after serving as the Managing Director of Edison Learning UK (a subsidiary of infamous US-based Edison Learning), and before that as the Director of Serco Learning (which is the propaganda arm of the ubiquitous Serco Group).
It is thus entirely understandable why Nord Anglia would be counted alongside corporations like Serco and Interserve as a supporters of the New Labour think tank committed to privatisation, the New Local Government Network.
For further reading, see John Greene, “Why legal aid should be defended,” The Socialist, April 12, 2007; and “Doncaster drivers give Tesco and Stobarts a bloody nose and force a climbdown,” December 14, 2012.