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United Kingdom Government Politics

BT Chief To Become British Government Minister 47

judgecorp writes "BT chief Ian Livingston is leaving the British telecom provider to become a government minister. The executive has been appointed a seat in the House of Lords, which enables him to become Minister for Trade and Investment without having to be elected as a Member of the lower house of Parliament. Livingston has seen BT go from a £134 million loss in 2008 when he was appointed, to a profit of £2.5 billion in 2012. It still has a monopoly over certain sectors of the British telecom market, and has won all the contracts so far for rolling out broadband to rural areas."
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BT Chief To Become British Government Minister

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  • What a disaster (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @11:56AM (#44050647)

    The worst telecom company in the UK sends its CEO to the government to become a top minister? Talk about regulatory capture...

  • by FreeUser ( 11483 ) on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @12:01PM (#44050725)

    I've had the misfortune to have to deal with this Ian guy and he's an UTTER UTTER c--t.

    BT is a disgraceful company and the amount of people in the company I work for who have needed to use BT and been royally screwed over by them is shocking.

    At least he's leaving BT and going in to government where this behavior is expected I guess.

    As a dual British citizen, I can only say this:

    his appointment to the House of Lords is a strong argument in favour of getting rid of the undemocratic House of Lords, or at least making it an elected body.

  • by LeepII ( 946831 ) on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @12:05PM (#44050779)
    Nice to see the UK government is just as corrupt and for sale as the US one.
  • by nojayuk ( 567177 ) on Wednesday June 19, 2013 @01:03PM (#44051479)

    I had occasion recently to look at the makeup of the Lords Science and Technology Select committee. Approximately half of them are Fellows of the Royal Society. The committee includes notables like the world-famous embryology researcher Robert Winston as well as other high flyers in the science and high-tech world. The chairman is Lord Krebs who has headed up the Food Standards Agency as well as the NERC in the past. His day job is Principal of Jesus College, Oxford. Being a member of the House of Lords is not regarded as a "real" job, they get paid a daily allowance if they attend the Chamber during a sitting and/or take part in committee work.

    On the other hand the US Senate committee on Science etc. has three times the number of members of the Lords committee. Most of these elected representatives have been professional politicians for their entire adult life and have never been anywhere near a science or research establishment, never mind working in one. The current chairman is Jay Rockefeller, a fourth-generation scion of one of America's ruling families who has been in the Washington "bubble" since election to the Senate in 1984. US Senators get paid $174,000 per annum for the 150 days a year they are supposed to turn up at the Capitol plus expenses, staffs etc. and a very generous care package (medical, pension etc.).

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