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Mandelson and Risby to save Ukraine?

Speaking of social enterprise as Business Secretary he'd once said that his department was "helping firms which help others"

We weren't seeing much of that at the time as a social enterprise operating in Ukraine, where we'd delivered a Marshall Plan' proposal to their government two years earlier.

At the time what it said about applying capitalism for social benefit was radical, since the economic crisis had yet to happen.

Last month in Vienna, Lords Mandelson and Risby joined Ukrainian oligarch Dmitri Firtash in launching a new organsation whose purpose is to develop a 'Marshall Plan' for Ukraine. Firtash is being held in Ukraine on a FBI warrant. They are trying to extradite him on alleged bribery charges.

A recent book from a Carnegie associate argues that corruption kills the promise of social enterprise, describing the obstacle of kleptocrats to development agencies. What it doesn't seem to cover is the scenario where our own government collude with the kleptocrats to disadvantage the rest of us.

As George Marshall said in 1947

"Any assistance that this Government may render in the future should provide a cure rather than a mere palliative. Any government that is willing to assist in the task of recovery will find full co-operation I am sure, on the part of the United States Government. Any government which maneuvers to block the recovery of other countries cannot expect help from us. Furthermore, governments, political parties, or groups which seek to perpetuate human misery in order to profit therefrom politically or otherwise will encounter the opposition of the United States."

The primary focus of our 'Marshall Plan' was tackling corruption, particularly in childcare:

'This is a bottom-up approach, starting with Ukraine's poorest and most desperate citizens, rather than a "top-down" approach that might not ever benefit them. They cannot wait, particularly children. Impedance by anyone or any group of people constitutes precisely what the original Marshall Plan was dedicated to opposing. Those who suffer most, and those in greatest need, must be helped first -- not secondarily, along the way or by the way. '

Now it's more likely that this will be about helping those who help themselves.

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