John Martin Taylor

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Biographical Information

"Mr. Martin Taylor served as an International Advisor at Goldman Sachs International from 1999 to 2005. Mr. Taylor served as the Chief Executive Officer of Barclays PLC from 1993 to 1998 and Courtaulds Textiles Plc from 1990 to 1993. He started his career as a Financial Journalist with Reuters and the Financial Times. Mr. Taylor serves as the Chairman of Syngenta International AG. Mr. Taylor has been a Non Executive Chairman of Syngenta AG since September 2, 2005. He serves as the Chairman of W. H. Smith Group PLC. Mr. Taylor served as the Chairman of WH Smith PLC from November 1, 1999 to November 4, 2003 and its Director from September 1999 to November 4, 2003. He has been Vice Chairman of RTL Group SA since December 9, 2004. He served as the Vice Chairman of Syngenta AG from June 2004 to September 2, 2005. He has been a Director Syngenta AG since 2000. He has been an Independent Director of RTL Group SA since July 25, 2000. He serves as a Non Executive Director at Oxford Investment Partners Ltd. He serves as a Director of Antigenics Inc. He served as a Director of Courtaulds plc since 1987. He worked on various projects for the British Government and served for five years as a Member of its Council for Science and Technology. Mr. Taylor holds a Degree in Oriental Languages from Oxford University."[1]

Educated at Balliol College, Oxford, after which he worked for Reuters. Director of Courtaulds plc between 1987-1990. He wrote the ‘Lex’ column in the Financial Times then joined Barclays Bank (with Sir Gerald Mobbs of right-wing think tank Aims of Industry): which provided staff to help run Blair's constituency office. Taylor created a bitter dispute with unions over an effective pay cuts and redundancies imposed on 25,000 employees. As part of the Budget of March 1998 Gordon Brown asked (multimillionaire) Taylor to produce a report looking at options for the reform of the tax and benefit systems, needless to say, it hammered the poor.

An international advisor at Goldman Sachs and Gen. Sec. of the annual Bilderberg globalist conference, he is now chairman of W H Smith. He joined the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) and compiled their 2001 Commission on Public Private Partnerships report which insisted there should be “no ideological barriers to private sector involvement in ‘core’ public services such as clinical and intermediate health care, the management of education and local government services”. Many commentators seen the report as outrageously rigged. Its sponsors include KPMG (one of who’s partners, Baroness Stokes, was instrumental in introducing the internal market in the NHS as its Executive Director of Finance), Serco Plc (a facilities management company set up to exploit the PFI), Nomura Securities, General Healthcare Group (the largest private hospital group in the UK which runs most of the NHS’s private facilities) and the Norwich Union Insurance (one who’s employees is Gerry Holtham, a former director of the IPPR now with Demos).

Critics noted that the IPPR’s report amounted to a friendly warning to the government to start privatising health and education provision in ways that do not galvanise public opposition.

In a 15/11/01 Select Committee on Public Administration Taylor raved on (until interrupted by Lord Hollick; also Demos) that “Any intelligent government would long to be free of the incubus of the Health Service; it is a source of constant ministerial embarrassment and it is set up to be for the next ten years.” Somehow the NHS sucks blood out of the people...

A member of RTL (£4.3bn) European broadcaster that controls the UK's Channel 5. Taylor is thought to be central in setting up the Private Finance Initiative. In early 93, Ministers and Treasury Officials fronted a conference hosted by the CBI and the institute of Actuaries to ‘explore changes in government policy’. It transpires that Trafalgar House, Wimpy and some big UK and US banks had already visited the Treasury some days earlier to ‘sound out’ prospects of putting the Treasury’s “Ryrie rules” in the dustbin. Named after the Treasury Mandarin William Ryrie, these rules formed the cornerstone which effectively prevented private money going in to public projects. The ‘rules’ stated that private money could only be used in place of public spending, not in addition to it: essentially so that there would be no net increase in work, and that all private sector proposals had to be cheaper than any public sector alternative. The secret meeting with the Treasury seems to have worked, the Ryrie rules bit the dust and that meant that the bothersome clause could be argued to be no longer applicable: so that what it tried to prevent could be openly put into practice. So what, that this division represented the keystone of Thatcherite policies. Evening Standard 5/4/93


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  1. businessweek John Martin Taylor, organizational web page, accessed September 18, 2012.
  2. Martin Taylor, Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture, accessed April 30, 2008.