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2Collaborate is a market research and communications and PR agency based in Edinburgh. It was formerly known as Holyrood Consultations and was part of Holyrood Communications.

Privatisation propaganda

Among its clients are the Scottish Executive for whom it is engaged in campaigning work to promote the privatisation of public services through a campaign on 'shared services', which means that the private sector is to be brought in to deliver public services. The campaign is sponsored and supported by Microsoft, Capgemini and LogicaCMG, three companies lobbying fiercely to get access to public services. All four organisations are listed as clients of 2Collaborate. A further sponsor is The Herald newspaper which included a promotional tabloid in its edition of 28 November 2006. This is nothing less than a pro-privatisation propaganda, featuring full page ads from the sponsors, together with pro-market homilies from Tom McCabe the minister for Finance and public service reform and Sir John Elvidge the Permanent Secretary at the Scottish Executive. Gone are the days when civil servants were supposed to be neutral implementers o policy. Now Elvidge and the Executive proseletyse for increased private sector involvement in government and the public sector as a whole.

The tabloid itself features articles by a number of 'journalists' whose bylines give no indication of their status or background. A total of four articles are attributed to Maggie Stanfield and three to Andrew Collier. These are not Herald journalists but fake journalists with an outfit called Written Words, who were contracted to do the work by 2Collaborate.

The Shared Services strategy of the Executive was launched in May 2006 by the minister Tom McCabe, who claimed it 'could deliver significant savings and improve the quality of the services'. McCabe 'forecast savings of between £250 million and £750 million a year across the whole of the Scottish public sector.'

Mr McCabe said:

"The Executive is committed to spending taxpayers' money as efficiently and effectively as possible. This new shared services strategy on which we are seeking views is a central plank of our Efficient Government initiative which aims to tackle bureaucracy and duplication in the public sector.

McCabe was quoted as saying that:

"I have been enormously encouraged by the appetite and enthusiasm for reform in my discussions with staff and leaders across the public sector. There is now a momentum behind change which will lead to the delivery of world-class services - and our strategy on shared services will play a key role."[1]

Enthusiasm for reform to the extent that it exists is certainly not for the privatising process being implemented by the Executive under the guise of 'efficiency' and 'modernisation' as is shown by the consistent oppostion of the union membership in the civil service to the reforms.. The project has a website: http://www.sharedservicesscotland.co.uk


Clients 2006/7

Private Sector

Public Sector



Web Archive of their web page May 2007:http://web.archive.org/web/20070820014220/http://www.2collaborate.co.uk/


  1. ^ 2Collaborate website Clients accessed January 2007
  2. ^ Scottish Executive 'Shared services strategy', News Release, 05/05/2006
  3. ^ A Shared Approach to Building a Better Scotland: A Consultation Paper on a National Strategy for Shared Services A consultation document on a shared services strategy for Scotland ISBN, 0-7559-5045-3, Official Print Publication Date, May 2006, Website Publication Date, May 11, 2006