Sunday, June 11, 2006

Recent Bonfires- 20

In the news this week:

£140,000 for Shakespearean bureaucrats- "The Government has spent more than £140,000 of taxpayers' money sending Whitehall mandarins on Shakespeare training courses. More than 100 senior civil servants have been studying some of the Bard's plays, including Henry V, Macbeth and Julius Caesar. At least 10 permanent secretaries have been on the courses devised by Olivier Mythodrama...Macbeth, the Scottish tale of witchcraft, ambition and murder apparently offers valuable lessons about "courageous leadership and ethical ambition". (Sunday Telegraph 11.6.06)

£100m wasted on student reward card- "£100 million of public money has been wasted on a reward card scheme, intended to encourage teenagers to stay on at school, which has been officially evaluated as a flop. Ministers decided last week to cut their losses and axe the Connexions Card - but not before it has earned Capita, the private company that runs it, more than £66 million. The Card was launched six years ago to give 16- to 19-year-olds an incentive to stay on at school by giving them "loyalty points" that they could exchange for discounts on CDs, clothes and tickets for events.Less than four per cent of youngsters had redeemed points with the card. Just 54,788 had used it by the end of 2004 - spectacularly failing to hit the target of 1.7 million." (Sunday Telegraph 11.6.06)

£300,000 sub for naked Geordie artist- "BRITAIN’S top financial watchdog has investigated how an art gallery has so far failed to recoup £300,000 of public money which was paid to the sculptor Antony Gormley to create a work that he can now sell for £1.5m. Gormley, was commissioned by the Baltic to create Domain Field, a series of life-size metal “skeletons” for which he encased 240 naked Geordies in body moulds. The Baltic Arts Centre, in Gateshead, met the cost of producing the work in 2003 but has so far failed to recoup the money. Gormley then joined the gallery’s board as a trustee in 2005. The Baltic opened in 2002 with £43m of Arts Council lottery money, including an endowment of £7.5m, which will run out by April 2008." (Sunday Times 11.6.06)

This week's total - £100,440,000

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