Sunday, December 16, 2007

Stinky Snippets From The Sundays

A towering genius compared to Bottler

Jobs for the boys... and girls

After her triumphs at the Department of Health, Commissar Hewitt is mulling over which particular lucrative job offer she's going to accept in the commercial healthcare sector:

"Hewitt, who resigned in June, has been inundated with consultancy jobs since leaving the Department of Health. She is set to be the latest in a series of health ministers and senior officials to move into the private sector.

Lord Warner and Alan Milburn, both former health ministers, have also benefited, moving to healthcare jobs soon after leaving office. Liz Kendall, Hewitt’s former special adviser, is now a healthcare consultant to a number of organisations, including private sector companies.
Hewitt, who was health secretary from May 2005 but stood down when Gordon Brown took over as prime minister, is expected to take up her roles in the new year.

Warner’s jobs, revealed this month, include advisory roles for Xansa, a technology company in Reading, Berkshire, that has a partnership with the Department of Health to provide finance services to National Health Service bodies, and Byotrol, an antimicrobial company that sells products to the NHS.

Warner also has an advisory role with DLA Piper, which advised ministers on the NHS’s £12 billion IT programme. Warner was responsible for this while a health minister."

The stink is overpowering. But it will continue as long as the NHS exists. Roll on social insurance.

(Cf the long and dishonourable history of MOD ministers/civil servants snuffling their way to the defence industry trough- eg Snr Bus-stop).

Cash for access

"ONE of Britain’s biggest property developers gave more than £120,000 to the Labour party to help to gain access to ministers and key officials during a lobbying campaign for a new rail link.

Canary Wharf Group gave Labour the funds as part of its campaign for the £16 billion Crossrail scheme to link the City of London and the Isle of Dogs to Heathrow. The last donation, of £35,000, was made on September 29 this year, six days before Gordon Brown gave the project the go-ahead."

Now of course, nobody is suggesting CWG gave the cash as a straight bribe. No, no, no. As "a senior executive" explains quite matter of factly:

“You do find you get access to people to talk.

We are not saying we are making a donation and therefore Crossrail will come our way. We are saying we want to engage in the political process and to be seen to be engaged you have to make donations.

They are just human beings. If they are Labour and you say, ‘Can we talk?’ and they [say], ‘Yes, they’ve made a donation – perhaps we had better have a chat with them’. It just opens doors, no more than that.”

So that's all fine.

We blogged Crossrail here. Budgeted at £16bn, we reckon it will cost taxpayers £25-30bn. Still, could be worse- one of the junior Tylers now owns a flat down at the Wharf, so maybe he'll clean up and bung a few quid to his aging p's.

Big Swinging Dicks

High rolling Met Deputy Commissioner Andy Hayman (see this blog), finally forced to resign over his outrageous expense claims, was thought by colleagues to be "out of control":

“Andy’s behaviour was causing some concern. There was a pattern of activity that needed checking out.”

“These are the sorts of things that raise concerns. This is why we vet people in sensitive posts – because they might be vulnerable to blackmail.”

As BOM readers will know, Hayman thought it perfectly OK to spend our money touring the world with his lady... er, colleague, Heidi Tubby, and "to make 400 text messages and phone calls to Nikki Redmond, 36, who was working at the Independent Police Complaints Commission at the time it was investigating the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes in Stockwell" (see this blog on the Arrogance of Power).

Rewarding failure

As we've blogged before (eg here) public sector bonuses are a bad joke. New figures from the TaxPayers' Alliance show that even after this year of unmitigated disaster, senior civil servants are still sharing a bonus pool of £120m.

"At HM Revenue & Customs, which recently lost two discs containing the details of 25m people, more than 350 top-grade staff are thought to have shared almost £2m, while bureaucrats at the Ministry of Defence have been given £44m and at the Treasury £21m.

Over the past six years, bonuses have almost doubled and the wages bill for senior civil servants has risen from £144m to £250m."

Garden of Eden

A few weeks back we suggested Bottler was turning into Anthony Eden. Apparently, the same thought has now swept through the ranks of those low-grade, demoralised Labour MPs. "A Member", who declined to be named, says:

"People are talking about Gordon as Labour's answer to Anthony Eden – a leader who may be gone before he has a chance to fight an Election."

Just one small point of historical fact- Eden did fight an Election (1955), which he won. In your dreams will Gord match that: 13 points behind, minus 26% personal rating, hopeless, bungling Bottler doesn't have a prayer.


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