Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Is this Corruption?

Is it corrupt if a person who works as as Special Adviser to a Minister, persuades the Government Department he is working in to hand over half a million pounds to an organisation run by a previous adviser to the same Minister, and then goes off and works for - and gets paid by - that same organisation?

In fact, in this case it's even worse.

Dominic Cummings, was earlier this year appointed as Special Adviser to Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Education, and worked on Gove's so-called 'Free Schools' policy. This policy is effectively using state funding to establish private schools - i.e., diverting state resources from the public to the private sector - and had been rushed through Parliament using procedures intended for emergency anti-terrorism measures. Cummings urged that a grant of £500,000 be awarded to the New Schools Network to advise and help develop 'Free Schools'. No other organisation was invited to bid for the work.

Shortly afterwards the Government cancelled the previous government's 'Building Schools for the Future' scheme. So money that had been earmarked for renovating thousands of state schools was siphoned off to an untried, untested - and socially divisive - scheme, specifically designed to subvert the state system.

Clever, eh?

And then Cummings went off to work for his friends at the NSN, who paid him with the money he had steered their way in the first place.

See Wikipedia on Political Corruption, especially this section on 'kickbacks'.

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