What the Tories didn’t want you to see.

Emma Harrison of A4e

Having made so much of being a transparent government it should have been a surprise when the Tories on the Commons Public Accounts Committee decided that the three whistle-blower’s evidence against A4e and Working Links, private companies working for the Department of Work and Pensions, should be heard in private, not public. Then again Cameron’s relationship with Emma Harrison, owner of A4e, did seem rather close in the past. (Why Cameron seems to be attracted to spiv-like personalities I’m not sure. There does seem to be growing list of people he really should have steered clear of.)

Anyway thanks to the Daily Telegraph we can see at least part of the evidence they didn’t want us to. The Telegraph does seem rather good at these exposures. Read the written evidence from Eddie Hutchinson, a very senior auditor for both companies, here.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think Labour wants to stir up this hornets nest. Don’t forget, Labour gave them lots of work too.

    Quoting Wikipedia: “After the Labour Party came to power in 1997, they introduced the back to work New Deal service for those on Jobseeker’s Allowance, requiring claimants to attend classes or risk losing their benefit. A4e was the largest provider of New Deal services in the UK, and had contracts for the New Deal worth £80 million”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A4e

    Now this whistle blower only joined A4E in October 2010 so he only saw stuff that happened under to coalition but refers to abuses under Labour (see page 4 para27 for references to abuses in 2009). They also refer to to fraudulent activity at Working Links from from 2007 -2010 and this takes up half the report.

    I’m not going out to defend A4E, they seem like a rather rotten company, but rather than just jumping up and down at the mention of bogey words like “Murdoch” or “A4E” you should take the time to read what you link to.

    In politics, like in life, you can either meet and make links with people and risk them turning out to be less than you hoped for, or you can lock yourself up with a few like minded souls and not gain any contact with or experience of the wider world. Our two main party leaders are each taking those separate paths. Personally a priggish monk doesn’t sound like the Prime Minister I want, but we all make our choice.

    (That said, I do like Ed Miliband’s love of steam trains)

    • LesAbbey

       But DC you know many support Labour without supporting things New
      Labour  has done. Bringing private companies into sectors that should be
      non-profit is something I’m against no matter which party does it.

      At the same we must not forget that Cameron made Harrison his ‘Family Czar’, whatever that is.

      I have to say I do read what’s on the Telegraph fairly religiously,
      (including what I link to), at least since the expenses scandal. I’m
      particularly fond Peter Oborne’s column even though politically I have
      very little in common with him.

      As for Murdoch, again I do not care
      whether it’s Labour or the Tories who get into bed with him, (as you
      know from our argument before the last election), I find his corrupting
      influence a danger to British democracy. Almost every session of the
      Leveson inquiry gives more reasons why this man should have no part of
      the media in Britain.

      • Anonymous

        Trouble is Les, Labour is judged by what they did do, not what you would have had them do, just as at the next election it will be about what the coalition has done, not David Cameron saying “I wish we hadn’t done X, Y or Z.” That is just political cowardice.

        The UK is living with the consequences of an actual Labour government, not an imaginary one. Your arguments end up basically saying “I support Labour in theory, just nothing they did when in office” which you have to admit sounds pretty lame.

        • LesAbbey

           DC I think you are trying to build a strawman for your argument. Maybe you should read the post above this one which does talk about the toxicity of the New Labour governments, but from a left of centre perspective rather than where you are coming from.

          I think many posters on the old Labourhome website did try to draw the distinction between supporting Labour at the election while being in disagreement with New Labour policies.

          The UK is living with the consequences of an actual Labour government, not an imaginary one.

          Yes you are quite correct, but we are also living with the consequences of an actual Tory/Liberal government, and that Tory part is real Tory, not some hug-a-hoodie, touchy-feelie, ‘I’m not a Thatcherite’ party. This is the Nasty Party back with a vengeance.

          • Anonymous

             ”Nasty Party” – implying the Tories are trying to harm people. Gosh, you haven’t moved on from judging the motives of others as a way of putting yourself on an undeserved moral pedestal.

            Pretty much all parties are formed of people of good intent trying to do their best to make the life of the nation better. Tories accept this of their opponents, but you don’t seem to.

            My experience is that those on the left were left wing from an early age for ideological reasons, Tories come to their politics later in life because they experience what works, not what they want to work. Since many Tories were more left wing when they were younger they have more sympathy on the other side so understand it is not malice but mistaken ideas that drive their opponents, a sense of perspective more limited in those who haven’t made a political journey.

          • LesAbbey

             Strange thing is DC the term ‘Nasty Party’ is actually from our present Home Secretary, Theresa May, or at least she bought it into common usage.

            The point of my last paragraph was the attempt by the Tory leadership to disguise themselves as something they really weren’t. At the party convention one or two years prior to  the election George Osborne was honest about the austerity he intended to use if the Tories were elected. It didn’t get the press he was hoping for and the rhetoric was then dampened considerably.

            So back to your point, was Theresa May correct in saying that many of the public regarded the Tories as the ‘Nasty Party’? I think the answer is pretty obvious, but it’s not that the Tories  set out to get this tag. Their problem is that if you represent one small section of society above all other interests, then policies that affect those other parts will come in for harsh treatment. Of course I’m not saying that Tories eat babies, but I can say it’s probable that parents of children born with disabilities will find life a great deal harder.

  • paul scott

    I agree, however you’re ALL the same. How many of YOUR  MPs across all parties of course but as this is you article, it defies belief,  covered up, or didn’t want us to see your expenses claims. More needs to be done still as excesses still go on (Second homes, overnight allowances), but as much as I won’t be voting Tory, I certainly am not voting Labour ever again either.

    • Anonymous

       Same here, and it very very sad.

      • Anonymous

        It is the failure of social democracy along with other ideologies when it has been tried, tied to the fact all politicians are fallible humans that they are bound to disappoint.

        Get use to mediocrities who in terms of policy are two cheeks of the same arse. It is actually what the people vote for. Since they are mediocre fallible humans too.

        • Anonymous

           Thank god I’ve given up voting .