Monday, 26 October 2015


Recently someone at a conference about the future got cross. The complacency of speaker after speaker enraged him so had a virtually irrepressible urge to punch one futurologist in the face and ask mildly:

Well did you see that coming?

We are living in an age of intellectual aloofness where an exclusive bunch of people seem to think they’re in charge. Take the Kids Company debacle. As an ex-Chairman of a children’s charity I know a little of the sector. Around twenty years ago local authorities started cutting funding and being reluctant to foot the bills for residential care despite impressive results achieved in Care Homes for the most disadvantaged children. Our residential practice quickly reduced to zero.

But what happened to the children?” asked my wife.

They were abandoned and picked up by Kid’s Company that’s what. Camila Batmanghelidjh, their founder and CEO had a reputation for being a bit chaotic and domineering but no one questioned her good intentions about young people. When I’d suggested a possibility of a partnership my CEO said politely “no…that’s a very bad idea.” We were much too professional for all that love I guess.

The vendetta against her by the media and the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Select Committee chaired by Bernard Jenkin has irritated me. Camila may be an oddity when it comes to dress sense and a little fond of her own voice but one of the committee members’ comments were disgraceful: “I drowned in technicolour blancmange, oozing psychobabble, emotional blackmail & verbal ectoplasm". (Paul Flynn, Labour MP).

Camila has been pilloried as an incompetent weirdo and her Chair, Yentob as a snivelling loser.

Well thank you Mr Yentob for those fifteen years doing an impossibly difficult job (the BBC job is a breeze in comparison) and for giving the charity £250,000 of your own money. And thanks Camila for the nineteen years, having founded it, that you ran Kid’s Company. Independent reports consistently said your organisation made a big difference to young people. But Chairman Bernard Jenkin simply recorded you as a failure because “you went bust”.

The select committee got very cross with Camila whenever she mentioned children …”yes we know”. Watch it if you can on You Tube. It’s enough to make you vote for Jezza.

The support for Mr Corbyn got an unexpected shot in the arm from the terribly clever Martin Amis last week who noted he was third rate or worse and has only got two ‘E’s at ‘A’ level. Some of the Labour Party apparently went to Hull University or worse.

I’m afraid very clever people’s contempt for the rest of society will get them into big trouble. The tone of voice of those who could never do what Kid’s Company did or other organisations like Microsoft founded by people who flunked University, is irritating a not-so-clever majority into getting politically active.

Beware.  And think of all those people working hard with difficult people and being ill paid for it.

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