We couldn’t let yesterday’s Parliamentary debate on the stripping “Sir” Philip Green of his title for alleged “asset stripping” pass without comment.
Whilst we witnessed Birkenhead MP Frank Field plough the fertile Green fields , what you don’t see below is the question raised by the Labour MP for Hartlepool who asked about the role played by Green’s advisors in the BHS debacle and specifically Grant Thornton ( who also just happen to be Wirral Council’s auditors) .
Of course Frankenfield moved swiftly on – not wanting to deflect from the pantomime villainry being played out in Parliament and pursuing the frankly lame Napoleon figure comparisons. We couldn’t help commentating that it takes one to know one .
Now I think we can all agree that “Sir” Philip Green is bad to the bone – the ugly face (and boy do we mean ugly) of capitalism. But beyond the political grandstanding is he any worse than the hypocrites in the Houses of Parliament all too ready to denounce his decadent ways?
Let’s remember , as far as we know, Green has not broken any laws . Can Frankenfield say the same ?- as far as we’re concerned he’s definitely aided and abetted one.
And let’s also remember who makes the laws – yes that’s right MPs !. So what if Green played fast and loose with the Companies Act – who’s fault is that?
It is well to remember that we live in a complex world and that traditional notions of good and evil no longer apply . It is your solemn duty to always, ALWAYS challenge the perceived notion of who are the good guys just as ‘The Professor ‘ reminds us in a postscript to his erudite report which we published earlier this week:
The official National Evaluation of the Troubled Families Programme
, suppressed for over a year, has just been published after threats from the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee. The current claim locally and nationally is that over 90% of ‘families from hell’ had been ‘turned around’ from lives of crime, addiction and worklessness. But the evaluation concludes that :
‘There were no impacts identified for housing, employment and job-seeking,
anti-social behaviour and crime, school behaviour and attendance, health,
drug or alcohol abuse, family dynamics or well-being.’
Neither was there any reduction in family benefits claimed… no money was
saved. Yet Coalition and current government claims are that 99% of evil families
were successfully ‘turned around’ and £1.2 billion pounds was ‘saved’. In March
2015 the minister responsible, Eric Pickles, bragged about this TFP ‘triumph’ and
several MPs rose to congratulate him…and to remind him that sanctions based
Family Intervention was a New Labour invention. Guess who joined in? Yes, that
hounder of the undeserving poor, Frank Field. He said
‘On behalf of my constituents, many of whom now have a more peaceful existence,
may I also, through him, thank the front line workers who have brought about
these changes? …[Locally] there were other scallywags who could not be bothered
to feed their children.’
Hansard, March 10th 2015 , column 163
Recall that a majority of these families living in poverty had serious mental and physical
illnesses and disabilities but only ~6% of adults had ASB reports before project entry.
Only 1.2% of children had ABCs. More to the point perhaps, the official report found
no evidence for reductions in the already low incidence of crime or ASB or
truanting yet Frank says ‘many’ of his constituents now have ‘a more peaceful
existence’. Clearly Frank is hallucinating yet again. Perhaps Frank is ‘troubled’ and
needs help? If he had a family we could sign him up to the TFP phase 2 which locally
will cost us several million pounds …but the official evidence says it would do him,
or any others among the local ‘troubled’, absolutely no good at all.