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Bit of a whiff developing around the Gove email saga

Posted on 3 March 2012 | 11:03am

Michael Gove looked like a naughty boy caught with his hand in the sweet jar when Ed Miliband quizzed the Prime Minister about the Schools Secretary’s ill-judged running commentary on the Leveson Inquiry.

I have a hunch it is a look that will become familiar to us as the press (or at least those parts not in Gove’s pocket) continue to chivvy away at the saga of the private email accounts he wants kept from public scrutiny, and now a mass of deleted emails which should have been kept. To put it crudely, a whiff is developing.

The word in Whitehall is that whatever crackerjack ideas departing Steve Hilton may have had, civil servants found him far easier to work with than some of Mr Gove’s special advisers, such as Dominic Cummings and Henry de Zoete.

The latest mass deletion of emails was uncovered by the Media Standards Trust. One of my civil service friends and former colleagues, whilst refusing to discuss what the deleted and private emails may reveal, did indicate that Mr Gove and his team had cause to be concerned. The diggers should keep digging.

  • smileoftdecade

    Gove? Michael?…. a corrupting influence on society as well as the favourite whipping boy and worst, most smug, abuser of parliamentary expenses to use legal threats to prevent the Torygraph from exposing his 2nd home flipping?

    surely there must be some mistake? 

  • Olli Issakainen

    The Tory-led government is lacking coherent policy.
    It is in trouble with health, education and economy.
    Steve Hilton pushed the health reforms. He is the man behind Big Society “vision”.
    Mr Hilton did not see eye to eye with mandarins.
    Mr Hilton is a Thatcherite with small-state, low-tax ideology. He has been powerful at No 10, and has had the ear of PM.
    Ed Llewellyn, chief of staff, has had a low profile. His expertise does not lie in domestic issues.
    Craig Oliver, the press secretary, has not had much say in policy matters. Perhaps this will chage.
    And perhaps Gabby Bertin will grow in influence now.
    Andrew Cooper, No 10 pollster, may also have a say on strategy.
    Or will it be George Osborne who will benefit most from the exit of Mr Hilton?
    Tony Blair had a strong policy unit: Andrew Adonis, David Miliband and James Purnell.
    In July 1994 Tony Blair inherited 13% poll lead from John Smith. This grew to 29% in June 1995.
    But in May 1997 Labour beat the Tories by 13%.
    Between 1997-2005 Labour lost 4m votes. Plus 1m under Brown.
    Labour won the 2005 general election with 35.2% of the vote.
    Tories had poll lead between 2005-07.
    Ed Miliband inherited Labour trailing in the polls.
    The opponents of Mr Blair were Major, Hague and Howard.
    If Labour wants to win in the future it must rebuild credibility.
    Governments need to support the economy and boost demand when growth is low.
    NHS and state schools must be a priority.
    We need responsible capitalism.
    Big arguments will be about deficit-reduction, welfare, business, immigration and Europe.
    Labour needs to be pro-democracy, pro-capitalism and pro-respectful politics.
    Labour must now seize the moment as the Tories are adrift.

    • reaguns

      No need to boost demand Ollie. We have too much demand. Too much spending. Too much borrowing. We need more saving. This will lead to more manufacturing and more jobs, for two reasons:

      1. If we don’t borrow to buy goods, then we’ll have to make the goods, or make other goods to trade for them = more jobs.

      2. Economies with a high savings rate, have a high amount of savings that can be lent to businesses to fund projects, particularly those that need large capital investments ie factories. So if we save more, there’ll be more credit, more manufacturing, more jobs. Therefore we need higher not lower interest rates.

      Even if we do want people to buy more stuff – this should be done the pro-capitalist way you state. And the pro capitalist way is to drop the price.

      “Mr Hilton is a Thatcherite with small-state, low-tax ideology. He has been powerful at No 10, and has had the ear of PM.”
      Has he really though? What thatcherite, small state, low tax policies has Cameron actually implemented?
      Cameron and Osborne can be called a lot of thins, but small state, low tax thatcherites is not amongst them.

      • mactheanti

        The what do you make of this government’s actions towards Sheffield Forgemaster just after the 2010 election? They reneged on the £80 million loan promised to them by Labour and then wasted £100 million by giving it to Clegg for his vanity AV project. What you have described fits perfectly with what the Labour government were doing before the 2010 election. Now this “crackerjack” government with its “crackerjack” policies is wasting millions in their insane enterprise zones, replacing a system that was working and producing real jobs.

  • barsacq

    If they really wanted to, those emails could easily be retrieved.

  • paul murphy

    Stench might be more appropriate. There can only be one reason Gove would go to such trouble to keep such correspondence quiet; we wouldn’t be happy with the content. But by deleting official emails has the department not commited an offence?

  • Michele

    Huhne using his then wife to get round his speeding penalty and now Gove using his wife’s email account / address to get round proper scrutiny, who’d want to be used in such a way?  If she knew, I wonder whether Mrs Gove will be punished as Ms Pryce is likely to be.

    Oooops I forgot, I’m posting to some that are happy to be whipped up and excited by slimey gossip and innuendo.

    Looking forward to the repeat of Any Qs, Monbiot ripped in to Warsi (who recently justified the potty idea of an airport in the Thames estuary on the basis that her hubby, commuting for his business in China –  I wondered since when – has to use airport hubs in Europe).

  • “Crackerjack ideas” 😉

    Stealing that and using it as my own.

    Gove has always struck me as a man on the edge, just one uncomfortable question away from his answer being “JESUS AND THE QUEEN, JESUS AND THE QUEEN!”

  • Mike Sivier

    If you want a real laugh about this, go to the following address: and see what our comedy Prime Minister had to say about cleaning up politics – before he was elected.

  • Anonymous

    Fascinating stuff! Would love to hear what Alastair thinks of Steve Hilton’s departure, and indeed what he thinks of Steve Hilton.

    Seems to me that Hilton was much more of a conservative / libertarian / devolving power type of a person than Cameron or most of his government, so he has given up hope of Cameron carrying out any more of that agenda, which should please those on the left and centre.

    Its an episode I’ll look forward to reading about in someone’s diary – though I can’t presently think of anyone whose diary I’d particularly want to read from the current government. I plan to read Blair, Mandelson and most of Alastairs account of the last government, but would have no wish to read Cameron’s – I feel he is a false person so the diary would be fiction. I get the same impression with Brown. Despite his detractors I do not feel the same about Blair.

    • Pam

      “I plan to read Blair, Mandelson and most of Alastairs account of the last government, but would have no wish to read Cameron’s – I feel he is a false person”

      How about reading Olli’s diaries……he seems very au fait  with the ins and outs of our parliamentary system and the personnel…..considering he’s a foreigner.

  • Quinney

    There’s an awfuk stink around Ellesmere Port as five north west police forces have ordered Korean cars to replace Vauxhall Astras that are made there.
    This decision has been supported in the commons by Cameron. So much for rebalancing the economy, so much for the march of the makers as orders continue to go abroad with the blessing of Cameron and Clegg.
    The worrying thing though is the silence from the Labour front bench, do we not have a spokesperson on industry? To be frank there are now too many professional politicians in the commons, Oxbridge/focus group/thinktank/paper candidate/ elected/ Never had a proper job in their lives and now making decisions that ruin communities or not having th common sense to criticise them,

  • Anonymous

    This argument, just like the Siemens train one, can be settled quickly and easily by facts and figures. If the police force were able to buy the Korean cars more cheaply then hey ho.

    However during the Siemens negotiation I heard no figures so I can only assume they weren’t cheaper otherwise the government just had to say “Siemens offered them cheaper. If Derby have a problem with that, Derby should drop their price.”

    • Quinney

      So when the British factories are closed and the workers are claiming dole and housing benefit, when their kids are on free school meals, which bid was cheaper?
      No other country would allow this to happen, when Airbus won the competition to supply the US air force with tanker aircraft it was blocked by congress. This government is using the dole queue to cut wages and conditions, as usual it is the race to bottom where working people are concerned but where loss making banks are concerned the Tories friends in the city are looked after.

  • Michele

    Sorry to harp on the same matter …. re my teacher neighbour whose Primary school has just been academy-ised.

    Visited by Ofsted and declared ‘failing’ mid June (they have about a third of pupils with EFL)
    Academy-ised mid-September (just post-summer holidays)
    Visited by Ofsted and declared ‘approaching Excellent’ late October (just after half-term)

    No further visits by Ofsted, assessments of pupils is by their teachers and reports are submitted to the academy company verbatim.  They have to do assessments each term (a new academy ‘term’ being what used to be called a half-term so there are now six per year).

    How can we trust the academy system when it is so different to that imposed on ‘normal’ schools and when financial interest is a component and profits are there for the lifting?

  • Michele

    You’re not so much butch as bitter are you reaguns?

    Put out of work by your non-competitive company so no empathy with others.

    Phwoooooar, let’s pretend balance of trade doesn’t impact on us all eh?

  • Michele

     Oh I’m sure they have been, unless the HD has been removed and destroyed.

    Whoooooooaaaaa !!

  • Stevesurrey

     The emails are still on the hard drive they only appear to have been deleted . Its easy to retrieve them if the will is really there

  • Eddie Darke

    I always understood that although you delete an email they are still there and the organisation cocnerned can always asccess them again

  • In order to achieve the ultimate aim, one should think about the concept of #Gove4PM in detail. See the beauty?

  • Ehtch

    Michael Gove/Mrs Blurt is proving himself to be a bit of a total clown on an unicycle, juggling balls, and seems not fit for purpose. It looks as if his days are numbered. Certain newspapers need to get on his case and give him a good hammering on this. He is proving to be yet another inept spannerhead in this coalition.

    Hasn’t anyone advised him how to conduct himself, as a cabinet minister especially, with regards to using modern communication technology properly and with probity? Seems not, or if he was, it went through one ear and straight out of his other, with no doubt a glazed expression on his face. Not quite what you need in an education and schools minister, you could say, let alone one that is supposed to be steering the ship. Crazy!

  • Ehtch

    Has Gove got any irish blood in him – I know George Osborne could very well have some, since most of his family are old money in Ireland, before the Republic. Anyway, hard luck Ireland in Paris today, but you totally blew it, and a joke about it, that I have just wrote, here goes;

    This Irishman is on his way home from gay Paris, after watching Oireland
    playing France in that rugby today, on one of them famous Eurotunnel trains that goes
    through that channel tunnel. He gets as far as Folkstone, and the english
    customs officer catches him underneath a returning spud truck heading to
    Ireland. And Paddy says, “No worries officer, I’ve got a ticket, this afghan
    sold me one”.

  • Chris lancashire

    I thought Gove was doing quite a good job at Education, particularly with promoting Acadamies (introduced by the excellent Adonis under Blair) a nd Free Schools. Following Mr Campbell’s gratuitous attack I now know he is.

  • Michele

    It certainly does stink Quinney! …..

    “Under new mandatory procurement rules set out by the Home Office, the
    force must select our patrol vehicles from a fixed selection”

  • reaguns

    You presume / project too much. Yes I lost that job when the government forced our company to pay us workers more than we were earning for the company.
    But I got another job pretty soon after that.
    Can’t say the same for my co-workers.

    And who is doing the pretending re balance of trade? If you want the government to choose british cars or british trains – then make them cheaper than german / korean cars or trains. If you don’t – then we get the balance of trade problems.

    I used to consider you quite a thoughtful person even when we disagreed but the last few days your arguments have been clutching at straws. Its easier for me I just work on truth. I can disagree with labour, with tories, with the left or with the right because I have no attachment to any of them, only to the truth, to what I think works, to what I think is right, and as Keynes said “When the facts change – I change my opinion.”

  • reaguns

    Hope my reply got through for this.

  • Ehtch

    St, Anton, west Austria, posh skiing exclusive, but a 1960’s  Morris Mini Cooper S invades,
    Onboard, in his car, a simple Mini,

    Anyone that want’s to know about mk1, 2, and 3 mini’s without the bullshit, just give me a call, and if I do not know the answer, Mark from Yorkshire, or other several mates, Rich from Minispares Yorkshire, will certainly know, or he will know someone, and so on.

    Best Mini vid I think, quite short, in se secund part here,

    By se way, Gove? He is a twit, yah, he is like this Huhne fellah, blames his driving on his vife.

  • Pam

    How about reading Olli’s diaries……as he seems to be so au fait with the internal workings and personalities in our Parliament.

  • Janet Edwards

    There should be other concerns apart from simple cost. Are we buying from companies/countries that observe decent standards of behaviour towards their employees? Are we taking into account the cost to the public purse of unemployment benefits and loss of tax refenue from those who lose jobs here? What about social cost to individuals, families and communities of only chasing cheapest products at the expense of unemployment here?

    Perhaps another abandoned generation and whole areas laid to waste are not of concern to you but I want to live in a society that strives for more than just counting pennies! 

  • reaguns

    My last few replies don’t seem to have got through, I’ll try again.

    I lost my job when the factory closed due to minimum wage – but I got another job pretty soon afterwards. Can’t say the same for all my colleagues.

    And are you sure you want to mention balance of trade?? Both the minimum wage, the siemens affair and this korean car one – negatively affect our balance of trade! Hence we shouldn’t be making things dearer than our competitors, and we certainly shouldn’t be buying things dearer than our competitors do!

    Alastair likes Evan Davis (when it suits him too) a nice middle of the road PPE/BBC economist – read what he has to say regarding Siemens… and balance of trade.

    Or save yourself some time and just agree with me.

  • reaguns

    I want a fight about something else Michele – workfare. My reply didn’t get posted to you a couple of blogs ago.

    Workfare IS slavery, if its mandatory. Forced labour is slavery. You haven’t made these arguments yet but I will now shut down the opposing arguments:

    1. “Its not forced, they don’t have to do it they have a choice they just don’t have to claim benefits.” (And then starve.) Thats like me pointing a gun at someone’s head and saying give me your wallet – then telling the judge I gave them a choice – they could have chosen to get their head blown off.

    2. “Its not slavery, they get paid their benefits for it”. Benefits are supposed to provide shelter, clothing and food. Even “slaves” got this provided to them, or they would have been pretty weak-ass slaves, not much use without food.

    3. “I don’t want to pay for other people to claim benefits and not work.” Usually when we dig down we find that both left and right wingers are happy to pay the benefits as long as the person does some work, whether productive or not. They’d be happy to force them to dig holes and fill them in again. In which case taxpayers are still paying them for nothing, its not the paying that bothers those people.

  • Dave Simons

     ‘Foreigners’ often know more about a country than ‘natives’. Have a look at the UK Citizenship Test and ask yourself how many ‘natives’ would pass.

  • Michele

    You cannot understand SLAVERY when you make such a casual comparison.
    Slavery is chains round the ankles, being branded, losing your own name, being bought and sold as if a thing.
    When you use such terms to describe Grayling’s so-called ‘workfair’ you do an awful cheapening to history and it’s as gormless as last week’s exchanges about using ‘Third Reich’ to describe Murdoch; it reduces what the Third Reich were actually about (although had the comment been extrapolated here by suggesting that our minds might be being manipulated it would have been a little more justified).

    You also do an awful cheapening to the present day when actual slavery still occurs round the world (and even here when smuggled girls are forced to work as prostitutes).  Actual slaves would be insulted to see their treatment compared to Grayling’s cheapo exploitation.

    Keep things in perspective fgs, melodrama gets nobody anywhere and you aren’t a headline writer for the Wail are you?

    I mentioned weeks ago that companies like Poundworld were being subsidised by having free labour provided but it is NOT slavery.

  • Michele

     I don’t think I’m likely to agree with you much reaguns, you’re similar to those that think a Labour supporter must be hard up and dependent, your demeanour is trying too ‘ard to be well ‘ard.
    I doubt you were laid off because of minimum wage, much more likely because the product wasn’t worth what it would then have to be sold for.  Right solution?  Competing on price doesn’t always make sense.

    Hyundai has been prosecuted for cross-company ‘special deals’ in Korea, its financial division is subsidising sales here, what sort of financial manipulation is going on?
    Nissan models have been very favourably compared with Hyundai, Nissan cars made here.

  • Michele

     Dang ….. just stroked across to Reply and did my usual accidental impact on its neighbour.

    Your priorities are wrong imhoo; cheaper is not all that matters but was it the reason for the Siemens order anyway?  There was a lot wrong with the placement of orders with Siemens and Hammond has not been able to justify it.
    It seems we even have those credit rating agencies to consider yet again :

  • Michele

     He has as much right to comment as anyone else. 

    It might often read like revision sheets but what do you contribute to society or life itself Pam/Fred/et al?

  • Anonymous

    In a way I agree with you, and I don’t suppose I’ll convince you of my argument, but its very hard for the government to create happiness, employment, social benefit – the market generally performs the function much better. Hence US citizens were so much better off than USSR, taken to extremes.

    What you are talking about is moving towards central planning and subsidy, and this works out for the worst (for the majority of the population.)

    If there were two companies, one trying to make profit and the other trying to make profit but also make its workers happy, save the environment and loads of other things – the first company will always make more money for its staff and shareholders, and deliver a cheaper product to its customers. Everyone will be better off with it. Even left wing economists agree on this.

    Same with countries – they should seek to get services at the lowest cost. We could have subsidised Siemens rival, that would have made a couple of thousand british workers happier, but meant more expensive train fares or taxes for the rest of us.

    Why does noone get the CEO on TV and say “Why can you not make trains cheaper than Germany?”

  • Anonymous

    My reply above applies to your post too, but I do agree with you at the hypocricy of bailing out banks whilst allowing other businesses to go to the wall. WIthout even punishing the bankers the way Ronald Reagan did in the 80s.

    Rick Santorum is currently chasing working class american votes by pointing out that Mitt Romney opposed the auto bailout but supported the bank bailout.

    I’m afraid however that if foreigners are stupid enough to want to subisidise their industries to deliver cheap goods to us, then provided we are not borrowing to buy them – thats their loss and our gain overall.

    We must be fair however and note that it was Labour and Gordon Brown who bailed out the bankers here, without sanction. Cameron Tories would have done the same.

    A proper left wing, or a proper right government would have done no such thing.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t believe in subsidies, and I don’t believe in the government “picking winners” or deciding who to allocate credit too and how much. This should be done by the market.

    My point is if we had higher interest rates, or market interest rates, we would have saved a lot more, and banks would not be able to find easy ways to make returns on it like bonds and mortgages and greek debt – they’d have to look for sound business / manufacturing investments like they do in Germany. There would be more credit for businesses. Sheffield Forgemaster, if it was a well run profitable business, would be able to get its £80 million. But this won’t happen under our current anti-business banking arrangements.

    There are some things the market doesn’t do well, which government should do instead such as dole, and I would argue NHS and pensions too. But the allocation of credit has never been handled well by any government in the world, it has been handled well by markets (except where government has got involved… which it usually does.)

  • Anonymous

    Some qualification, for those of you who don’t understand my stances below ie govt intervention in business.

    Ed is about to make a speech praising the German model. And indeed there is much to praise. I’ve followed this for months, apparently Ed and his advisors feel the German model is better, with more manufacturing, less finance and services. So far so good, and with my full agreement. They feel those jobs give business a sounder footing, and they also feel that people like those jobs more – they enable people to get trades, they enable communities to take work (not just London), I’ve also heard it suggested that “men” like these jobs better because they are making things with their hands rather than sitting in a call centre, but I’m sure plenty of women feel the same.

    We know Germany intervenes more, makes companies offer apprenticeships, makes them provide better protection against redundancy, helps them through bad business cycles, and has a more generous welfare state.

    But we should not forget the other three other extremely important things Germany does, without which any attempt to copy it will fail.

    1. It has always had a strong currency. This should have forever blown away the idea that one needs a weak currency to export – nonsense. The strong currency makes it easier to buy oil, metals and raw materials to manufacture with.

    2. The one time Germany did struggle in recent years, Schroder initiated a load of supply side reforms. They worked. We need them too.

    3. The Germans have always had high as high savings rate, they don’t believe in artificially low interest rates. This high savings rate is what gives their banks the ability to finance capital-intensive activities ie manufacturing.

    As long as Ed buys into all of this, he really could be on to a winner, and I would vote for him – provided he also denounces mandatory workfare!

  • Michele

     More re Home Office’s imposed list :
    “…………….many Hyundais have a good reliabily record and come with a five-year
    warranty.but questions remain over some safety aspects of the cars,
    including a “marginal” rating for whiplash protection of drivers in the
    i20 and lower ratings for driver impact torso injuries in the i30……………………….”

    As for what JC (aaaagh, yes that one) has to say about things that public servants have to spend 10-12hr shifts driving :-s

  • Michele

     Debatable topics Janet; although Hyundai is S. Korean these cars are Czech and Indian – built, quite pick-n-mix.

    Have also posted elsewhere about unfavourable reviews of the models as well as about Hyundai’s financial practices.

    Ho hum.

    I’m far from being a little Englander, in fact most of my work involves importing and I do think internaational trade is good for the world but there needs to be reasoning.

  • Janiete

    Yes Pam, Ollie is far better informed than you. Probably because he reads widely and doesn’t depend on Daily Mail headlines for his political education!

  • Anonymous

    No, if its forced labour its slavery.
    What you are talking about is scale, not definition. By definition forced labour is slavery.
    Listen to Abraham Lincoln, or Malcolm X talking about the house negro versus the field negro – one has an easier time than the other – but both are slavery. The definition of slavery is forced labour, it doesnt include chains and leg irons, these are superfulous.

    This issue shows that our economy is not that bad, and our public sector (including lawyers and accountants employed to deal with our tax and regulatory labyrinth) is still massive. Otherwise why would there be so many smug complacent people getting behind this policy, instead of being scared they might end up like this themselves some day.

  • Anonymous

    I’ll focus on cars elsewhere, but based on my time in manufacturing components I can confirm that Nissans are better quality than Hyundai.

    Why have you taken to criticising me for trying to be “ard” and “butch” what is so about my comments? I’d say every one of my comments relates to helping the poor and the weak, if not always obviously so. My comments on school bullying for instance – bullying and punishing bullies is not “ard” it is defending people who are not “ard”.

    Don’t understand the Labour comment either. Who do you think I vote for?

    Your comment about the minimum wage – once again the factory in question did close down once minimum wage was brought in. We had security men on £2 per hour and students on £1.50 before minimum wage! They moved to eastern europe to continue on same wages. Its not rocket science.

    “I doubt you were laid off because of minimum wage, much more likely because the product wasn’t worth what it would then have to be sold for.”
    Economically speaking, this is exactly the same thing! You are correct the product was only worth a certain amount, and at the new cost of uk workers it wouldn’t sell at the new price! Which is exactly the argument against minimum wage, workers are worth a certain amount to a company, if you price the workers above that then the company can’t employ them!

  • Anonymous

    Oh yeah, oh yeah… there are only so many times you can ‘accidentally’ hit “like” Michele, your subconcsious mind knows I’m right lol!

    Good article, this is a point I alluded to earlier – if this decision was made on price, then the government just has to say “Siemens was cheaper.” Then the ball is in bombardier’s court – people could rightfully ask how in gods name they can’t make stuff cheaper than the germans, its not like competing with some third world sweat shop.

    The fact they never said such a thing or released the figures, means we have to suspect foul play, the whole thing looks murky. Not sure if credit ratings agencies are needed here – sure it would be embarassing if govt placed an order then lost money and got no trains cos the company went bust – but is that likely with Bombardier or Siemens? Surely a contract can be drafted that would mean the materials and trains would belong to UK govt even in that situation.

    Very murky indeed.

  • Anonymous

    Nissans are better than Hyundais, as are toyotas and hondas and we still build all 3 I believe.

    When I say that the government should do this in price, I thought it would be obvious that this price competition occurs in those who meet the other requirements. It would be no use buying hyundais because they are the cheapest to buy if they then took more maintenance, broke down more and wore out sooner. Obviously the product must do the job, a government doing such a large purchase should have a contract whereby servicing / breakdown costs are covered and various other safeguards. Perhaps they need to stipulate a minimum speed, miles per gallon and so forth. Companies tendering must meet all those requirements – and only then does the price competition start. I thought it would be obvious I meant that.

    Just as I myself do not buy the cheapest car available I buy one that I think will be reliable and so forth, and only among those cars do I then start to look at price.

  • Michele

    Just read of a Met constabulary being put on 3month stretch of 7 x 12 hr shifts with one day off then back on for 7…… all meaning at least twelve such rotas.

    I hope its drivers have cars with better whiplash protection than the Hyundai.

  • Michele

     If a UK company is exploiting people at £2ph or less I’ll not be mourning that by now they are out of business or giving the work instead to people elsewhere.
    No worker could survive in the UK on such earnings (not without subsidy from Govt) and if its product could only afford such payment then it’s being ‘made’ in the wrong country or for the wrong market.
    There are things we can neither grow nor make here for one reason or another.

    We have plenty of examples at the moment of Govt subsidising companies rather than helping workers.  Every employer-participant in the ‘workfair’ scheme is being subsidised by about  £240pw x 8wks.
    I hope checks are made on the ownerships of such companies and whether they pay UK tax.  What a hoot if not.
    Shirley Porter must be cackling about Tesco raking it in.

  • Ehtch

    You can hear the smashing of hammers onto hard disks as we speak, and smell the funeral pyres of such electronic devices as we speak.

    Gove is a knob – Mrs Blart indeed, what a total idiot, a total numpty.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with some of that.

    Most of the workers were on about £3ph, then there were a couple of categories of more skilled/experienced machine operators on (from memory) £3.25, £3.50 and £3.75.Minimum wage came in at £3.60 which kind of messed with that structure.

    I think the £2 security guys almost certainly did get other benefits.

    I do think these employers were scum for paying the students £1.50.

    I didn’t have any sympathy for the security guys because the rest of us sweated for our £3 whilst they read papers and drank tea for £2.

    Remember this was the late 1990s and are you sure you are knowledgeable on the cost of living in all parts of the UK? Where do you think the cheapest / poorest part of the the UK was?

    Believe it or not I worked for 3 more factories after that, and possibly 2 but at least 1 of the subsequent ones were worse employers in my opinion – chucked workers on the scrapheap whilst they continued driving their jags.

  • Michele

    I go by the OED reaguns, not the hyped-up nonsensical melodramatic definitions used by people in a hurry or that can’t be bothered to think of the APT word.

    Scale, as you  hinted (but did not live up to) matters.

  • Anonymous

    Forced labour is slavery.

    Not only that, its totally unnecessary.

  • Anonymous

    P.s. your OED must be different than mine… is it the pocket version perhaps?

    There are plenty of other places you can find the definition anyway, try googling the definition, looking at free online dictionaries or looking up wikipedia.

    In this case left and right agree, whether you trust the oxford elites or the democratic consensus on wikipedia – I’m right.

  • Michele

    Yep reaguns I know you’re rightIS.   Do you post from work btw?

  • Anonymous

    Sort of – in between meetings ie travelling or if working from home (in a break, wouldn’t call it working obviously.)

    Why you ask?

  • Michele

     I think this post from a blog is much better informed than most of us on this one:

    I had been looking for instances of Ofsted leaving other academies alone (apart from requiring/accepting the self-assessments of their pupils’ progress that teachers now submit). 

  • Gove? Mrs Blurt you mean!   Lord Blurt of Harris. Let’s see what Private Eye has to say in the latest issue.