In the last post about matriarchy, the question was asked – who appointed these people? In Gillard’s case, in Lin Homer’s case?
Below is a long letter concerning Lin Homer for a start but going into other appointees and the reasons for them. You never have to delve far in this country before the spectre of a certain organization raises its head – just look at Hacked Off and its refusal to divulge sources of funding.
Without further ado:
Date: 25 March 2013
Thank you very much for the thoroughness in which you have conducted your investigation into the UK Border Agency.
You have correctly determined the cause and source of the problems, whilst also equally condemning the person who you have identified as primarily responsible.
You have also noted, again correctly, that, despite responsibility having been assigned, there was scant openness, honesty, transparency and accountability.
However, and perhaps this next issue was not within your remit, I would respectfully propose that the underlying agenda, whilst perhaps suspected, has not been mentioned in your report.
There is a consistency of failed leadership and disastrous consequences for the public among a group of people that are ascribed with public leadership abilities.
Should you wish to carry out your own investigations, you will discover for yourselves that this consistency involves an organisation called Common Purpose.
You will no doubt recall that in December 2012 The Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP published a booklet entitled “50 Ways to Save” in which he singled out Common Purpose leadership courses as a waste of money.
At this point, please review carefully the role of Common Purpose in the career of Lin Homer.
The association is always parasitic.
For example, from the Birmingham area, as applied to Lin Homer, please note the undue influence, interest and control exerted through Lin Homer by Common Purpose.
As is the usual pattern, Common Purpose benefitted financially, whilst never contributing positively to the projects in which it had become involved.
Yes, there was rhetoric about benefit, but neither Freedom of Information requests nor forensic audit could discover any tangible evidence of benefit.
Other local authorities have been forced to admit that there is no benefit accrued to the taxpayer consequent upon financial expenditure upon Common Purpose. The Rt Hon Eric Pickles was correct.
How Common Purpose obtained its lucrative contracts was also exposed as having been at best ill-advised, at worst the product of illegal Insider Dealing. There is also the issue of calling in past favours and mutual backscratching.
You have correctly exposed the inconsistencies in the evidence of Lin Homer. This is again consistent with the pattern of behaviour when requests for information are made of public authorities.
For the benefit of this discourse, the only applicable word is lies.
Yes, lies that follow protracted and ultimately futile attempts at obfuscation and secrecy in sheer defiance of the law, especially the Freedom of Information Act, and contrary to government policy.
Ms Homer was chief returning officer and also the chief executive of the council during the 2005 Birmingham council elections, widely criticised for the ‘Wholesale Electoral Fraud of postal voting.’ She was singled out by the Electoral Commission stating, “She threw the rule book out of the window”
So, what does Common Purpose do ?
If you use the internet, you will see that Common Purpose describes itself as a training organisation for public leaders.
However, the example of Lin Homer is not isolated.
Your own investigations will show that where there is Common Purpose, you will also find examples of disgraceful behaviour, poor leadership, corruption, Insider Dealing and even paedophilia.
Now, you are invited to see how much Common Purpose ‘graduates’, supporters and sponsors are inextricably entangled throughout local and national government and our national authorities.
You will see for yourselves how Common Purpose is a change agent, not for the benefit of the people that this government serves, but, at our expense, for its own agenda.
You have correctly questioned how it could be that a person’s career could drift from failure to failure yet consistently not only never be held to account, but also continue what appears to outsiders to be extraordinary and unexplained career enhancements following repeated and unmitigated disasters.
Please consider how Common Purpose operates.
Once targeted by Common Purpose for leadership training, support or sponsorship, there is an unwritten Faustian pact.
The Common Purpose ‘graduate’ acts as an insider to the target organisation for the financial benefit of Common Purpose, whilst providing more targets, and in return their career path is smoothed through by the use of the Common Purpose network.
Of course, the higher that the Common Purpose operative rises, the more lucrative the financial rewards for Common Purpose.
All of this is always at the expense of the public purse, and secrecy is maintained.
You may ask ‘Why has nothing been done about this?’
There are several reasons.
The Rt Hon Eric Pickles has already issued a directive that all spending on Common Purpose is to cease, because it is a waste of public money.
However, Eric Pickles has largely been ignored, especially by his peers in this government, namely David Cameron ( picture ) and Francis Maude.
Why should this be?
This is because Common Purpose has for a long time penetrated the highest echelons of the civil service, where you will find many more Common Purpose operatives.
But one example of this was when Common Purpose engineered a publicity coup by having a positive reference inserted into a speech by Gordon Brown. The reference did not appear in Hansard, but Common Purpose carried the draft speech as though real for a year on its web site, knowing full well that Common Purpose had been expunged from the speech.
There should have been much more publicity about the way in which Common Purpose operates.
Here the Common Purpose network also operates, again imposing control beyond its legal authority.
Those who would expose Common Purpose are labeled as insurrectionists, trouble-makers, insane, having a campaign against Common Purpose, etc.
This Common Purpose tactic of labeling even extends to the Judiciary, itself infiltrated and whose impact is evidenced in ‘nuanced’ decisions.
In truth, it is Common Purpose that has a campaign against those decent citizens who seek transparency and accountability, and Common Purpose has been found to have broken the law by the Information Commissioner in their obsession with secrecy.
I would comment here.
Not everyone who is associated with Common Purpose is automatically defective, as a delusional and paranoid Common Purpose would perversely accuse others of saying.
But one criteria for selection by Common Purpose, according to their own documents, is the target’s value to their organisation.
The egos of their targets are raised to expect performance above ability, mistakes are seen as natural, conscience and empathy are suppressed, their mind-sets are re-framed.*2
In this respect the association of Francis Maude with Common Purpose gives rise to serious cause for genuine concern.
You have correctly questioned career gains following disasters.
Please research for yourself the career of Dr Sonia Sharp, ex Birmingham, Leeds, Rotherham and Sheffield.
As for yourselves, why not have a look at the facts behind the career of Robert Kerslake ?
Using your own government figures from the Index of Multiple Deprivation, from 1997, and despite the tens of millions of ERDF Objective 1 Eurofunds pumped into the Sheffield Area, the IMD figures showed a continuing decline in the most deprived areas, such as Lowedges, and that decline accelerated when the Eurofunds ceased.
Nevertheless, Robert Kerslake, a Common Purpose graduate, is now at the head of the civil service.
As you conduct your own research, you will find the proofs of the multi-million pound fraud and corruption involving those Eurofunds in Sheffield from 1997 onwards.
Meanwhile, Cabinet Office spending on Common Purpose, despite the correct conclusion of Eric Pickles, continues apace.
What you have not said is also important.
For example, you have not questioned the competence of those who have employed and repeatedly promoted the likes of Lin Homer, Sonia Sharp, Robert Kerslake, etc.
Such is a question for yourselves.
As has been determined locally, you may also determine that Common Purpose was directly or indirectly involved with the selection process, and even the creation of the employment opportunity, i.e. the career equivalent of financial Insider Dealing, which further locks the Common Purpose target into loyalty to Common Purpose above that due to their respective employers.
With hindsight, the Government should have known better.
As we have seen, ‘insiders’ were at work.
When Ms Homer was appointed as head of HMRC, the Guardian, which supports Common Purpose, wrote:
“Sir Gus O’Donnell, head of the civil service, welcomed the announcement and said ‘a wealth of experience working in the public service in central and local government’ would allow Homer to excel in her new role.”
I would invite you to consider the extent to which Common Purpose is integrated, via its ‘graduates’, in roles that control the flow of information, especially to the public.
Above, I also mentioned Common Purpose and paedophilia.
Again, do not take this citizen’s word, but research for yourself such names as Matthew Byrne, photographed with David Cameron, and senior Common Purpose member Jamie Rennie, from Scotland.
There are many more of course, but the point is made.
In terms of Home Affairs, the infiltration and conduct of the organisation Common Purpose into this government falls squarely within your remit.
Whether or not this integration of Common Purpose represents a security risk or threat contrary to the national interest is for the appropriate authorities to decide.
On 27 March 2012 Common Purpose emailed Ms Homer:
As well as being a rather clumsy sales pitch seeking to bypass the democratic process and the normal competitive commercial processes it reminds Ms Homer of her past links to Common Purpose, introduces to another of their ‘insiders’, and makes it clear that it is ‘business as usual’.
It must come as no surprise therefore to learn that on 11 March 2013 in The Guardian, that Mark Upton wrote:
“A message to Osborne: find savings by scrapping Eric Pickles’ department
Those who really care about local government should campaign for the wholesale abolition of the ‘universally reviled’ DCLG”
Ouch ! Common Purpose fights back ! *3
At the very least, the decent citizens of this country can expect that the names of all ‘graduates’, supporters, sponsors or associates of Common Purpose will be identified, and their names published.
At the very least, we can expect full details to be published of every activity within government in which Common Purpose is involved, not least by provision of an unbroken document trail from initial contact to final payment where there are commercial interests, but, and just as importantly, their influence at the myriad of government department meetings, accompanied by copies of all communications.
You are strongly recommended to start with your own Committee. *1
Then your bigger task will become self-evident; how to remove all traces of Common Purpose from interference with all aspects of our Government.
Extracts from the report are below
Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP (Labour, Leicester East) (Chair)
Nicola Blackwood MP (Conservative, Oxford West and Abingdon)
James Clappison MP (Conservative, Hertsmere)
Michael Ellis MP (Conservative, Northampton North)
Lorraine Fullbrook MP (Conservative, South Ribble)
Dr Julian Huppert MP (Liberal Democrat, Cambridge)
Steve McCabe MP (Labour, Birmingham Selly Oak)
Bridget Phillipson MP (Labour, Houghton and Sunderland South)
Mark Reckless MP (Conservative, Rochester and Strood)
Chris Ruane MP (Labour, Vale of Clwyd)
Mr David Winnick MP (Labour, Walsall North)
Rt Hon Alun Michael MP (Labour & Co-operative, Cardiff South and Penarth)
Karl Turner MP (Labour, Kingston upon Hull East)
The current staff of the Committee are Tom Healey (Clerk), Richard Benwell
(Second Clerk), Ruth Davis (Committee Specialist), Eleanor Scarnell (Committee Specialist), Andy Boyd (Senior Committee Assistant), Michelle Garratty (Committee Assistant), Iwona Hankin (Committee Support Officer) and Alex Paterson (Select Committee Media Officer)*1.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
“2011 has been a year of significant change for UK immigration policy, and to enable the Government to achieve its objective of reducing net migration, tighter restrictions have been imposed on immigration categories permitting work in the UK. Alex Paterson, Partner at corporate immigration law firm, Fragomen LLP, looks at what the changes mean for recruiters – and why they need to think ahead.”
Page 27 Classifieds
“Common Purpose Navigator
Common Purpose Navigator is a leadership programme for high-potential individuals tipped as ‘people to watch’ in their organisations. Participants learn about real problems first hand, build diverse networks and explore crucial issues such as levers of power, effecting change and managing risk.”
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
“SSP identifies and recruits young scholars from
disadvantaged backgrounds who show exceptional
academic and leadership promise, . . . ”
Page 13 – Alumnus:
Graduate (Common Purpose Leadership Programme)
“I have been empowered beyond
my wildest expectations, and have developed a level of
confidence I once only dreamed of. I feel humbled by the
change I have witnessed in myself, . . . ”
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Paul Wheeler is the founder of the Political Skills Forum which prosletyses political and community leadership.
His published links include Partner organisations such as: Improvement and Development Agency, Leadership Academy, Society of Local Authority Chief Executives, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister – ALL of which have links to Common Purpose and for which issues remain as to their lack of openness and transparency with respect to Common Purpose involvement and expenditure.
( Also note the links: Leadership Centre for Local Government, Local Government Association, New Local Government Network, Centre for Public Scrutiny )
In my opinion, this is just another snake-oil organisation that falsely claims to
exist to promote local democracy and politics whilst doing the exact opposite.
Mr Wheeler’s credits include Bryony Rudkin, IdEA member.
( See mutual backscratching, above, and what about that spousal BR link to BT prior to the BT contract ? )
12. Lin Homer has apologised for wrongly telling the Committee that the group of 40,000 immigration cases discovered in October 2009 had been immediately checked against the Police National Computer and the Watchlist. In fact, with the exception of 800 cases, The Agency did not make these checks until 18 months later between April and June 2011.5 She has not however apologised for giving the Committee incorrect information about the size of the asylum backlog.
34. It is appalling that a senior civil servant should have misled the Committee in the way that Ms Homer did and that she continues, even in the light of the Inspector’s findings, to try and evade responsibility for her failings. Reference to important figures in an obscure footnote in a previous letter is not an acceptable response. The Inspector’s findings about the asylum and immigration backlog are the latest in a long line of failings in the Border Agency, many of which occurred throughout Ms Homer’s time as Chief Executive.
36. This whole episode raises serious concerns about the accountability of the most senior civil servants to Parliament. It is shocking that after five years under Lin Homer’s leadership an organisation that was described at the beginning of the period as being ‘not fit for purpose’ should have improved its performance so little. Given this background, we are astounded that Ms Homer has been promoted to become Chief Executive and Permanent Secretary at Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and can therefore have little confidence in her ability to lead HMRC at what is a challenging time for that organisation. Indeed we note from Ms Homer’s appearance before the
Public Accounts Committee in January that one million letters were left unanswered at HMRC throughout 2012 and that 100,000 of these still remained unanswered on the date of her appearance before the Public Accounts Committee.
37. We recommend that Parliament be given a stronger role in the pre-appointment scrutiny of civil servants who will be leading government departments and we believe this strengthens the case for select committees to be given the power of veto. The status quo, in which catastrophic leadership failure is no obstacle to promotion, is totally unacceptable. We recommend that in future any failures of this nature should have serious consequences for the individual’s career.
14. It is appalling that a senior civil servant should have misled the Committee in the way that Ms Homer did and that she continues, even in the light of the Inspector’s findings, to try and evade responsibility for her failings. Reference to important figures in an obscure footnote in a previous letter is not an acceptable response. The Inspector’s findings about the asylum and immigration backlog are the latest in a long line of failings in the Border Agency, many of which occurred throughout Ms Homer’s time as Chief Executive. (Paragraph 34)
15. This whole episode raises serious concerns about the accountability of the most senior civil servants to Parliament. It is shocking that after five years under Lin Homer’s leadership an organisation that was described at the beginning of the period as being ‘not fit for purpose’ should have improved its performance so little. Given this background, we are astounded that Ms Homer has been promoted to become Chief Executive and Permanent Secretary at Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and can therefore have little confidence in her ability to lead HMRC at what is a challenging time for that organisation. Indeed we note from Ms Homer’s appearance before the Public Accounts Committee in January that one million letters were left
unanswered at HMRC throughout 2012 and that 100,000 of these still remained unanswered on the date of her appearance before the Public Accounts Committee.
16. We recommend that Parliament be given a stronger role in the pre-appointment scrutiny of civil servants who will be leading government departments and we believe this strengthens the case for select committees to be given the power of veto. The status quo, in which catastrophic leadership failure is no obstacle to promotion, is totally unacceptable. We recommend that in future any failures of this nature should have serious consequences for the individual’s career. (Paragraph 37)