Thursday, April 13, 2006

Spin, CSR, Dan Smith, Really we are nice people

Former government adviser Des Smith has been arrested as part of a police probe into cash-for-honors allegations.

So, no more secret meetings between the head of Corporate Social Responsibility and Dan. Smith, as adviser to the government's £5bn city academy programme, it was revealed, had promised that wealthy individuals who agreed to make large donations to expand the programme would be rewarded with knighthoods and even peerages!

The freedom to protest is removed in certain circumstances in the Terrorism Act (2000). The freedom to go about your business without being questioned and harassed by the police also. So CSR managers need to be very careful. Top cop Yates is watching.

The arrest followed reports that the House of Lords Appointments Commission had blocked the appointment of four of Prime Minister Tony Blair's nominations for peerages - all wealthy businessmen who had made loans to Labour. All they wanted to do was say thier mind and because the freedom to demonstrate outside parliament was taken in the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (2005). they can't felt deprived.

Of course, we may never hear of Des again. The right to trial by jury was removed in certain cases by the Criminal Justice Act (2003), as was the right of silence and the rule of double jeopardy, which the British have had since Magna Carta. So, if they do't get him now, they can try, try and try again.

Des Smith, is a secondary headteacher who was also a council member of the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT), which helps the government to recruit sponsors for the academies.

He has resigne from the advisory post after admitting that he had been "naive" in comments to an undercover reporter.

"I have been shattered by this experience. I was naive. I shouldn't have said what I did. I'm desperately sorry," said Smith. Well he would say that wouldn't he, now that the freedom to communicate privately without surveillance is removed in the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (2000) and its further order in 2002. Just don't say it again Des. Under the Protection From Harassment Act (which was drafted so loosely that any repeated form of conduct could be deemed a crime). Mr Smith, youv'e blown your defence you can't even say 'sorry' again.

The government has hailed the involvement of business in the schools as bringing "a distinctive approach to school leadership, drawing on the skills of sponsors and other supporters." Yup!

But critics have questioned why bog standard businessmen with no record in education should be allowed to have a role in the running of schools. There are 27 established so far, which have largely replaced bog standard secondary schools that were, err... 'failing'.

The inquiry was originally launched in response to a complaint by Scottish and Welsh nationalist MPs that Labour had broken the law preventing the sale of honours such as peerages and knighthoods. Now, 'there's brave for yew'. But you can hide in the hills for a long time so I guess its all right for some.

The investigation is being led by Deputy Assistant Commissioner John Yates, who has said he is prepared to widen the investigation to consider more general allegations of corruption. Of course, he can work on who Des has been associating with including the school caretaker. The freedom of association was blunted in the Terrorism Act (2000) as was the presumption of innocence. This could be big problem for the school pupils. They HAVE been associating with Des (and with each other - a real conspiracy) soi they can expect a knock on the door from plod and not the Easter Bunny.

Of course, this is not a problem. Its an emergency and under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 during an emergency - which can be declared by Ministers orally and without parliament being consulted - the government can make special legislation in a seven-day period which allows the forced evacuation of people, the seizing of property without compensation, the banning of any assembly (which can include the House of Lords itself) the conferring of jurisdiction on any new court or tribunal. So, because a Minister (any Minister) only has to believe that an emergency is about to occur to grant himself or herself these powers. You see? You no longer even need a spin doctor.

So des could be smuggles out of clink and all would be OK.

If it turns out they are wrong, there is no sanction against the Minister so he's OK too. This means that there will be no doctors involved which is jolly handy because today loads of them look like they are going to be fired.

So Des, sorry mate, your fixed unless you know some 'really nice people' who are Ministers of the Crown.

Picture: Tony Blair at a City Academy - He was not saying 'This is how you sign a cheque'