This has just made me laugh from Maugham and his Good Law Project -
It’s been a while since you heard from us in our ‘Jobs for the Boys’ case so we wanted to give you an update. As you’ll remember, the case focused on the appointments of Dido Harding – wife of a Conservative MP and friend of David Cameron – first as Head of Test and Trace and then later as Head of the National Institute for Health Protection without any adequate process. Later in the process, we asked about Kate Bingham and Mike Coupe.We continue to await a hearing date from the High Court – but we have had an explanation from Government of the process that was followed for Kate Bingham to be appointed. That process was less poor than Government had previously led us to understand and so we will not challenge her appointment. https://goodlawproject.org/update/appoint-based-on-merit/?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=social%20media&utm_campaign=harding%202306
Let me explain why it made me smile.
This was what GLP said originally - look at the first person they name...
...and also their stated reasons for applying for a Judicial Review...Jobs for their mates: We’re suing
Kate Bingham heads up Britain’s vaccine task force. She’s a venture capitalist with no public health experience, married to a Conservative minister. Dido Harding leads the Test and Trace system. She has no public health experience and is the wife of a Conservative MP. Mike Coupe, is head of COVID-19 testing, and has – you guessed it – no public health experience. The list goes on.
Why – when facing the single greatest threat to public health this country has ever seen – would the Government of the day not want the best-qualified people to lead the response?
Thousands of lives depend on these public bodies. Yet this Government has handed them over without competition to cronies who’ve channelled billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money to private companies and their associates
– while the Test and Trace system fails.
In response to our pre-action letter demanding ministers reveal how and why these individuals were chosen to lead vital public health bodies, Government failed to produce any evidence. But they concur that the roles were not openly advertised: there was no proper recruitment process. A number of people – who just happen to share the quality of being friends of the Conservative Party – were just given the nod
. This is not the Britain we should be, and we don’t believe it is lawful. So we’ve taken the next step in our claim with the Runnymede Trust and filed for judicial review. In accordance with our desire for transparency, we have posted the bundle so you can read it.Closed recruitment particularly discriminates against Black, Asian and minority ethnic people, and disabled people
. The Government’s practice of offering these roles unpaid rules out those without family wealth. Those who don’t rub shoulders with high-ranking Ministers are often shut out
. And public confidence is undermined: how can we see, without transparency, whose interests this serves? The public’s – or the private interests of friends of the Conservative Party? Government now has 21 days to respond.
When we come to look at the evidence of how we managed the pandemic – with both excess deaths and the hit to the economy among the highest in the developed world – what will we conclude about who benefitted from giving jobs and contracts to friends?
If our politicians care in the slightest about public trust, public service needs to be exactly that, not a cloak for the advancement of private interests.https://goodlawproject.org/update/jobs-for-mates-jr/
So a substantial part of their court action is to do with discrimination that is racial and against the disabled and poor's ability to be considered for those specific jobs
Why then does that exclude Kate Bingham's appointment?
Answer is that it doesn't!
Why have they now dropped their action in relation to Kate Bingham?
Could it be because she happened to do a bloody good job and been made a Dame because of it?
Nothing else has changed has it - still appointed in the same way she had been last year and she's still a venture capitalist and married to a Conservative minister...
If in the words of GLP her appointment is less poor than what they thought it was, then did the government advertise the job, hold interviews, make the job salaried, and all the other stuff GLP claimed illegal...?
Nope, it was just the same as the others they have objected to.
And if it was still just 'less poor' doesn't that still mean by definition that it was still poor, and if so why the change of heart in not progressing with the case against her...?
I mean they are going to be in court any way, so it won't cost them anything (not as though it was costing them anything anyway - being crowdfunded as they are!).
If I was the QC representing the government I'd be letting the judge know at every opportunity that Dido Harding and the others were appointed in exactly the same way as Kate Bingham was - which the GLP by withdrawing their action in respect of her clearly indicates that they were satisfied that her appointment was made correctly - so how come they don't believe Harding and the others were not???
Oh and by the way, they've seem to have gone awfully quiet about this too!!!
...wonder why???Covid-19 contracts smell of cronyism – so I'm taking the government to court
There is an England of my mind. And in it those who have made their fortunes offer their time and talents in service of the public good, modelling self-sacrifice and respect for good governance to ensure the nation thrives. But that England is no longer this England.
Take the story of Kate Bingham. She is wife to a Treasury minister and cousin by marriage to Boris Johnson’s sister. Despite having – by her own admission – no vaccines experience, she was appointed by the prime minister, as far as we know without competition, to head up the “vaccines taskforce”.
With this role came responsibility for investing billions of pounds of public money, a task she performed while remaining managing director of a private equity firm specialising in health investments. While in post she gave, again apparently without competition, a £670,000 contract to a tiny PR firm, whose last accounts show net assets of less than a third of that sum. Its directors include Collingwood Cameron, a longstanding business associate of Humphry Wakefield (better known as Dominic Cummings’ father-in-law).
The Good Law Project, which I run, has received what I consider bullish legal advice from a leading procurement specialist that the letting of the contract to the PR firm, Admiral Public Relations and Marketing, was unlawful.https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/nov/16/covid-19-contracts-cronyism-government-court