Friday, 26 April 2013

Accountablity

An over-cosy relationship between Departments of State and the accountancy cartel? That never used to be a Conservative problem. After the DeLorean fraud, the Thatcher Government banned Arthur Andersen from any British Government contracts. The Major Government continued that policy.

Therefore, Arthur Andersen became a major corporate sponsor of New Labour events in Opposition, Patricia Hewitt was made Head of Research at Andersen Consulting in 1994, and papers were produced on the cheap setting out how to pursue the Marxism Today crowd's pet policies.

Labour's policy of banning accountants from selling extras to their clients, a flagrant conflict of interest, was dropped and has never been implemented, any more than John Smith's signature policy that employment rights should begin with employment and apply regardless of the number of hours worked.

In November 1997, the Treasury Solicitor barely covered his own costs when he allowed Andersen to pay a mere £21 million of the £200 million that the previous Conservative Government had demanded be reimbursed to the defrauded taxpayer. And away things went.

Andersen duly took over providing the supposedly professional cover for the ripping up of the London Underground, for the running of Railtrack until that very management necessitated renationalisation, for the Millennium Dome, and for the Private Finance Initiative.

All the while, it was signing off the accounts of Enron. Blair and Hewitt even wanted to give accountancy firms limited liability for that sort of thing. It took the Bush Administration to stop them. The Bush Administration.

Truly, the Conservatives have become New Labour.

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