Wednesday 27 January 2021

Don't Be Gulled

On BBC Two at nine o'clock, there is to be what promises to be a fascinating documentary, DeLorean: Back from the Future.

It was Patricia Hewitt who told speakers at Labour Party Conferences, "Do not use the word "equality"; the preferred term is "fairness"." She it was, a mere Press Officer, who, in a sign of things to come, was not told where to get off for having presumed so to instruct her betters. 

She went on to help found the Institute for Public Policy Research, and then, soon after Tony Blair became Leader, to become Head of Research at Andersen Consulting. That was a position for which she had no apparent qualification beyond her closeness to the Prime Minister in Waiting.

In 1997, she entered Parliament, he entered Downing Street, and the Labour commitment to regulate such companies was dropped. 

As was the previous Conservative Government's absolute ban on all work for Andersen in view of its role in the DeLorean fraud. Andersen paid just over £21 million of the £200 million that Thatcher and Major had demanded, barely covering the Government's legal costs.

It went on to write, among other things, a report claiming that the Private Finance Initiative was good value for money. That was the only report on the subject that the Blair Government ever cited, since it was the only one to say that ridiculous thing. 

As Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Hewitt tried to give auditors limited liability. It took the Conservative Opposition and the Bush Administration to see her off. Last September, she was made an Adviser to the Board of Trade.

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