But it's lost on the people in Edinburgh who are having a struggle with A4e. A group called Edinburgh Claimants supports people who have serious problems with officialdom. They have won the right to provide a representative to accompany claimants in interviews at the Jobcentre, with Atos, the local council, and even at two of the welfare-to-work providers in the area, Ingeus and JHP. But A4e won't co-operate. They refuse to have representatives there and sanction people if they try to insist. You can read the full story on http://www.edinburghagainstpoverty.org.uk/. Why? What do they want to hide? The Edinburgh group think that it's a matter of human rights, and I'm inclined to agree. I'm following this story with interest. Perhaps A4e are only practising "conscious capitalism".
Friday, 29 April 2011
The voracious appetite for publicity that is characteristic of A4e and Emma Harrison sometimes appears ridiculous. But it does have an effect. They convince not only themselves but others who accept it all without question. Take, for instance, an article on the Huffington Post. The author, American Margaret Heffernan, came to the UK. "Our trip focused on companies that are good for people, the planet and profits. This is also variously called Conscious Capitalism or social entrepreneurship". And guess what she found? Her nine examples include Jamie Oliver's 15, Divine chocolate and, yes, A4e, which is, she says, "working with insane dedication to prove that everyone is employable if you take enough time and give enough attention. The unbelievable energy of A4E employees also testifies to how much difference a sense of purpose can make. You don't have to pay a fortune to get great performance from your people." Heffernan cites these companies as examples of greed being "supplanted by purpose". Which proves that the propaganda works.