Friday, 24 February 2012

Would you believe it?

Who would have believed this even a few weeks ago?  A4e and Emma Harrison are all over the papers and even the BBC has had to take an interest.  I've learned something about media-speak.  "It emerged" means "we've just realised", and there has been a lot of that going on.  Some of the reporting has been woefully ignorant, because journalists don't know the background and are rushing into print before doing their research.  As a writer in The Week puts it, "There is now a fight over who should get the glory for pushing Harrison out. Margaret Hodge claimed the credit for her committee on the BBC Today programme yesterday, but the Daily Mail, which has given the story the biggest coverage, today claims 'The Mail led the way'. The Mail also accuses the BBC of ignoring the revelations until this week."  Indeed , the Mail is running a piece claiming that "The Mail led the way".  It didn't.  Those of you who actually read this blog will know that the story broke when the Guardian reported on the meeting of Margaret Hodge's committee.  It got a lot more attention when the Mail weighed in, but they didn't lead the way.  But maybe we could go further back and share the credit between this blog and Private Eye for highlighting the dividend paid to Harrison.  The Eye is used to banging on about something for ages until finally the mainstream press catches up and claims the credit.
"It emerged", says the Mail (no, it was made public ages ago and we reported it) that A4e, or an arm of it, got the contract to design payment-by-results contracts for helping familes with complex needs.  Fiona Mactaggart MP objects, naturally.  But the Mail also makes public the fact that A4e has just become the preferred bidder on another contract, worth £15m, to rehabilitate prisoners in London.
The Star, Sheffield's local paper, has a different take on all this.  They say that Lib Dems call Labour's attacks "cynical", given David Blunkett's involvement in the company.  Blunkett is indignant.  “This is a rather cheap and extremely nasty personal attack on me.”


  1. I couldn't keep up with the coverage last night on the BBC regarding "slave labour" First Question Time which overlapped with Newsnight then Generally the consensus of opinion these schemes were good for young people.

    After these two programmes, This Week, where top chef Michel Roux Junior gave a report that he is very happy to take on youngsters and that not being paid is power for the course. You start at the bottom and work up the ladder.

    Michael Portillo and Jaqui Smith, resident guests, also were pro schemes although Jaqui Smith did express her fear that there was nothing after these placements.

  2. Work being the word in working your way up. so why not be paid for that WORK?

  3. Working for nothing is good for young people? yep would do wonders for a young persons confidence being valued at nothing by a company.

  4. it's not about working for nothing it's about giving some people the opportunity to actually have the experience of being in a working environment when a lot of young people haven't had the chance


Keep it clean, please. No abusive comments will be approved, so don't indulge in insults. If you wish to contact me, post a comment beginning with "not for publication".