Saturday, 23 April 2011

Inherent Corruption

On the spur of the moment my wife and I sped our way from the South West to the Metropolis of Glasgow to meet with relatives who were waiting for a flight back to Bristol and had an afternoon to kill. We were sitting down stairs in the excellent basement restaurant at the Kelvingrove  Museum watching the showers come and go, when discussion turned to what we were all up to.

My brother in law is a high powered corporate turn around expert and currently he is giving a hand to the listed building restoration Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) my sister in law works for as a project manager. Having been in business consultancy myself conversation came round to business cultures and since both of us are ex-services the inevitable comparison between civilian and military work ethic came into play.

The point that brought this up was my brother in law describing how much money was expended a month in replacing ‘lost’ or damaged tools some £30k a year in a SME turning over £800K a year at present. He then explained how workers were inflating their hours so that a job that had been assessed to take two days routinely took five again a cost to the SME and another nail in its fiscal coffin. It was clear to me, as it was to my brother in law, from the more detailed discussion there is something very sick at the heart of this SME so I asked him: what and how was he going to turn it around?

It appears that the SME was in difficulty because the owner used its cash flow in the same way as we may have used credit cards or a petty cash box. Some months they would suddenly draw down £5k and other months £2k. The impact on the work force was that this random raiding would occasionally leave them unpaid for a week or so until a client paid up. There was also a culture where the owner would do friends ‘favours’ by taking on sons to give them some work even though they had none of the high skills required for listed building renovation, work they carried out would always need redone at further cost to the company and increasing resentment from the skilled work force. All these insidious gripes amongst the skilled work force presented in a work culture where, it was OK to fiddle the boss by extending working hours and permanently ‘borrowing’ equipment as the boss was ‘at it’ as well - even though they know, inevitably it will mean the company going bust and them out of a job.

In the Royal Navy equipment does not go adrift as any piece of equipment you use goes on your personal ‘slop chit’ and if it is lost or misused you have to pay for it. Encompassing this is a sense of corporate responsibility where the actions of one person are the responsibility of all. There is a clear understanding that everyone is dependent on every one else, often failure to carry this through may mean serious consequences for all and not just the individual. There is a high level of self policing amongst all in an effect regiment, squadron or ship and a rejection of the idea that it is OK to permanently borrow stuff (especially from your own unit) or misuse shared resources on the quiet.

This morning I looked again at the Newsnet headline on further evidence of Glasgow’s Labour run council’s misuse of resources for their own gain, reconsidered what is wrong in that organisation and just how it is just like the failing SME my brother in law is looking to turn around.

Take any one of the Glasgow ALEOs. The SLARC report makes clear that there are too many councillors and council officials sitting on Glasgow’s ALEO boards while being paid too much money for carrying out ‘oversight’ they should be doing as councillors or officials, in any case. You have councillors on these ALEO boards who have been caught using their ALEO budgets to fund Labour Party activities contrary to Council Rules, Statute and Standing Orders all in breech of the Representation of the People Act. Is it any surprise then that officials do ‘favours’ for their pals when it comes to contract issues or that organised crime can operate seamlessly within the Glasgow Labour Council to the gain of millions of pounds per annum for their front companies?

Then when an objectively evidenced complaint on misuse of Glasgow council funds arrives on the Standard Commissioners desk what do we find?  Yes, it is against the Representation of the People Act, Council Standing Orders and the rest but they have been doing it like that for years and no one has complained before, so that makes it ‘OK’. The Standard Commissioners turn the ultimate ‘Nelsonian’ blind eye. The folk who are supposed to represent our best interests and ensure a level political playing field settle instead from the lowest common denominator - ‘Its aye been’!

Just what sort of message does that send out to the Glasgow Council workforce except it is ok to falsify work dockets and take what you want from the depot or office?

It can not be much of a surprise to find that Strathclyde Police leaks information like a sieve when one of their past Police Authority Labour members acknowledged how well she knew Louise Rodden, the McGovern Syndicate’s ‘security’ expert, who turned up at a Murphy Fund Raiser.  While Strathclyde Police acknowledge the successful attempts of the gangs to put place men and women in their organisation and have taken steps to plug the holes  I worry about the Glasgow Fiscal’s Office especially when you note that Rodden had his sentence for trying to acquire a security contract in South Ayrshire with a samurai sword or its like halved with no opposition from the fiscal’s office. This has to raise concerns about the Fiscal Office’s passivity into the investigation of Purcell and the ALEO contracts given to his pals and their continuing failure to support Strathclyde Police’s warrant applications in this matter.

The thrawn Glasgow public will look at their feet and say – Whit can we dae, its aye been the same and anywa’ thon politicians, thir aw the same, better the deil ye naw, I’ll be voting Labour, nae matter.
In Tammany Hall, at the end of George Street, the brown envelopes will continue to circulate and the thrawn Glasgow public will continue to shake their heads, hoping it will all just go away while criminal elements; political, official and legitimate will stow their pouches to overflowing with tax payer’s money and laugh all the way to the Costa del Crime.

Its enough to mak ye scunnert an’ seek tae yer belly, sa it is.

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