(This post written slightly drunk).
So the UK Government has released data on its accounts, for anyone who likes it to analyze to encourage transparency. This is an excellent idea. Unfortunately, they released it to the Guardian, who claim (rather grandiosely) that they are one of a select group of “data handling specialists” who were given the data to analyse.
The Guardian is staffed with journalists. These are people who couldn’t organize a root in a brothel. They’re idiots, the dumbest slimebags at university. Data handling specialists? Let’s have a look at their special achievements, shall we?
- First of all they have this charming “graphic” which is actually a cherry-picked wad of shit. It supposedly shows the largest private contractors paid by the UK government and is clearly designed to imply that “Capita” is larger than the Post Office. Only the fine print says that 3.1bn pounds of Capita’s 3.3 bn pound budget is … Teacher pensions. So Capita are being paid 200 million pounds a year to handle 3.1 billion pounds of pension money, a total commission of 6%. I’m pretty sure this is comparable to a low-grade super account, but even if it’s inefficient compared to the banking sector it’s hardly a 3.3bn pound rort, is it?
- Next we have “the interesting nugget that the Cabinet Office spent £25,000 over the period with DLA Piper, the law firm that employs Miriam González Durántez, Nick Clegg’s wife. The contracts date back to 2008 and the Labour government but it does look a bit uncomfortable.” No, I’m sorry, but if the previous government was paying the wife of the leader of a different party to do some work, it’s not uncomfortable at all. Does the Guardian think that the Labour party was selecting the wife of the leader of its secondary political rival (and one of the main causes of its loss of votes to the left) on the basis of cronyism? And is this somehow meant to reflect in any way on the current government, which has been in power for less than a year? Could we clutch at any more pathetic straws than this?
- We have outrage at HMRC spending 146,000 pounds on watercoolers. Sounds bad, doesn’t it? but think about that for a moment… HMRC – Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs – has staff working 8-12 hour shifts at every port and airport in the country, inspecting (in theory!) luggage – these people have to drink. It also runs the tax office. Is it possible that a few of these coolers are set up in customer service areas? Across the country? Possibly, yes, possibly, this bill is quite small given the size of the enterprise and its customer service focus
- We have the terrible finding that the Equality and Human Rights Commission spent 750 pounds at a bar. A bar! Imagine, if a government agency paid for a party! Staff morale would be raised! More efficient work would be done! Perish the thought…
The Guardian. Fucking idiots.