Saturday, 17 August 2013

Capita! The Movie - Day Zero is Tomorrow ! The problems with "useful idiots"

Last week we announced that we would be making a new film, Capita! The Movie - Day Zero is Tomorrow. I have to say I've been overwhelmed with interest. I mean, I sort of expected to be slightly whelmed, given the local reaction to the One Barnet program, where Capita are taking over Barnet Council and we will be paying our taxes to them in future.

What I hadn't really expected was the national response. Following our Capita week expose of their operations, I was aware of all manner of issues up and down the country, but I wasn't prepared for the bombardment with interest from all of these far flung places. Perhaps the group who are best organised and have best documented the chronicle of Crapitisation are the Court interpreters. I had dabbled with the story, but this group have a cast iron case. The outsourcing of Court Translation simply isn't working. It is bringing chaos to the legal system and it is even costing Capita a small fortune. In short, the whole thing is a shipwreck of titanic proportions. To quote Capita TI's accounts "increase in turnover and £15m. operating loss is due to the onerous courts' interpretation contract." Have a look at the following link to a blog detailing a real horror story - - and bear in mind that this is not trivial. This contract is vital for the legal system to function.

As we try and build a framework for our film, already it seems to me that film will take a rather different route and format from the one I imagined even a week ago. What I originally sought to set out was how the ongoing creep of outsourcing would start to affect our lives. It has become clear that we are not "dipping our toes" into this sea. We are already up to our waist in it. This is a quite useful analogy. Just imagine that you have let your child go for a day out with the family of some of his friends. They are out for a stroll and find a lovely beach. The sun is hot and the sea is blue. Your children want to jump in and play. The beach is deserted, what more blissful scene could you imagine? But what if they didn't bother to read the sign which warns about dangerously strong currents? Your sons custodians don't know the beach, they don't know the sea conditions locally. Why are they the only people on such a beautiful beach? Do they say to your kids "off you go, jump in, you'll be OK, because we'll be watching you!".

That is very much what all manner of local authorities are doing.They haven't done their homework. Even worse, in many cases, they have seen the warning signs but still have chosen tojump in. And when it all goes horribly wrong they will say "Sorreeeeeee" and walk away. If your child had a tragic accident in such circumstances, how would you feel about their custodians. Would you say "It doesn't matter, you did it with the best intentions" or would you feel betrayed and let down by their lack of care for those in their charge. Would you say "Why didn't you check? Why didn't you read the warning signs?" What would you say if they replied  "Well the Sun was shining and we were all very happy and so we didn't bother". You would conclude that you had entrusted your loved ones to dangerous idiots. You would beat yourself up for ever trusting them.

Which brings us back to the Court interpreters contract and One Barnet. In our anaolgy, the slack parents are Barnet Council. We entrusted our council to them. The warning sign that they haven't bothered to read is the Court Interpreters contract, and other Capita failures. They cannot deny they were not aware of thse, because myself and the fellow bloggers of Barnet, BAPS, and just about anyone with any common sense warned them. Like the slack parents, they still let the people in their care jump in and to hell with the consequences.

And that is how I intend to start the film. On the beach, because that really is where we are. So if you know a nice beach with quicksand, riptides and a beautiful setting, within a couple of hours drive of here, please leave a comment. I have racked my brains trying to figure out to demonstrate where we are in this. What better way to demonstrate it? The waters in Barnet may be still at the moment......

Stalin used to talk about "useful idiots". I can only conclude that this is exactly how they see the people who have signed the One Barnet Contract.

1 comment:

caroline said...

Not near you, but the sands of Blackpool beach go on forever when the tide is out. Unfortunately there are patches of quicksand and I understand that the tide comes back in really quickly, trapping the unwary who have gone for a long walk to the waterline.