How our leaders download their problems
Today's London Sunday Times has a genuinely alarming story about the latest alleged antics of members of our New Labour Government — alarming because of its revelation not only of a near-criminal waste of public money, but also, even more spine-chillingly, of the conspicuous lack of common-sense and judgement of the idiots concerned. The story, worth reading in full, begins:
Call my life coach, not a spin doctor
Isabel Oakeshott, Deputy Political Editor
PATRICIA HEWITT and other cabinet ministers are receiving "life coaching" at taxpayers' expense to help them cope with the pressures of government. Chartered psychologists are each being paid an estimated £250 per hour to act as mentors to the health secretary and her senior civil servants.
In a new training technique being used widely in Whitehall, ministers and their staff are assigned personal coaches, whom they are expected to treat as "critical friends", using role-playing sessions to prepare for running the country. A string of other government departments, including No 10, the Home Office, the Foreign Office, the Cabinet Office, the Department for Transport and the Treasury, are also using chartered psychologists, at an annual cost estimated at several million pounds.
One firm, ER Consultants, teaches ministers and mandarins how to improve their "emotional intelligence" and encourages them to "download" their problems.
Let's hope that it will turn out to be untrue. But don't bet on it.
Hat-tips: my wife, as usual, and old mate David Tothill.