Tory philosophy includes the directive that if something is necessary for the well-being of the public then it is the role of the Tories to ensure a few exploiters get rich from it. Where there is need, there is Tory corruption.
Hundreds of multi-million pound untendered contracts for a variety of products and services for management of Covid-19 pandemic continue to be handed to a cornucopia of businesses, most of which are either recruitment companies or else subcontract all requirements of their contracts to others. The cost to the public of each contract is significantly greater than costs of products or services incurred by the recipient of each contract. Huge profits are being taken by businesses with no expertise related to their respective government contracts. Many of the businesses have connections to Tory MPs and many are donors to the Tory party. It is corruption on a scale unmatched in the history of the UK.
One consequence of the pandemic is closure of schools and subsequent need for online learning for pupils. Ineluctably, Tories’ management of out of school education is a shambles. Laptops provided for children for home learning were infected with malware. The supplier of the laptops, Computacenter, is owned by a six-figure donor to the Tory party and the cost of each laptop via the contract was twice what it costs normally.
It is the Department For Education’s (DfE) responsibility to ensure children are taught. In the context of school closures, it is DfE’s responsibility to provide access to online learning for all children. It failed to do that. Education Secretary Gavin Williamson failed to do his job.
Williamson’s incompetence is a smokescreen for corruption. He is listed as a ‘Supporter’ of private online tutoring business Invicta National Academy that supplies lessons in selected subjects (Mathematics and English) for primary school children. Sian Norris reported for Byline that Invicta altered its description of people now called ‘Supporters.’ Prior to being contacted by Byline they were called ‘Sponsors.’ All ‘Sponsors’/’Supporters’ and both of the company’s co-founders have close ties to the Tory party and include MPs, councillors and parliamentary candidates.
Invicta was created because of the need for online learning due to the pandemic.
“During the summer of 2020 and as a direct result of of COVID-19, Invicta Academy was set up with the sole purpose of helping the children of the United Kingdom catch up on missed learning.”
Co-founder Stephen James – former Tory parliamentary candidate, Deputy Chairman Political & Campaigning at Folkestone and Hythe Conservative Association, and founder of Conservative Friends of Education – observed inadequacies of online learning provision during the pandemic and, rather than blaming the culprits (and his good friends) in the Tory government, he chose to blame teachers’ trades’ unions.
“The unions are basically saying ‘do not live teach’, and they are not for it because they see it as extra workload for teachers. It just seems that for every solution, they come up with a problem, which is a real shame. The profession deserves better than the unions.” Stephen James, quoted in Stephen James in Mail
James’ criticisms of unions were, of course, an invention. He knew who was to blame but his political allegiances and profit margins for his business motivated him to attack teachers.
Many of Invicta’s courses appear to be free to use but there is a lack of clarity of funding for Invicta including the reactive decision to rebrand ‘Sponsors’ as ‘Supporters,’ and only initial courses are free. Its 11+ Preparation Price List stated that
“We are also dedicated to levelling up the 11+ playing field so that children from all socio-economic backgrounds have the same chance of passing the test. Therefore, a proportion of our 11+ places will always be reserved for children from disadvantaged backgrounds to attend free of charge. Please visit www.InvictaFoundation.com to find out more.”
The link to Invicta Foundation does not work and the Charity Commission stated that Invicta Foundation no longer exists.
Among Invicta’s financial ‘Sponsors,’ who remain listed as ‘Sponsors,’ are Richard Oldfield, chairman of Oldfield Partners PLL, a global investment business that advises people with money how to increase their wealth via others’ work, and Tory councillor Rory Love.
Williamson, like all of his Tory cabinet colleagues, uses any crisis as potential source of profit for himself, his political colleagues, his business associates, his friends and his family. That is ingrained Tory philosophy. It is immutable.
James is an opportunist and a Tory loyalist.
Final word from children’s poet Michael Rosen:
“If the government were serious about home learning during lockdown, they would have hired strings of experts in our fields – writers, scientists, historians, geographers etc and got us to talk directly on zoom to different ages of students for twenty to thirty minute chunks.” Michael Rosen, 25th January 2021