A very concerning clause in the contract for delivering the Government’s new Work and Health Programme states that signed-up charities must “pay the utmost regard to the standing and reputation” to Esther McVey and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
The Disability News Service revealed the existence of this clause in a great piece of journalism available here.
The fact that any Government body feels that this kind of clause is appropriate is very worrying. No Government body should ever be free from criticism, and should certainly not make work dependent on it, and any contract which specifically states this conjures up the belief that even going into the process they know that there is something which may cause criticism.
This is a very dark move that any department feels this is appropriate and it should be looked into further.
We deal generally with ethical marketing but would like Governments to be held to similarly ethical values.
We do try to be politically neutral here at EMN, as there are good and bad and ethical and unethical people of all political persuasuons and thought for a while about whether to feature this as a news article but feltt that our own feelings were creeping into it too much so I decided to do it as a blog post to highlight this as I feel able to give my own feelings more when blogging than writing and Idid not want the pos to come across as an attack on Government but felt very strongly that in my opinion this sets a very worrying precendent. Contracts should never be given out dependent on the party saying nice things about the Government if they’re a charity and they view something which is being done as wrong.
It makes you wonder if things are being said to the BBC about how they report news with rgeards to their charter review for example, Governments should be big enough to back up their decisions without resorting to blackmailing charities to keep quiet.
As for paying the utmost regard to the tsaning and reputation of Esther McVey, that alone seems a strange comment, especially when it was revealed in a week in which she was repeated heckled at the Scottish Parliament for her support of some of the more troubling moments of this Government’s tenure such as the “rape Clause and Universal Credit.
Taking the politics out of it, no Government should be dictating who gets contracts based on whether they refuse to criticise and this is somethibg which should be challenged and watched.