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Sarah Palin's image already appears on the newer nickels.

calendar   Sunday - September 20, 2009

HORSING AROUND WITH TAXPAYER MONEY.  BUSINESS AS USUAL

Not that the same can’t happen or doesn’t happen elsewhere.  But my concern (for now) is here coz it’s where I are.
Talks of belt tightening and money shortage and cuts proposed in spending .... it’s all talk.

For those of you not familiar with a broadsheet newspaper, it is VERY large.
Measures 29 inches across when opened full, and 22 and 3/4 inches top to bottom. That’s pretty darn large.
Now then, keeping those measurements in mind, on one side of today’s paper in HUGE PRINT way bigger then this .... is a headline that reads “How the the cuts will hit you.”

Cuts?  What cuts? Oh right. Just the ones that hit the average person trying to make ends meet. But certainly NOT these folks.

I already have a headache from my last post.  I’m gone for awhile.


Taxpayers fund ‘Doolittle’ awayday for quango staff

Chris Hastings
The Sunday Times

MOST would regard it as horseplay, but staff at a disability quango have been sent to a farm at taxpayers’ expense to improve management skills by communicating with animals.

The “equine assisted leadership” courses are among a series of bizarre awaydays and team-building exercises used by public bodies to train staff, according to documents obtained under freedom of information rules.
Councils, Whitehall departments, police forces and quangos are spending millions of pounds sending staff to Shakespeare-themed classes, go-karting and on escapades involving black cabs.
“I don’t think taxpayers will approve of this kind of expenditure, particularly in the current climate,” said Jeremy Hunt, the Tory culture spokesman.

“Civil servants hoping to bond with a future Conservative government would be wise to look again at how they are spending public funds.”
In July, two human resources employees at the Independent Living Fund, a disability agency sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions, took part in the equine leadership session at a farm in Derbyshire. They were asked to give non-verbal commands to horses to determine the effectiveness of their body language.

Roz Watkins, director of Templeton Finn, the firm which runs the courses, said: “We use the horses to try and help people understand how they communicate. Many people are totally unaware of their body language. The horses are very perceptive and can pick up the most subtle signals.” The session cost the fund £180.

In December 2008, 20 staff from the Leasehold Advisory Service took part in the so-called “black cab challenge”. They were divided into teams and raced around London in taxis, taking photographs of specified sights and collecting souvenirs. Participants also had to complete The Times crossword and choreograph a song-and-dance routine. The three-hour session cost £2,357.

Dan Collins, director of Fresh Tracks, which organised the event, said: “The black cab challenge is designed so that people can discover each other’s skills. It’s all about combining fun and learning.”

Several Whitehall departments have turned to the theatre for inspiration. Foreign Office staff have taken part in role-playing exercises organised by the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Staff from a business department quango called the Fair Markets Group and colleagues from UK Trade and Investment, as well as Bedfordshire police, have been on leadership courses run by Richard Olivier, son of Laurence Olivier.

The total cost of sending 200 business department staff on courses themed around Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Henry V was £9,000. “We use The Tempest to help staff who are trying to implement change in difficult circumstances. In the play, Prospero is doing just that,” said Olivier.
The Northern Lighthouse Board organised a go-karting trip for six staff in October last year which cost £1,952.

Additional reporting: Annabel Turner

SUNDAY TIMES


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 09/20/2009 at 09:42 AM   
Filed Under: • EconomicsUK •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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