“Truth will triumph” once their motto
Now is uttered only Sotto
Voce. Since then they have tried
“Creating opportunity worldwide”
Which comes to mean, I understand,
Make sure you pocket all you can.
Sell exhibitions, publications,
Sell English, sell examinations,
And be sure that every ounce’ll
Fatten up the British Council.
Half a million pounds a day
From the taxpayer comes their way
Plus the contracts from ID,
DFES and MOD.
Plus tax exemptions (on condition
Of a charitable mission)
And of course we have to mention
The splendid index-linked pension.
Our generous amounts’ll
Fill pockets at the British Council.
When middle managers take a side,
And all malpractice is denied,
Can all be wrong? Indeed they can.
But, worse, they have engaged the man
Who tops the iceberg (the bit that’s seen)
Director General David Green,
Beknighted at a point, aloof,
Where Harold Skimpole meets Tartuffe.
And if strong light should make ice melt he
Can call Lord Kinnock of Bedwellty.
Together they may then agree
To mollify the FAC.
So should we give way, and appease
Even the esteemed trustees?
We’ve made our case, maybe too late
For Cubie and for Haythornthwaite,
But Lemos, Kelly, or Lord May
Or Grant or Buckle or O’Shea
Might seek the truth. Who knows how far we
Might get with Neuberger or Badawi?
Or would they all use the fat file
That holds all matters in denial?
Have the myths and legends gotten’em
(Like David Triesman, Lord of Tottenham)?
Transparency just wanes and fades,
For all above assert that strength
Comes from being “at arm’s length”
From Government. But from justice too -
And there’s the rub, which I and you
And they must now resolve at once.
It’s not their money, it’s our bunce,
Our enterprise, and we pay tax
Not to have these types relax
At our expense. Time to address
The unique British Council mess.