This picture was taken outside the British Council office in Dublin recently, and shows two British Council employees and some of their supporters manning a picket line.
At a moment in history when Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness can chuckle together over a cup of tea, and Bertie Ahern can address the joint Houses of Parliament, is it not just a little disappointing that Britain’s representative “cultural relations” specialists, the organisation paid for by the British taxpayer to oil the wheels of diplomacy, can’t apparently do a better job with our nearest neighbour? Or even with its own employees?
The organisation that claims to have enabled 20 million people to discuss their shared future, has evidently had a little trouble in reaching two, just two, of its own employees. As the British Council restructures itself in Ireland, these women were deemed expendable, and were given the statutory minimum redundancy pay. As the British Council is now recruiting four “executive directors” on six figure salaries plus perks, perhaps the organisation needs a bit more slush in the salary barrel.
My spies tell me that the gent in the middle is a friend of the present British Council Chair, while the lady on his immediate left is a friend of the last one.