The following is an unedited excerpt from the most recent letter sent by the British Council “Chief Executive” Martin Davidson to his staff around the world. You can tell its provenance from the neurotic repetition of a particular word which rhymes with “sussed”.
We all know that for an organisation whose primary purpose is to build trust for the UK and between the people of the UK and overseas, being able to demonstrate the link between cultural relations and trust is critically important. It is very exciting therefore that now, for the first time, we have independent research which shows that cultural and educational links do indeed build trust and that increased trust has a direct link with economic and social benefits for the countries that share it.
The IPSOS MORI findings show that people who take part in cultural relations activities are more likely to trust the UK and its people than those who dont. Trust strengthens relationships and helps lay the foundation for prosperity and security.
In its metronomic (and rather cynical) use of the word, the British Council instinctively steers away from the fundamental truth: that the first requirement - indeed the only and the absolute requirement - for building trust is that you should be trustworthy. The British Council is not.
Regular readers will know how we have related numerous examples of the organisation’s duplicity and deceit, its greed, its evasiveness and its self-indulgence. This branch of the FCO masquerades as a charity, does dodgy deals with businesses at home and abroad, routinely lies about its own activities and practices, and uses a clutch of companies around the world as a cover for its financial dealings. If it is true to say as above that “trust strengthens relationships”, then what the manipulative liars in the British Council do is precisely the opposite, and we would all – in terms of cash, international relations and the integrity of our institutions – be a great deal better off if it were disbanded.
Hemingway said that the best way to find out whether you can trust somebody is to trust them. He was right. The purpose of this blog is to prevent others making that mistake with the British Council.