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Arthur

Another excellent bit of work on yet another bit of Council malpractice.

At Sir David Green's infamous Foreign Affairs Committee appearance on Wednesday, 12 July 2006 (You remember, "First, can I nail one thing and that is that all of the work we do in terms of teaching English through our language schools and the examinations that we promote on behalf of examination boards is not in any way subsidised by the grant-in-aid. It is a completely separate operation and there is no subsidy of those operations by the grant."), he went on to say:
"Our purpose is to win friends for the UK and to win friends who are going to be friends for the long term. Traditional diplomacy is no longer sufficient in the world in which we live and public diplomacy is therefore a very important tool in order to build a constituency of support for the UK, and I believe vital to our long-term prosperity and security. What the British Council does is to build
friendships and long-term relationships with people who are going to be in positions of authority and influence in the future, so we target the successor generation, the younger people. Therefore, we have to engage with them in areas that are going to be of interest to them. That could be the arts, education-primarily education-science, English language and sport."

The "successor generation" is a convenient smokescreen for the Council's greasing of present-day palms to enable it to carry on doing what it does best: lining its own pockets. It has been a long-accepted part of Council practice that the way to influential people's hearts was through free or reduced price English classes for their family and friends.

Quite how the "completely separate operation" musters the resources to decide whether the lucky individuals really are part of "the successor generation" and to follow up over the years to check that those who received free classes are in positions of influence will remain unanswered until there is a serious public enquiry into the operations of the British Council.

Adam

It is very interesting reading your comments on the British Council, it's widely known in Seoul that the British Council have used diplomatic protection to circumnavigate employment law. It is also recognised locally that they employ tourists illegally - especially as IELTS examiners.

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