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Garden Bridge failure should be likened to Kids Company scandal, MPs told


I'm not sure I like the comparison with Kids Company. Yes, there were charismatic individuals at the helm of both - although it's probably not often that Camila Batmanghelidjh and Joanna Lumley are grouped together - but Kids Company was criticised for handing out money to needy individuals without sufficient scrutiny while the Garden Bridge lot, backed all the way by the then mayor, can be criticised for handing out money to the very well heeled. Not for a second would I compare that other charismatic blond, the ex mayor, to Batmanghelidjh: one motivated solely by self interest, the other by a desire to help the poor. In fact it's hard to guess how the Garden Bridge people spent so much - endless consultants, obviously, and untendered contracts, but also countless jamborees for their friends, it seems. Where the Charity Commission is at fault is in allowing dubious organisations with little or no public benefit to become charities in the first place. The public benefit of Kids Company was clear, the public benefit of the bridge was such that it was eventually cancelled. It seemed to be solely connected with what the French have called augurité - the desperate desire of politicians to inaugurate something, anything, at no matter what cost.

Posted date

12 June, 2019

Posted time

11:04 am