Andrew Mitchell MP was invited onto this morning’s Radio 4 Today programme to speak about the latest news from Save the Children, which is being considered against the backdrop of the Oxfam crisis. He was interviewed because he knows Justin Forsyth personally who previously worked for Save the Children and has just resigned from UNICEF as news from his behaviour at Save the Children has emerged. Rather than point out that Justin and the small numbers of offenders in Oxfam are not part of a wider picture, Andrew instead demanded several times during his interview that charities make themselves wholly accountable and committed to transparency and openness. No one would disagree with these calls at any time and indeed Charities do represent bodies which when compared to business or politics are very strong examples of transparent, open and accountable organisations. Clearly what goes on behind the closed doors of any organisation is hidden from view until someone within the room discloses and all organisations have closed door spaces. However it is bizarre to listen to a man whose own behaviour was the very opposite of this a few years ago.
A few minutes before the interview with Andrew Mitchell the same programme noted the comments made at a private party by Kwasi Kwarteng, the MP for Spelthorne. Apparently Mr Kwarteng holds the view that Bankers should have been imprisoned for their actions in the banking collapse. However these views are private views and not something he would publicly cite. This seems rather disappointing as many people in society did pay a huge price for the mistakes made by the banking system and whether bankers should go to prison or not, it would be useful to hear from a high profile and senior MP. This is the same MP who back in 2012 argued publicly that It seems only fair that people receiving benefits should also experience restraint. Yet to look at his register of interests it seems clear that Mr Kwarteng is well used to receiving donations and visits to Saudi Arabia at the expense of other people and other organisations. It seems strange that this man who enjoys wealth and hospitality from such sources is happy to speak out about the behaviour of poor people but keeps quiet regarding his views of powerful and wealthy people.