Applied Language Solutions Fleece Government, can we try it too?
I don’t know about you, but I could do with a few bob. I mean, this Daily Shame lark, it doesn’t make me any money, I do it for the love of my readers (hi, readers) and nothing more. So money’s hard to come by. What I really need is £300m. How am I going to lay my hands on £300m?
Well, I’ve heard that the government are literally pissing money away on anyone who can spin a good yarn, so maybe I should go have a chat with George Osborne (although I’ve heard he only works on Wednesday afternoons and I’m washing my hair that day… damn). You see, I read on the interweb (and thanks to Tom Pride for pointing this one out) that they gave £300m to one man so that he could run all of the translation and interpretation services in our British courts. Yup, they gave the contract to one man called Gavin Wheeldon, and they’re giving him £300m.
So, you’re thinking – this man, he must be really good. I mean, if he’s providing all legal interpreters for all court cases in the UK, he must be a language expert. A whizz. Someone who’s really effing good at languages. I speak a few languages, but I don’t think I could run translation for the whole of the UK.
JUST KIDDING! He doesn’t even speak English that well. His company’s called Applied Language Solutions, and he set it up in his bedroom. Well, I’ve nothing against setting a business up in your bedroom. That’s a great place to start your business. In fact, why not start a business up in your bed. In your head.
Anyway, let’s not judge him just yet, perhaps he’s got a plan to use this £300m for good, not evil. Let’s have a look at what he’s done with your money…
Well, his first plan was to slash interpreters’ pay by up to 50% and not to pay their expenses. Because interpreters, they’re just language monkeys aren’t they, they’re two-a-penny, and frankly, anyone can interpret Hebrew to English instantly, can’t they. So why pay them so much? Tsk.
But those damned interpreters, they refused to work for him. I mean, who wouldn’t want to work for a man who doesn’t speak a single foreign language and whose business is built on an equivalent of Babelfish?
And then, when the interpreters say they’re not working for pennies, suspects walk free from court. Again, thanks to Tom Pride for finding this one: the police have been unable to get the interpreters and translators they required for important cases, and suspects have had to be released.
Still, let’s not blame Gavin Wheeldon. Up and down the country, there are businessmen who are patently incapable of providing a decent service. All they do is talk management cockwank day after day, with powerpoint presentations that proclaim “we’re going to leverage this event horizon in order to strategically leveragise our operationalisational processes for decisioning KnowHow” or something like that. Gavin Wheeldon did that.
He heard that the government were offering £300m to anyone who could provide interpreting and translation services, because they judged that they would SAVE MONEY by outsourcing the contract. They really did think that they’d save money by paying £300m to someone else. Like I’ve said elsewhere, they’re all trained accountants, they should know their sums.
So Gavin Wheeldon hears about it, and thinks “I could do with a few bob or two” and goes along with a powerpoint saying “We’re going to leverage this event horizon and provide significant efficiencies through strategic cost point downsizing and smoother workflows in order to leveragise our operationalisation.”
And the government ministers saw his powerpoint and all ORGASMED at the same time. Look at this, they said! He’s going to take the flack for us – we’ll tell him to cut interpreters’ pay by shitloads, and he’ll take the blame! One man! We’ll save lots of money, and when it all fails, it’ll be his fault.
It’s not Gavin Wheeldon’s fault he’s shit. In fact, he did the right thing and sold out to Capita and bailed out himself. Brilliant business. For him.
It’s the government’s fault for thinking that by throwing £300m at him, they’ll save money. It’s like this: you go to the supermarket on a Saturday morning and instead of £60 for the week’s shopping, you decide to spend £30. That’s a 50% saving on last week’s shop.
So you walk around and you buy food that’s about to expire. You buy the shit stuff instead of the good stuff. You get home, and you cook your food, and you vomit because it’s shit. And by Tuesday, you have no food left and you’re about to die from food poisoning, because you were being cheap when you could have spent a little more. And now, you can’t find a doctor so you have to go private and you have to pay £5,000 to get yourself looked after because the food you had nearly killed you. So actually, instead of saving £30, you’ve spent £5,030.