Revealed: the MoJ's secret weapon
Having watched the PAC hearing, I'm beginning to understand why the MoJ was so relaxed about ignoring independent advice about ALS, and not bothering to stress-test their capabilities. I now realise they unleashed their most powerful tool in establishing the credentials of ALS. You've guessed it, a face-to-face, look-into-the-whites-of-their-eyes inteview with Martin Jones of the MoJ. Mr Jones apparently believes he has the uncanny ability of telling when people are fibbing to him, to the extent that he is willing to bet tens of millions of pounds of taxpayers money on it. I wonder what signs he was looking for from Gavin? Maybe he expected his nose to grow, or for him to break into a profuse sweat, or suffer an uncontrollable nosebleed. Strange, because for most people, the fact that his lips were moving would be a dead give-away.
It's a shame Mr Jones is so modest about his talents, I'm sure the CIA would have loved to have him interviewing terrorist suspects, drawing out the truth with his steely gaze, and it would have save all that kerfuffle over waterboarding and extraordinary rendition.
Indeed, I wonder whether Mr Jones is actually human, or like Counsellor Troi of the starship Enterprise, he's from the planet Betazed, using his highly developed empathic abilities to determine what us, earthlings, are thinking.
Perhaps I'm being unkind. Perhaps as well as possessing immense entrepreneurial skills, Gavin is also a master in the science of mesmerism. Maybe Gavin wanted Martin to look into the whites of his eyes? I can picture it now:
Martin: "Look, Gavin, I'm having real concerns about the roll-out of the FWA, I just don't think you're anything like ready."
Gavin: "Martin... look into my eyes, the eyes, not around the eyes, three two one, you're under. Now when you awake, you'll feel confident and care-free, you'll agree to the roll-out as planned, and you're going to gather up all those negative reports and place them in the bottom drawer of your desk, lock it, and throw away the key. Most importantly, if anyone criticises the contract, always respond by communicating the efficiencies the framework will deliver and, in turn, how these will equate to genuine cost savings for the MoJ. Three-two-one, you're back."
Martin: "Now, I was just about to say something, but I can't for the life of me remember what it was. Not to worry, I feel so much better knowing you've got everything under control, and I'm sure this contract is going to be a spectacular success. Anything else I can do for you?"
Gavin: "Yes, there is. If you see your mate Blunty's on the way out, ask him if he can spare me a few minutes, I think he would benefit from a face-to-face chat as well."
Personally, I wouldn't mind an eye-to-eye chat with Mr Jones myself, as I believe he could help me with something that would be to our mutual benefit. You see, I had this long-lost uncle that left me his entire fortune, and the money is sitting in a bank account in Nigeria and as I have a temporary cash-flow problem, maybe Mr Jones could advance me a nominal sum of £10,000 or so, just to cover sundry legal expenses, administrative fees etc...........