Saturday, December 23, 2006

Jowell Plays Politics With English Heritage

It should come as no surprise that Tessa Jowell has vetoed both Jonathan Marland and Penny Cobham for the top job at English Heritage. After all, it was only a couple of weeks she announced the makeup of the Big Lottery Board, which contained six card carrying Labour members and not a single Tory or LibDem in sight. I have no idea what Marland's or Cobham's qualifications were for the job but they had gone through an independent selection process and were both recommended to Jowell to choose between.

Having said all that, the fact that Penny Cobham chooses to live with that old relic David Mellor indicates that she might have an edge over Marland, I suppose. She's obvious a lover of ugly ancient monuments which are decaying round the edges. Saucer of milk, anyone?

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Given Jowett's reported antipathy to anything on the culture side of the Culture brief, who can be surpised at her packing the board to ensure nuLab's grass-roots Spartist agenda is funded? Lottery awards such as that to the Scots Prostitutes Education Project to provide free aromatherapy massages to sex workers, and that to an anti-deportation pressure group that helps the folk that Mr Reid is trying to send home are well in the tradition of throwing funding at anything that isn't 'highbrow'.

Meanwhile, museum and gallery acquisition budgets are slashed, kids aren't learning music (except barking incomprehensible 'rap' lines through expensive PA equipment) and schools can't afford to take classes to the local rep theatre for the annual Shakespeare.

Given Jowett's defeat on a requirement for the lottery board to 'comply' with her directions earlier this year - they now only have to 'take notice' of her wishes - it's hardly surprising.

Johnny Norfolk said...

I hope the Tories remember all this when they get in, and sweep away as many Labour supporters from these sort of positions as they can.

malcolm said...

Bit harsh about Mellor don't you think? Why do all these quango jobs always seem to go to people with political interests?
Might be a good to give it to someone who is actually knows about the work of English Heritage?
I wonder which Labour donor will be offered the job by Jowell.

Anonymous said...

Always the sign of a government that knows it is going though; all stops pulled to fill posts while they can.

Voyager said...

Having sacrificed her husband for Tony, she is now going to learn to dance for Gordon.

If you are a rather dim daughter of a Scottish consultant you find that being called Tessa Jane Helen Douglas Palmer leaves few options but to find a husband, in her case, two; but to attach yourself limpet-like to a man of power who likes women as - what Tiny Rowland once called Christmas-tree decorations and so she found - rather like Harriet The Harridan and Patricia the Patronising; Tony the Man of Many Miens

Sir Bentley Pauncefoot said...

I suppose if the Peerage Shop is shut...

Chuck Unsworth said...

Jowell is a cultural moron. She has absolutely no ability, knowledge or even experience compared with the Viscountess Cobham.

Penny Cobham has a decent and entirely relvant track record in this area. One wonders what Ms Jowell's criteria for successful candidature may be - apart from being a true financial supporter of the NuLab tendency and not being a Viscountess.

No, this is just another manifestation of Jowell's basic social insecurity and vitriolic hatred of anything remotely resembling a 'Toff'.

The ghastly Jowell should appoint on qualification for the job, rather flaunting than her own political and social prejudices.

Any chance of sight of the job description?

FRED said...

Its a bit unchristian at this time of peace and goodwill for you to be disrespectful to David Mellor, Iain.

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

I suspect one of the reasons the NHS is in such a mess is that year after year, since 1997, Labour has been appointing its placemen to the various regional and other authorities; and Labour placemen, drawn from the ranks of trade unions and polytechnic lecturers, rarely have the qualities you need to run a tight ship.

Tim Roll-Pickering said...

Leave off Mellor - at least he supports a fantastic football team unlike some people, Iain!

billy said...

Is Penny Cobham a Chelsea supporter perhaps and a little too old for a lusty, young footballer?

elephants' graveyard said...

When the man you would throw yourself under a bus for is likely to move on, and your husband is on trial in Italy for corruptions and questionable tax measures too diverse to list here, and if you have sold your multi-mortgaged house (nothing like distance to lend innocence if not enchantment to the view), then it's time to think "Where next?"

It's not so much having cash in hand that's the problem - after all, everything has been cash in hand ( what with the Italian connection, the Olympic Game, casino licences, and Gordon's manic taxation) - as the status; after all, a fully- qualified social worker should not readily give up telling others what to do, and be.

So how does a low-grade Culture Secretary get a high status Oxbridge resting place?

Olympic Catastrophe said...

When we do finally free ourselves from this regime and return to something resembling an accountable democracy, may I strongly recommend that the second person to be put against the wall for crimes against humanity is Ms Jowell. Her dodgy dossier on the Olympics is second only to Blair's on Iraq. Her judgement may have to wait until 2013. Well, it's bound to be a year late!

PS I had that Norman Lamont in the back of my cab tonight.

Olympic Catastrophe said...

When we do finally free ourselves from this regime and return to something resembling an accountable democracy, may I strongly recommend that the second person to be put against the wall for crimes against humanity is Ms Jowell. Her dodgy dossier on the Olympics is second only to Blair's on Iraq. Her judgement may have to wait until 2013. Well, it's bound to be a year late!

PS I had that Norman Lamont in the back of my cab tonight.

Neil Craig said...

I nominate Jeremy Clarkson.

Well he did persuade us that Brunel was the 2nd greatest Briton so he clearly understands heritage. It isn't as if I was proposing somebody just to get up the noses of the "great & good" who have done so much to make Britain what it is today.