Rewards for failure shame
our culture

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From: Fr Neil McNicholas, St Gabriel’s Parish, Ormesby.

YOUR Editorial “Digital doom – Officials must be held to account” (Yorkshire Post, August 16) questioned our “reward for failure” culture. It highlighted the contribution of three council officials in the doomed Digital Region project and the posts they had subsequently moved on to.

Leaving aside the whole reward for failure aspect of this situation, I never cease to be amazed at how such individuals manage to move on to bigger and even more obscenely remunerated posts.

Who is responsible (or, rather, irresponsible) for interviewing them and deeming them fit for such appointments?

Over the years I have been involved in numerous job interviews as a chair of school governors and the most basic information you need to consider before anything else is an applicant’s qualifications, experience, and references.

On this basis alone how did these individuals who had proved to be so incompetent and in the process wasted millions of pounds (of our money), successfully pass subsequent interviews and what might that say about the competence of those who interviewed them?

From: Karl Sheridan, Selby Road, Holme on Spalding Moor, East Yorkshire.

IT always seems to be the taxpayer that has to pay heavily for hare-brained schemes – I comment of course on the initiative of Yorkshire Forward and South Yorkshire’s four councils bringing in superfast digital broadband which has lost tens of millions.

Originating from Birmingham, I well remember Birmingham City Council in the 1990s suddenly embracing the idea of fibre-optics being the ‘be all and end all’ of modern technology.

That cost the taxpayer millions laying thousands of miles of fibre-optic cables under our pavements resulting in killing off trees, spoiling pavements and roadways that often had to be resurfaced, all at extra cost ... and did everyone take up cable TV?

Did they heck, only a few thousand, if that! In fact the only ones who benefited were the cable manufacturers and the contract companies digging the trenches!

The obsession with speed is bewildering – the implementation of digital broadcasting foisted on us by the BBC and the Government resulting in a cost of billions 
and the scrapping of millions of TV sets and recording equipment for, quite frankly, a less than brilliant system – the signals still being rubbishand beset by delays.

These grandiose schemes are where all our money is vanishing to – both the Government and many councils repeatedly forgetting that we need to get the basics right before launching pie in the sky initiatives. I honestly think that they have so much taxpayers’ money at their fingertips that they think it’s all a big game and that it is Monopoly money. If it came out of their own pockets, I’m sure we would see far less speculation and a bit more frugal common sense.

From: Michael Swaby, Hainton Avenue, Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire.

THE level of executive remuneration is a growing scandal. Half a century ago, the very best paid people in Britain would receive maybe 20-25 times the pay of those at the bottom. This ratio has increased ten-fold, to between 200-250.

The fact that this is an international trend in no way explains why huge failure, and even disgrace, seemingly has no effect on rewards and subsequent appointments. Rewarding failure is reinforcing it, which will produce more of it.

One might think that this issue would present an “open goal” for the Labour party, as it can easily be presented as a failure of the capitalist system, hugely disadvantageous to workers.

That this does not seem to be happening is maybe just one example of the intellectual void into which left-wing politics has descended. Big ideas have been banished.

Fooled over
foreign meat

From: Alison Waite, Warrels Mount, Bramley, Leeds.

ON two occasions, I have bought legs of lamb on special offer from Tesco and Sainsbury’s online. I carefully, as I always do, checked the information to ascertain the origin of the lamb.

If this information advises that the origin of the meat is detailed as the UK, this is what you would expect, surely?

Twice I received meat that was clearly labelled as New Zealand lamb which I never buy or eat. Do supermarkets think we are stupid?

Happily, these two supermarkets had no choice but to refund me in full.

From: Mrs Madeleine Ulyett, Esplanade, Hornsea, East Yorkshire.

TESCO sells a meat product described in large letters as “Yorkshire cured ham”.

In tiny writing, almost unreadable from the other side of the counter, the product is further described as formed from “meat from the EU, cured and packed in Yorkshire”. This labelling 
may be technically legal, but it is sharp practice.