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Who is Common Purpose?

(37 Posts)
Hummingbirds Tue 06-Nov-12 15:20:47

On another thread it was suggested that we start a thread for people to discuss what they know and think about the network called Common Purpose.

To start off the discussion, and to address the claims that Common Purpose is only criticised on whacko websites, I'll post a link to a Telegraph article that touches on the enormous concentration of power amassed by Common Purpose and some sinister illegal activity they've been caught in.

How Labour's 'favourite lobbyist' is pushing hacking campaign

Phineyj Sun 09-Dec-12 22:20:33

I went on a course with them once. It was useless and they are certainly weird, but no more than most other public sector training organisations. The main problem is that like Reader's Digest, it's impossible to get off their mailing list afterwards...

Catkinsthecatinthehat Wed 05-Dec-12 16:50:34

Shouldn't these people be declaring their membership in the interests of transparency?

But you just said yourself that you took that list of people from CP's own website!

So CP does 'leadership training' across the private, public and third sector. And publicly advertises a conference with speakers who are prominent in the private, public and third sector.

I've come across CP-trained people before. It's a very public sector thing to put on your CV. Private sector people are often similarly obsessed with their Myers-Briggs profile. I'm not sure that either add a great deal to your skill-set. CP is probably good for networking though. I do think the people who set it up are jammy buggers, who just happened to be at the right place at the right time and whose success snowballed. Very much like Emma Harrison and A4E. Or Capita.

Funnily enough their official website has a page on Common Purpose Conspiracy Theories.

KRITIQ Mon 03-Dec-12 22:51:00

Agreed Schnapps!

Humming, I've only heard of Charles Handy, Peter Tatchell and Simon Fanshaw off that list. If that was the best that Common Purpose could come up with from their alumni, well, it doesn't say alot.

SchnappsDamnYou Mon 03-Dec-12 17:22:27

Guido respected? Lol. Right wing libertarian tittle tattle and you've just shown us yet another anti Leveson right wing briefing made into a blog.

As to the list of worthy and influential leaders from across the board speaking at a conference for people aiming to be worthy and influential leaders run by a company offering leadership training...erm. What sort of people would you expect to speak?

This is all a bit paranoid don't you think?
You could get just as excited about the networking potential of the W.I or the Rotary Club.

Hummingbirds Mon 03-Dec-12 12:31:21

For those curious about why Common Purpose is known as 'the masons on steroids', take a look at some 'leaders' involved with them. This is a list from Common Purpose's own website of a 'leadership' event. Here we have the chief of a police force, a bishop, and many other people in positions of power.

Jude Kelly, Artistic Director, South Bank Centre
Charles Handy, Writer and Social Philosopher
Janet Gaymer, Commissioner for Public Appointments
Peter Tatchell, Spokesperson, Outrage!
Dame Deirdre Hutton, Chair, Food Standards Agency
Zenna Atkins, Chair, Ofsted
Amy Fawcett, Chair, Pensions First
Bishop John Inge, Bishop of Worcester
Tarek Ben Halim, Founder, Alfanar
Albert Tucker, Fair Trade Pioneer
Oliver Nyumbu, Chief Executive, Carat
Rudi Bogni, Retired Banker & Philanthropist
Andrew Cubie, Chair of the Committee of University Chairs
Sarah Ebanja, Deputy CEO, London Development Agency
Peter Fahy, Chief Constable, Greater Manchester Police
Simon Fanshawe, Broadcaster and Writer
Sir Brandon Gough, Chairman, De La Rue plc
Chris Mathias, Founder, Arbour Ventures
Tom Riordan, Chief Executive, Yorkshire Forward

Shouldn't these people be declaring their membership in the interests of transparency? Or are transparency and democracy out of fashion these days?

Hummingbirds Sun 02-Dec-12 23:45:18

Claig, thanks for the Guardian article, but it seems a pretty superficial response to the Mail piece. As Michael White openly admits,

'I don't know the full facts.'

'I must say I knew little or nothing about this.'

It hardly ranks as informed analysis.

Hummingbirds Sun 02-Dec-12 23:37:44

Guido Fawkes, a highly respected political blogger, has recently written about Common Purpose and their uncommon influence on the political elite:

Media Standards Trust: Unaccountable and Undemocratic

NapDamnYou Sat 17-Nov-12 16:43:47

LOLat Maynie

NapDamnYou Sat 17-Nov-12 16:43:10

That is a good article, thanks Claig.

MainlyMaynie Sat 17-Nov-12 15:50:45

Common Purpose provides very, very expensive leadership courses to many mediocre people in the public sector. I have never noticed any signs of improved leadership after people attend its courses. It is not a crazy conspiring organisation plotting world domination. Believe me, few of the attendees are capable of playing even a small part in world domination.

claig Sat 17-Nov-12 15:33:56

NapDamnYou, see also

It is Michael White's piece in the Guardian. It is a very good article which, I think, treats the Daily Mail (often referred to as the people's paper) with the respect it deserves for asking looking at elite left-wing charitable trusts, New Labour quangos and philanthropists as well as elite Etonian old-boy clubs.

NapDamnYou Sat 17-Nov-12 11:41:25

See also

NapDamnYou Sat 17-Nov-12 11:25:35

Why oh why could the Daily Mail's Paul Dacre be kicking off about the Leveson Inquiry?

'Paul Dacre has a rivers of bile moment with Friday's Daily Mail splash. The dam of long pent-up fury at and loathing of the Leveson inquiry has finally burst, in spectacular fashion.

Channelling the barely suppressed rage apparent during Dacre's Leveson inquiry appearances and his contempt for a mythical "liberal elite" taking the country to the dogs, the green inker confects an equally mythical "quasi-masonic" conspiracy to bring down the popular press across – count 'em – the front page, five double-page spreads and the leader column.

In a mind boggling six-degrees-of-people-and-things-we-hate exercise, the Mail rounds up a Cecil B DeMille-esque cast of the usual suspects – including in no particular order the Leveson inquiry, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the BBC, FT publisher Pearson, the Guardian, Peter Mandelson, Chris Bryant, New Labour, Demos, Sue Akers, Robert Peston, Ed Richards, Hacked Off, Steve Coogan, Hugh Grant, Max Mosley, Johann Hari ... and unisex toilets. At the heart of this unholy cabal of bounders and ne'er-do-wells, the Mail identifies former FT chairman and Leveson inquiry assessor Sir David Bell ("A greying, dishevelled figure in an ill-fitting suit ... one-time SDP activist" – how shifty is that?) and not-for profit leadership training body Common Purpose ("They have a private website, which requires a password to log in" – sinister, or what?).

The Mail appears to be taking a leaf from the playbook of US rightwing broadcaster Glenn Beck – pick on an innocuous, little known figure or body and bang on incessantly about them being a communist, existential threat to civilisation. Times columnist David Aaronovitch, for one, is already taking notice, tweeting: "I was opposed to statutory press regulation until that Mail hatchet job on #leveson." Let's hope Lord Justice Leveson doesn't have the same reaction, eh Paul?'

dapplegrey Sat 17-Nov-12 08:44:25

Why is Common Purpose a charity?

Hummingbirds Sat 17-Nov-12 00:38:35

Interesting article on Common Purpose members in yesterday's Mail:

Disturbing questions over Leveson's key adviser: Special Investigation into a central figure in the McAlpine scandal and judicial inquiry into the press

KRITIQ Tue 13-Nov-12 00:21:17

I think Nap's on the right track, from what I know of the organisation. I went on a short residential training course, oh probably 15 years ago with the Industrial Society (later called [[ the Work Foundation,)]] and the woman who founded Common Purpose (can't remember her name) who used to work for them gave a wee speech. It was pretty good as I recall actually, as far as leadershipie motivational speeches go. Detected nowt sinister about her or Common Purpose.

Some years later, they were offering discounts for some folks to go on one of their citizenship/leadership thingies and I sent my deputy. She found it a bit patchy - some good parts, some not very useful parts, interesting bunch of people in the group. At the end, she thought it was pretty worthwhile, but it did take up quite alot of time and effort being involved.

There are lots of management, leadership, inspirational, etc., training programmes out there - some good, some crap, some in the middle. Some are cheap, some cost a king's ransom. It's a bit of pot luck and yes, I'm sure quite alot of dosh gets wasted on these by managers sending people off either to spend up slippage money or thinking they can "fix" a staff member by carting them off to a course.

Never really "got" why the tinfoilhatwearers had it in for Common Purpose specifically! smile

Delalakis Mon 12-Nov-12 23:37:48

Hummingbird, what precisely is your evidence for your statement "The number of people who are in Common Purpose is truly breathtaking: vast swathes of the BBC, newspaper journalists, headteachers of schools, local government, central government, NHS bureaucrats -- and all of their hugely expensive "leadership" courses are funded by the public purse. "?

NapDamnYou Sat 10-Nov-12 18:57:02

Perhaps it's unrealistic to expect someone who has a curse in their username to observe a respectful tone

grin have you been on MN long? How are you finding it?

Hummingbirds Sat 10-Nov-12 18:11:21

Perhaps it's unrealistic to expect someone who has a curse in their username to observe a respectful tone sad .

To any other people reading this thread, this is an article in The Telegraph by John Mitchell asking some very legitimate questions about the political charity known as Common Purpose. Excerpt below:

So what’s the fuss about?
‘Common Purpose’ - the name itself might be enough, as it conjures up images of triumphant workers marching to a glorious future, while Lenin sweeps monarchs, bankers and capitalists from the face of the earth. But there are probably better reasons...

Concern about CP arises mainly from the widespread presence of its ‘graduates’ throughout government and public services, as well as charities and pressure groups. This, combined with the fact that it provides networking opportunities for its people, suggests unusually widespread influence for a charity.

Its charitable status derives from its provision of education. But its leadership
development courses appear to be of a left-wing nature, with emphasis on
’constitutional, civic, economic and social studies with special emphasis on civil and social awareness and responsibility’, and its founder, Julia Middleton, was influential in setting up the Fabian-linked Demos think-tank which helped Labour re-invent itself and gain power.

Course information suggests that to be eligible for training, applicants must already have attained some leadership status in their organisations, so instead of the customer choosing the supplier, it seems that this supplier chooses its customers.

Is this a normal for a training organisation? Is charity being dispensed to the
genuinely needy? Why should influence be a prerequisite?

Read the full article here

NapDamnYou Sat 10-Nov-12 17:46:09

Oh God.

It's JUST a wanky overpriced leadership training thing set up by ex labour types. As the recession bites I doubt it will last much longer.
Just because a paranoid man called Brian Gerrish got refused council funding for a project, and decided that it was because sinister forces must be arraigned against him, and went off on a one man web campaign to satisfy a bee he had in his bonnet, does to mean I have to spend my Saturday trying to set you straight, if you can't be bothered to apply any critical thinking whatsoever and are just going to go googling whack job sites which regurgitate his fact-free claims. You might want to have a look at some of the other stuff Mr Gerrish believes in. And then get back to me when you can prove that the tentacles of this training organisation have been responsible for anything of note whatsoever, besides an ill-advised attempt to flag up the fact that a small number of conspiracy theorists have been spending day and night writing FOI requests trying to prove a conspiracy with no evidence to support any such thing.

I'm going for a swim.

Hummingbirds Sat 10-Nov-12 17:39:28

~ incompatible

Hummingbirds Sat 10-Nov-12 17:39:02

Nap - could you kindly point out where I have mentioned anything at all about a conspiracy?

You are telling me to read a link which has 'loon' in the title. That is deeply disrespectful. If you wish to have a serious discussion then kindly refrain from abuse and insults.

Common Purpose is an international franchise. The Common Purpose network is at work in the UK, the USA, India, the Middle East, all over the planet.

Can you provide a link showing that Common Purpose in the USA is separate from Common Purpose UK?

The reality is that you don't have to be a paranoid conspiracy theorist to find all and any secretive mason-like networks that cover vast swathes of the BBC, NHS, local government, central government etc etc deeply concerning. It is incomptaible with democracy.

NapDamnYou Sat 10-Nov-12 17:20:49

NapDamnYou Sat 10-Nov-12 17:18:25

You do realise that White house thing is nothing to do with CP? They just happen to call a meeting for various groups 'common purpose'

- facepalm -

nice rabid right wing link there too

By the way, did you bother to read the link to thread with ex CP employee?

Have you anything to say about conspiracy theorists publishing names
and contact details of people who went on courses?

Are you able to provide any evidence at all that CP is not what the x employee states?

Are you just going to ignore whatever i write and just google

In which case...yawn. Perhaps someone else wil help you ride your hobbyhorse. Is all a bit déjà vu for me and why I don't bother arguing with conspiracy types.

Hummingbirds Sat 10-Nov-12 16:38:06

Nap - what's that supposed to mean? Law-abiding citizens have the right by law to certain information that has a bearing on how our country is being run. It's called 'freedom of information'. And the Data Protection Act protects the privacy of those law-abiding citizens from sinister mason-like networks.

So, Common Purpose has been breaking the law by collecting information on law-abiding citizens when they have no right to do so and it is absolutely illegal for them to do so. What are their motives? What do they plan on doing with this unlawfully gathered information on private individuals? This looks truly sinister. These laws exist for a reason.

Common Purpose is deceitful in pretending to be an apolitical network when in reality it is fundamentally political and it is promoting a covert agenda.

Look at Common Purpose's cosy relations with the White House in the USA.

"A radical left-wing activist has confirmed Republican charges that the Obama administration runs an extensive and potentially illegal propaganda campaign from the White House. We noted yesterday that Rep. Darrell Issa’s House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform issued a 36-page report noting that the president has used taxpayer dollars to finance “a sophisticated propaganda and lobbying campaign” made up of “inappropriate and sometimes unlawful public relations and propaganda initiatives.” Often, this involves “covert propaganda,” in which officials ask others to repeat White House talking points without mentioning their connection to the president."

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