Sunday, June 17, 2007

Nick has made quite a fool of himself this week, but only a few Observer readers will realise it

The UK government's litigation against Arthur Andersen was about the quality of AA's audit work on De Lorean Motor Company (specifically, their failure to spot John De Lorean's fraud). It was not about "management consultancy". Arthur Andersen did not provide management consulting services to either De Lorean Motor or the UK government. Audit is not the same thing as management consultancy. Nick appears to be recommending to the UK government that in future, projects like the De Lorean plant should not be audited at all.

Whatever the merits of the case against government use of management consultants (and they may be many and substantial), that case would probably better be made by someone who has even a vague idea of what a management consultant is.

11 Comments:

Blogger ejh said...

Whatever the merits of the case against government use of management consultants

Conceivably this should be looked into and I would recommend that the government call in...

6/17/2007 02:34:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

And the ban didn't extend to Andersen Consulting.

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v22/n21/foot01_.html

6/17/2007 04:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Rawnsley damage limitation article in the Observer (there was no post-invasion plan for Iraq and Blair knew it) surely means the end of the Decent theory that we should have supported the nvasion of Iraq even if Iraq didn't have WMD.

6/18/2007 02:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aaronovitchwatch types may be interested in the legal difficulties of "Lee Kaplan Watch" via Althouse:
http://althouse.blogspot.com/2007/06/another-lawsuit-threatens-free-speech.html

6/18/2007 05:16:00 PM  
Blogger Philip said...

the end of the Decent theory that we should have supported the nvasion of Iraq even if Iraq didn't have WMD

Fear not; the theory will be born again, renewed and shiny-bright, as the principled position that we should support the bombing of Iran because Iran definitely has "nuclear ambitions".

6/18/2007 07:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Backword Dave said...

Born again you say? Or, 'some bloke in the Graun - the Graun I tell you - thought in 2003 that Saddam had WMD. War good. QED.' He's not a professor for nothing, you know. ;-)

6/18/2007 07:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the full slogan is "War good - International law bad."

Speaking of which, the Scoopers were out in force at Chatham House last week arguing that the slave trade got abolished by ignoring international law so we should carry on ignoring international law.

6/19/2007 08:16:00 AM  
Blogger ejh said...

That's very good. Personally I would have thought that "abolishing" anything essentially meant making a change in the law and expecting other people to respect it. Is that not so?

Incidentally, I don't suppose anybody out there knows precisely why Spanish only uses the first and second persons plural in the present tense of "abolir" - and what they use instead (for "I abolish" or "he/she abolishes", for instance).

6/19/2007 09:49:00 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

I think the H'S'JS can be summed up by the fact that at the start of their latest 'geopolitical' briefing into China (unquestionably not the 2nd most powerful country in the world) they start referring to it as 'Cathay'.

6/19/2007 11:42:00 AM  
Blogger Bruschettaboy said...

oh god it's wonderful:

"The admirable, but small, British Ghurka garrison in Brunei (I think that he means the gurkhas are admirable but the garrison is small, but it could be vice versa - bb) and the lack of European naval installations epitomises Europe’s strategic irrelevance in East and Southeast Asia"

as opposed to the substantial Chinese garrisons dotted across Europe, and the occasional Indonesian aircraft carrier one sees drifting down the Ruhr.

6/19/2007 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

I have visions of an urgent email going out to all the Jacksonauts from HQ in Seattle (or is it Chicago these days?) saying something like, "Shit, we've been told there's a country called Cathay - apparently it has nukes and everything. Someone do a briefing".

6/20/2007 03:46:00 PM  

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