Yes, sadly, it is necessary to ask. Consider this:
It’s hard to keep up. Barely a year into this government’s tenure, and Conservative chumocracy violations, accelerated by the pandemic – indeed, under the cover of the pandemic – are claimed on an almost weekly basis. The figures are staggering. So far, it is estimated that the government, without a transparent tendering process, handed out £18bn in coronavirus-related contracts during the first six months of the pandemic alone. Of this, £1.5bn can be traced to companies or individuals with connections to the Conservative party.
Within those billions there is more shocking detail. A spider’s web of unqualified Tory donors, university friends, neighbours and local pub owners has been entrusted with everything from the provision of PPE to the manufacturing of medical equipment. The tendering process seems to have been jettisoned for random phone calls and texts from opportunists, with ministers too lazy to go through due process and too arrogant to care.
What alternative process would she like to be used?
No, that’s a serious question. I’m no happier with this orgy of cronies than anyone else. But what’s the alternative? For we do live in this second best world. That meaning that we’ve got to do the best we can in the time available to us.
Time being the important point here.
So, that transparent tendering process. The one that’s there in the rules and regs for how government ought to buy things. It takes 25 days even when we try to use the emergency one. That is, we don’t ask everyone to write down their anti-slavery, pro-anti-racism and gender equality policies and get them audited and do the whole drear round of paperwork.
We rely upon those who are pre-qualified in that sense perhaps. Which is one of those things that we can’t do when we’re looking to find new suppliers in a hurry of course.
But even then, it’s still 25 days to run the tendering process even at the fastest that our modern bureaucracy allows. The only way to speed it up is not to run that transparent tendering process.
So, Ms. Malik would like the 25 day delay would she? Or not?
Or, is she simply too dim to know those are the only two options? 25 day wait and tender process, not-25 day wait and not-tender process?
My guess is dim because of course the alternative, that she knows but is simply dissimulating casuistically for political gain, is far worse as an allegation.