Such verbal delights are merely the icing on a cake made from such rich and diverse ingredients as £150 shoes, brown envelopes of cash, tax payments being 'conceptualised' into thin air and 'abusive limericks' (for which, I should perhaps assure regular readers, your humble host was not responsible - despite the temptation).
Yentob was, despite his unsavoury attempts at shroud-waving, comprehensively upstaged by the sartorial migraine that is Batmanghelidjh in full battle dress - one wonders, now Kids' Company is no more, who has replaced the organisation's accountant as her dressmaker-in-chief - and quelled into a supporting role beside her truly astounding self-belief and looking-glass logic.
One can certainly sympathise with - and secretly envy - Paul Flynn's exasperated protest at the “spiel of psychobabble" and "verbal ectoplasm,” when faced with Batmanghelidjh's circumlocutory obfuscation over issues such as the notorious brown envelopes full of cash:
“It has turned into the notion that it was handed out willy-nilly,” she said. “It wasn’t. It was accounted for.”Fair enough - except that the issue was never whether the payments were recorded but rather why they were made at all; even the 'client' who described the scene during the handout on Fridays was happy to say she and the others signed for the cash:
'Then we would go to the shop and buy whatever we wanted with that money. It was weed heaven on a Friday, you could smell it coming down from the landings.'Amid the Protean coils of Batmanhelidjh's convoluted rhetoric, however, this somehow became “The myth that we handed out cash in envelopes”. By this point, the committee were clearly struggling:
“But it’s not a myth, is it?” said Jenkin.Somehow I can't help thinking of this...
“No, it’s not a myth,” said Batmanghelidjh happily, and carried on, her point proved.
"I don't know what you mean by 'glory'," Alice said.While a fair number of Kids Company office staff seem to have been occupied - like the accountant - with the important business of stitching the Empress' new clothes, some were clearly not so devoted; Batmanghelidjh's assertion at the enquiry that the money was for essentials is undermined by the assertion by a member of the accounts staff that
Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. "Of course you don't - till I tell you. I meant 'there's a nice knock-down argument for you!'"
"But 'glory' doesn't mean 'a nice knock-down argument'," Alice objected.
When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less."
...money is not given according to need but, more often than not, because “people turn up and cuss and make a noise until they get their money”.In any case, the way Humpty Dumpty - sorry, Batmanghelidjh - herself viewed these payments is, perhaps, indicated by her comments in a BBC radio interview some months ago:
“Middle-class parents give their children pocket money. Why does it become a problem when it’s a poor child that’s being given money?”Er... because it's money donated expressly to tackle the damaging effects of poverty and deprivation rather than for recreational spending? This, remember, is the woman who, by her own account, regularly gave 'clients' Christmas and birthday gifts of 'big bags of clothes' bought from John Lewis and Selfridges.
They get so excited when they open them, it always brings tears to my eyes.Presumably she derived the same warm glow from giving out weekly 'pocket money', however it was spent. Like Batmanghelidjh herself, the monstrous cargo cult she created demonstrates the supreme triumph of sentiment over reason - a dangerous thing indeed when applied to the serious business of raising and educating children,
The enquiry was never going to achieve much - beyond supplying material for facetious bloggers - when it depended on getting straight information from Alan Yentob and Camila Batmanghelidjh; all we can hope is that the Great and the Good walk away from this with the determination never to be fooled again.