Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Multicultural accountancy in Britain
An accountant at a chain of academies championed by Michael Gove is at the centre of a fraud investigation after £4million of school funds ended up in his personal accounts.
Nigerian-born Samuel Kayode is said to have spent much of the cash on an extravagant lifestyle and buying a string of properties.
The 57-year-old part-time pastor was told by the High Court to pay £4.1million back to the Haberdashers’ Aske’s chain of academies more than a year ago.
He has failed to do so, and it is feared most of the cash has been transferred to Nigeria.
The case, kept secret for almost two years, is believed to be Britain’s biggest ever education fraud.
Although Kayode was arrested in October 2012, police have yet to charge him with any crime.
Critics of academies – state schools which have control of their own finances – say the massive loss of cash calls that entire system into question.
Questions were also asked about whether Mr Gove – who lost his job as Education Secretary last week – took close enough interest in the case.
The vast sum of money is missing from the Haberdashers’ Aske’s Federation Trust in South London.
It is named after 17th century silk merchant Robert Aske who left much of his wealth to create an educational charity fund run by the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers.
The Haberdashers’ Aske’s public schools for boys and girls in Hertfordshire were founded with his money.
Three Haberdashers’ Aske’s state secondaries in South-East London – Hatcham College, Knight’s Academy and Crayford Academy – are run by the trust as a separate charitable wing funded by Mr Aske’s endowment. They were often referred to by Mr Gove in speeches.
Kayode went to work at Hatcham in 1997 and rose to become accounts manager for the whole chain.
He was paid £57,000 a year, and told colleagues of his work as a pastor in the Christ Apostolic Church, South London, peppering his conversations with ‘praise the Lord’.
In October 2012 it emerged that a large sum of money was missing from the academies’ funds.
Kayode’s assets and those of his wife Grace, who died aged 53 last year, were then frozen.
It appeared that huge sums of school money had been paid into a bank account in Nigeria and a company called Samak, which is said to be run in Nigeria by Kayode’s second wife Yoni, although he denies any wedding has taken place.
The trust launched a High Court case to reclaim the missing cash but the accountant denied wrongdoing and claimed ‘all transactions had been authorised by the finance director’.
However, the judge found in the trust’s favour last July and ordered Kayode and the estate of his late wife to pay back more than £4million plus interest.
He remains at large and is not facing any charges, although he is due to speak to detectives again this week.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman would say only that a man from Lambeth was on police bail.
Adrian Percival, chief executive of Haberdashers’ Aske’s Federation Trust, said: ‘The civil case found in favour of the federation and we are trying to recover the money that has been taken from us. We are obviously shocked and saddened.’
But furious parents say Haberdashers’ Aske’s has tried to hush the scandal up.
Jill Rutter, who has several children at the Hatcham academy, said in an online blog: ‘The fraud strikes at the heart of the educational establishment and shows that the current system and the freedom afforded to academies is not working. Ultimately it is our children that suffer.’
Kayode’s boss at Haberdashers’ Aske’s, former chief finance officer Paul Durgan, is now working for a new academies chain.
He said: ‘Sam Kayode completely had me taken, like everybody else. Nobody from the police or school has spoken to me.’
Racial Politics May Determine Who Controls Senate in 2014
It is no accident that rhetoric about race has been ramping up at a time when racial politics can be the key determinant for control of the Senate this year.
At least three states – North Carolina, Louisiana, and Arkansas – are red states with vulnerable Democrat Senators up for re-election that have large black populations.
Can racism really be as rampant in America as all the current rhetoric implies?
A Google search for “racism” will produce a long list of articles from the most recent week’s news claiming racism on issue after issue of national concern.
We need to dig deeper and give more careful thought about whether racism is as pervasive as all the rhetoric seems to imply or whether other factors are driving the problems that continue to plague non-white communities. And if so, perhaps all the rhetoric about race we’re hearing reflects more Democratic political operations than realities of America.
In important ways, American attitudes on race have changed dramatically.
According to Gallup, in 1958 only 4 percent of Americans believed marriage between individuals of different races was acceptable. Today 87 percent say interracial marriage is okay.
A society, in which almost ninety percent of people believe it is just fine for individuals of different races to marry and have children together, can hardly be called a racist society.
And, of course, a black man today sits in the White House serving his second term as president.
Granted, in 2012 the Republican candidate, Romney won 61 percent of the white vote. But 39 percent of whites voted for the black, Democrat candidate.
It turns out, as the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza wrote last year, that in every presidential election since 1972, the average percentage white vote for the Democrat candidate was just about the same as what Obama got in in 2012 – around 39 percent.
So a real headline about election of our first black president was that race had hardly had any impact at all on voting patterns. The percentage of whites voting Republican was around the norm as was the percentage of whites voting for the Democrat. A black Democrat did not drive away white Democrats.
The Post’s Cillizza shows that the driving political reality of recent presidential elections has been the growing non-white percentage of the electorate and that most of these non-white Americans support Democrats.
In 1980 88 percent of the electorate was white compared to 72 percent in 2012.
In 1980, 23 percent of Democrat voters were non-white compared to 44 percent in 2012. In 1980 4 percent of Republican voters were non-white compared to 11 percent in 2012.
The growing percentage of our voters is not white and they largely vote for Democrats.
If the key difference between the two parties is about big government versus limited government, much of what America’s future will look like will ride on whether Republicans can make any headway with non-white voters with a limited government message.
I believe there is much potential for doing so if Republicans would get down to the work that needs to be done.
Since the Civil Rights Act in 1964, black economic progress on average compared to the white population has been dismal. The gap in black household income compared to white household income has grown, average black household wealth as a percentage of average white household wealth has shrunk, and the percentage of black poverty has remained almost constant at three times greater than white poverty.
These realities reflect destructive big government policies that grip these communities. But Democrats who want to continue to sell these policies will continue on the racism message and claim that this is what limited government ideas are about.
Republicans need to get truth to black populations in these key vulnerable states. They need to hear about limited government reforms that will help them. This can determine who controls the Senate next year
The Coming Christian Revolt
From behind a smoking sniper rifle high atop his ivory tower peers the secular-”progressive.” He surveys his many victims, strewn across the American landscape below and mockingly sneers, “War on Christianity? What war on Christianity?”
He then resumes shooting, all the while insisting that those uncooperative Christians who scatter for cover behind the word of God and the U.S. Constitution somehow suffer from a “persecution complex” (the baker, the photographer, the florist, the innkeeper, the Christian school administrator, etc.).
Though there are many, it is plain for all to see that abortion and “sexual liberation” remain the two principal theaters in the ongoing culture war battlefront.
To fully advance the causes of radical feminism, abortion-on-demand, unfettered sexual license, “gay marriage” and the like, the pagan left must do away with religious free exercise altogether. Under the guise of “anti-discrimination,” Christians today face discrimination at unprecedented levels.
Let’s see if we can make this abundantly clear. Christians, true Christians – regenerate, Bible-believing Christians who strive their level best to maintain fidelity to the word of God and honor His commands – will not, indeed cannot, participate in, approve of, facilitate or encourage certain behaviors deemed by the Holy Scriptures to be immoral or sinful.
This is both our constitutionally affirmed human right and our Christian duty.
It is not done from hate. It is not done from bigotry. It is done neither from a position of superiority nor a desire to “impose our beliefs” upon others.
It is done from both obedience to Christ and compassion for our fellow fallen who yet wallow in folly.
Central to Christianity, and clearly delineated throughout both the Old and New Testaments, is the unambiguous and timeless proposition that any sexual practice outside the bonds of true man-woman marriage constitutes sexual immorality and results in separation from God. This, of course, includes sexual acting out between members of the same sex, whether or not such acting out is tied to the novel notion of so-called “same-sex marriage.”
Likewise central to Christianity is the relatively easy-to-understand concept that a Christ follower must neither take the life of a pre-born child nor aid and abet, in any way, the taking of such life.
It is not so much that Christians wish, willy-nilly, to call abortion, homosexual behavior, fornication, adultery, bestiality, incest or any other disordered sexual proclivity “sinful.” It is, rather, that we must. For the true Christian, God’s objective truths will always trump man’s subjective desires.
Newton’s Third Law states: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”
For every law, regulation, activist court ruling or presidential edict that demands Christians violate their sincerely held religious beliefs and adopt a postmodern, moral relativist way of life, there increases, in exact proportion, the likelihood of widespread civil disobedience – disobedience of the sort we haven’t seen since the civil rights struggles of the 1950s and ’60s.
Indeed, if, in the spirit of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., we, his fellow Christian travelers, must again face the water hoses, then face them we shall.
As the recent Hobby Lobby decision reaffirmed, the government cannot legislate away religious free exercise. Where your desire, intense though it may be, for me to employ you despite your antagonistic values system, pay for your abortion, or host, photograph or otherwise bake a rainbow cake for your faux “wedding,” comes into conflict with my absolute right to religious liberty, the result is a forgone conclusion.
I win, you lose.
We have seen and will continue to see an exponential increase in Christian business owners refusing to violate God’s commands by complying with unconstitutional, immoral and unjust government dictates.
For 2,000 years, whenever such conflicts have arisen, Christians have placed the laws of God above the laws of man.
What makes you think we’re about to change now?
As many in the early church refused to bow a knee to Caesar in worship, so, too, will many modern Christians refuse, under any circumstances, to obey any law that presumes to make sin obligatory.
If the ancient church, through the power of the Holy Spirit, was able to face the lions in hopeful anticipation of joining Jesus, then we, too, under the same Spirit, will face anything today’s pagan left can threaten.
In the ongoing culture war, it seems there are no rules of engagement. The secular left will accept nothing short of unconditional surrender. That is to say, the pagans demand that we Christians abandon the biblical worldview altogether, and adopt their own.
This will never happen.
Martin Luther King Jr. famously declared, “One has not only a legal, but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”
In 2012, after the Obama administration unilaterally issued its now gutted HHS contraception/abortion mandate, Catholic priests from across the nation, to their great credit, read from the pulpit a letter that contained the following declaration: “We cannot – we will not – comply with this unjust law.”
As our secularist government increasingly imposes similar laws, so, too, increases the certitude of civil disobedience.
While there are those who will give way out of fear, weakness or a desire to conform to the world, there are many others who will not. Christians must peacefully come together, lock arms and redouble our resistance to evil.
Even when that evil is adorned with the presidential seal and signature.
A Question for Israel’s Critics
In light of the murderous actions and intentions of Hamas, what would you like Israel to do?
I wholeheartedly concur that the death of even one unarmed civilian is tragic, let alone the death of scores or of hundreds. And I affirm without hesitation that Arab blood is as precious as Jewish blood.
That being said, since Hamas is sworn to Israel’s destruction, since Hamas initiated the recent hostilities, since Hamas rejected cease fire offers, since Hamas is using civilians, including women and children, as human shields, and since Hamas is actively attempting to infiltrate Israel and murder, kidnap, and maim its people, what do you suggest that Israel does?
Would you prefer that Israel simply turned the other cheek and let its people be slaughtered?
Would you rather that Israel’s Iron Dome defense system was not as successful, so that an occasional missile landed in a heavily populated area and wiped out some Israelis?
Did you like things better in the days of the Second Intifada, when 1,100 Israelis were killed, the vast majority of them non-combatant civilians?
Is the whole problem that there are not enough dead Jews? (Click here for my November, 2012 article by that title; click here for a recent, similarly-titled article by Melanie Phillips.)
Reading a recent article in the New York Times, which provides a daily scorecard of Palestinian and Israeli casualties and bombings since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge, one gets the distinct impression that Israel is not playing fairly. Indeed, “After 11 days of fighting, 336 Palestinians and 5 Israelis had died.” How is that fair?
The photographs in the article generate sympathy almost exclusively for the Palestinians, with tragic images of a Palestinian man carrying the dead body of a little boy and of Palestinian women grieving, while the written text is hardly unbiased, with statements like, “Egypt’s proposal for a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas collapsed a few hours after the Israelis had accepted it. Palestinian militants launched rockets on Israel, some of which are shown above, and Israel resumed its airstrikes on Gaza.”
It would have been more accurate to say, “Israel accepted Egypt’s cease-fire proposal but Hamas rejected it, responding to the proposal with more attacks on Israel.” To say that the proposal simply “collapsed,” expressed passively without blaming the guilty party, is to mislead.
Even fellow-Muslims have been critical of Hamas’s actions, with an Egyptian TV host (who was solidly pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel) saying, “We are sick and tired of you.”
In the past, Israel’s critics denied or downplayed the Jewish nation’s attempts to protect Palestinian civilians, as if the IDF was making up reports that it dropped thousands of leaflets warning civilians to flee or called houses that were about to be bombed, urging those inside to get out.
Today, however, the IDF’s humanitarian actions are undeniable, as both Hamas and Fatah have urged civilians to ignore those warnings or, if they have evacuated, to return to their homes. Watch for yourself here as Hamas leaders say, “We call on our Palestinian people, particularly the residents of northwest Gaza, not to obey what is written in the pamphlets distributed by the Israeli occupation army. We call on them to remain in their homes and disregard the demands to leave, however serious the threat may be.”
So, Israel warns civilians to flee, not wanting to hurt them, while Hamas launches rockets from heavily populated neighborhoods, including schoolyards and hospital parking lots, urging civilians to return to these places of danger, yet Israel is somehow the guilty party, drawing violent, even blatantly anti-Semitic protests in cities like London and Paris.
One Palestinian woman commented on my AskDrBrown Facebook page that Hamas was not using its people as human shields. Instead, the people were willingly standing with their leaders, closing her post with, “Long live Palestine!” After all, the Israelis did not put Hamas in power, the people of Gaza did.
Sadly, if the citizens of Gaza wanted to live in peace with Israel and empowered a government that would act in their best interests, their standard of living would improve dramatically. As it is, in the midst of the warfare, Israel still sends humanitarian aid into Gaza on a daily basis and continues to provide medical care to wounded and sick Palestinians.
And, the truth be told, given Israel’s firepower, if Israel wanted to inflict casualties on civilians in Gaza, the death toll would be in the hundreds of thousands, as opposed to the hundreds. (Again, I do not for a moment minimize the current civilian casualties.)
Conversely, to put this in perspective, what would happen if the tables were turned and Hamas had Israel’s military capabilities? How many dead Israelis would there be?
Murderous sentiments like this, expressed in 2012 on Hamas-run Al-Aqsa TV after one of their bombs wounded 22 Israelis in Tel Aviv, provide a vivid and gory answer to the question.
As the TV report showed footage of the bloody scene, the announcer said: “These are scenes of the casualties. God willing, we will soon see black body bags. I pray to God the exalted we will see body bags in a short while. . . . Right now in these moments, the mosques in the Gaza Strip, their minarets are loudly sounding cries of ‘Allahu Akbar’ and cries of joy, and the residents of the Gaza Strip are bowing down to Allah for this offering [or, gift]. The morale of the Gaza residents is in the sky right now, and is rising just as the rockets of the resistance.”
As expressed more recently by a Muslim cleric in Lebanon (addressing Prime Minister Netanyahu), “We will give the skulls of your midgets as gifts for our children’s feet to play with.”
So, to rephrase my question, since 70% of the people of Israel have had to take refuge in bomb shelters and respond to sirens, and given the fact that Hamas is sworn to Israel’s destruction, what you would like Israel to do?
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.