Recently The Devonport Column wasinterested to see a large two page spread inthe Evening Herald dated 22nd March 2006on the subject of a little understoodorganisation called ‘Common Purpose’.As CP purports to be a charity that runseducational programmes for ‘leaders’, TheDevonport Column feels that the wider publicshould be rather wiser to some of thecharacteristics of this dubious organisation,including the special courses run forschoolchildren. Just what are these coursesfor vulnerable children about?In the interests of the truth, TheDevonport Column certainly thinks that thePlymouth public would like to know just howmuch public money is being squandered onCommon Purpose, which by its ownadmission in the Herald article, cannotquantify the benefits of the so-called‘leadership courses’.Quote: “And do they (the CommonPurpose Leaders) really all make adifference? Where’s the proof?” unquote.To which the answer from CommonPurpose is, quote: “It is not one of thosethings that is easy to quantify”, unquote. TheCommon Purpose spokesman goes on to saythat a Common Purpose survey of trainees’satisfaction reveals that 75% feel enriched.The Column notes that this positivesurvey result comes from a Common Purposesurvey, not an independent one. Let’s stickwith the expenditure of hard earned publicmoney to be ‘enriched’.Money thrown away by the Leader of theCouncilThe first point is that Common Purposecourses cost money – a lot of money. Andoverwhelmingly you as the taxpayer foot thebill for courses conducted by people in thepublic sector. Just to take a few examples -Plymouth City Council, (£millions in the redand having recently thrown away anotherchunk of your money on costs associated withan unnecessary court battle over taxilicences), has spent up to £100,000 of yourmoney on Common Purpose training.Charged at some £3,950 plus VAT(£4,500), courses can be as much £9,500plus VAT.Posing proudly for the Heraldphotographer Tudor Evans - New Labour -appears happy for Plymouth City Council tospend an estimated £100,000 of taxpayersmoney on a course from which the benefits“are not easy to quantify”. So whilst SeatonPool is closed and vital social support servicesand amenities are shut down, there is moneyto burn on becoming a Common Purpose‘leader’.Plymouth City Council squanders£100,000 on “Common” PurposeLetter toLetter toLetter toLetter toLetter tothe Editorthe Editorthe Editorthe Editorthe EditorSir,I realise the contents of my letterdo not specifically apply toDevonport but I do feel it is of directrelevance in light of the lies, deceitand propaganda that the people ofPlymouth face and you are exposingin your newspaper.As the readers of your finenewspaper will be aware there is verylittle news in the public domain thatis anti EU. For example, the BBC andITV television news seemingly onlyever provide ‘good’ news storiesinvolving the EU. Likewise, theprinted news is almost entirelypositive.The heavily biased attitude of themedia in general is well known andwas brought home to me in particularfor Channel 5 news on Saturday 25thMarch 2006 at the UKIP South WestRally at Exeter University when I wastold by a member of the publicattending the rally that her nephew,who works for Channel 5 News, saidthat all stories that are anti-EU are tobe discarded.Hence, the public are never affordeda balanced view of the EuropeanProject. Only lies and skewedpropaganda in favour of the EU.In fact, very similar to that whichthe people of Plymouth face from itsown council when they are told liesand propaganda about such bodies asthe Devonport RegenerationCommunity Partnership ashighlighted in your newspaper.It is indicative of the trouble weare in as a nation when the populacecan only rely on the truth that ispublished in a newspaper such as theDevonport Column, a privateenterprise from patriotic subjects thatdo not have a vested interest.I sincerely hope you never reachthe stage where you discard newsbecause it is true.Sincerely,Laurence Keegan (UKIP)P.S. Visit ukip-plymouth.org.uk formore truth.funny little organisation called Common Purpose. You taxpayershave been paying thousands of pounds for it, but nobody told youuntil The Column came along. Suspicious? We are! Read on.I’d also like to thank Readers for the letters and othermaterial sent, particularly information on wrongdoing in the City.Seems to us that Plymouth is a rotten borough under New Labour,but since the national New Labour team are rotten, who’ssurprised? Many thanks for the ‘police fax’ copied to us – brilliantwork, Mr Holmes. Sorry we didn’t have space to print it, but we’llbe following up the content!In the next edition a look at our National Marine Fishtankand the £ millions pumped in, whilst we cannot provide care forour old people, give free dental treatment, or run Seaton Pool!Well done Tudor and the local Blair Babes.God Bless, Ed.Dear Readers,Thank you for picking up The Column. I’m sure you will enjoyit, and if so please pass it on, and tell all your friends. You mayhave noticed that we’ve jumped a month to get the edition out atthe start of the month rather than towards the end. So don’t worry –you haven’t missed one.As to be expected the Column is packed with hard hittingstories which we feel the public need to know about. Our local papersare OK but somehow they just don’t seem to print the facts down atground level. We do, and we’re telling it like it is.Stories cover more unsavoury treatment of Mr Williams bythe Devonport Regeneration Community Partnership and a shockingtale of police overkill at a DRCP public meeting. We also expose aDevonport Column April EditionWho else is spending public money oncourses with no tangible benefits to thetaxpayer?The Government Office of the South West– a major quango and baby of Two JagsPrescott - admits to spending over £60,000on Common Purpose. Nice of the taxpayerto provide the cash. Prescott’s own Office ofthe Deputy Prime Minister has also expendedsome £80,000 of your money.Devon & Cornwall Constabulary, which isdesperately short of cash to police our streets,has spent over £57,000. It may well be moreas detailed police figures on expenditure seema little vague.The South West of England RegionalDevelopment Agency – over £30,050.Defence Logistics (effectively the Ministry ofDefence) - over £36,000. These figures arethe tip of the iceberg.Secret Meetings and Questions of ProbityAs if the wanton expenditure of publicmoney for no tangible benefit is not badenough, Common Purpose has someadditional and rather worrying sides to it.Common Purpose encourages and facilitatesmeetings under the ‘so-called’ ChathamHouse Rules. These rules allow CommonPurpose individuals from both the public andprivate sector to meet behind closed doors,with no formal public agendas or minutes.And as if this is not highly questionablewhere public money is concerned, individualsattending these secret meetings are alsoencouraged to reveal information which isthen not directly attributable to them. Havewe got the situation therefore where CommonPurpose leaders with responsibility forawarding public money, are meeting in secretwith private sector people who would love toget their hands on public money and assets?Are you concerned? The Column is.Particularly when Common Purpose meetingshave in fact taken place at key strategicdevelopment sites such as Plymouth Dome,Mount Wise and Devonport.Failure to declareUnlike the Freemasons, who are obligedto declare their membership, the names ofCommon Purpose ‘graduates’ are not declaredto the general public. This is insidious when,for example, even the legal department ofPlymouth City Council is Common Purposeled.Charity or ‘Cult’?Perhaps even more worrying than the lossof public money and questions of probity isthe fact that Common Purpose appears tohave some very strange objectives – includingcreating a new, better society under selectedCommon Purpose leaders, and the selectionand ‘grooming’ of children to create futureleaders. Spooky? Read more in the nextDevonport Column.