In 1946 George Orwell warned authors against making money from writing propaganda for bodies such as the British Council, deeming such work a waste of creative energy. Nonetheless, in recent times, it seems that those writing propaganda for the Council’s commercial activities have been reading Orwell’s novel ‘Nineteen Eighty Four’.
When defending its aggressive commercial plans and arguing for continued grant-in-aid funding from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), the British Council has sought praise for its ‘entrepreneurial‘ model of public sector finance.
Think of the word entrepreneurial and terms like ‘risk taking’, ‘new venture’, ‘private finance’, ‘creative’ and innovation’ come to mind. Let’s compare British Council with a genuine UK business to see which truly represents the spirit of entrepreneurialism:
The British Council
- The British Council doesn’t have to worry about start up costs or financing: it is underwritten by the taxpayer to the tune of £160 million per year. It commercially exploits its government branding and facilities, and is largely unaccountable.
- The British Council is a government agency with a government brand, funded by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom, with a related political agenda.
- The British Council has the instant support of Ambassadors, Consul Generals and UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) offices around the world to support its business, at no cost, to the detriment of fair competition. Any education / training company approaching UKTI/FCO for international assistance will be asked to work with a competing organisation – the British Council.
- The British Council pays no tax, thanks to its ‘charity‘ status and a complex network of international business entities that makes Starbucks envious.
- British Council employees (whether working for the public good or on BC cash generating business) benefit from a full Civil Service Pension scheme, paid for by the British taxpayer.
- The British Council stifles competition by using its government brand, taxpayer funding, tax-avoiding global network of companies, and government FCO privileges to maximise income from its marketing, events and language businesses.
- Levant Education was started using the private savings of its Director, David Mitchell, after 10 years spent working in International Education marketing. Every project or venture it undertakes must take account of the business risk and customer satisfaction.
- Levant Education is a British company, working to build a brand based on quality events, marketing & recruitment, and education projects in Turkey, Azerbaijan, Iraq and Iran. It is a private limited company, independent of the UK government, working closely with governments where it is active, for example in Azerbaijan.
- Levant Education pays UKTI for overseas market introduction services (OMIS), which unavoidably brings-in the British Council team in that market. The British Council then shamelessly goes after our business for itself.
- Levant Education pays tax in the UK as a registered UK company.
- Levant Education employs and pays its employees with no state benefits required.
- Levant Education competes in its sector on a fair and even playing field – one which the British Council distorts and exploits.
Is the British Council ‘entrepreneurial‘? Only in a world where 2 + 2 = 5, Freedom is Slavery, and
State-Sponsored, Unfair Trade