Leadership conspiracy theories – Common Purpose

February 22, 2009



“It is amazing just how far the Demos team have ‘moved on’ from their days ‘upholding’ Marxism to embrace the ideology of the right, any old post-modern cobblers, big business and the shadowy connianvances of think tanks. Demos has spawned all manner of parasitical children. Take the example of Common Purpose (CP). This was started by Demos trustee Julia Middleton. It has been around for sometime but gained a great deal of funding with the advent of New Labour and its service towards business elites. Initially money was put in by David Bell, the Chairman of the Financial Times (and the Millennium Bridge Trust). CP is another strange organisation, a kind of secret society for careerists. Again the board has some mysterious figures presiding including Lord Dahrendorf, the chairman of the right-wing Ditchley Foundation and Prof. Laurence Martin of the like-minded Royal Institute of International Affairs. “>


“I shy away from that insanity, those things but these people are right into it and therefore it needs to be confronted. All my talk of cabals in the last year is only the surface issue. The real issue is the craziness coming out of Bavaria, Zurich, Paris and New York, not to mention London.

Very easy to spot – diffuse light blues blending into diffuse yellows in their headers, sun symbols, meaningless drivel as taglines, e.g. securing the future today and other balderdash like that. Their pages are slick and businesslike and they use feelgood terminology about “bringing people together” and so on. Second Life, the U.N. and Common Purpose are examples.

On the surface, it’s all about management, leadership and the new technological revolution but the rhetoric behind it is exactly the same which Agatha Christie wrote of in N or M [Dodd, Mead & Co., 1941] .

It’s the same old story – pinpointing likely people in positions of authority or who are likely to be, tweaking their egos by showing them and by associating them with snippets of the elite which controls the government of the nations, how they’ll be part of the crack leadership group sweeping away mismanagement and inefficiency and so on and so on. An example of one of these Brave New Worlders:”


“Visionary leadership or new-fangled management?
CP’s offer of visionary leadership training to enable the new managers to understand and negotiate the layers of organisational complexity in the new modern world significantly pre-figures the debate pending on the future of democracy and pre-empts any discussion that might be had about who we want leading us (if, indeed, we want that at all). The imagined community, with communal power at its centre, vanishes with the introduction of specially trained leaders appointed by nobody, who will sniff out where the “real power” in communities lies and act accordingly, having co-opted, relegated or sidelined opponents who are not specially identified and trained leaders.

Now here’s the thing. I can’t easily locate balanced debate on this subject, which puzzles me. The ‘pro’ people seem to assume that there’s nothing more than training involved. The ‘antis’ are sure that it’s all about indoctrination and control. I want to find out more about who’s involved with Common Purpose and what they think they’re getting out of it.”