Jolyon Maugham’s brainchild The Good Law Project is once again patting itself on the back; this time for “challenging the culture of cronyism” by suing the government for “awarding lucrative PPE contracts […] to companies with political connections”, and pushing legal action against the Cabinet Office. “Allowing those in power to continue to benefit from rampant cronyism,” they claim, “is simply not an option.” How noble.
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world” is a famous injunction to those who wish to change the world. The Good Law Project’s campaign against cronyism appears to be for other organisations, not their own management team. Last October, Rachel Smethers – daughter of the campaign’s director and co-founder Sam Smethers – joined the group as its Head of Communications, having previously worked in Parliament as an advisor to Harriet Harman (as shown above). We have not found an advertisement for the position from the organisation which campaigns so hard for open competition before the awarding of contracts…
Guido is sure The Good Law Project’s financial backers would expect the appointment to have been made strictly on merit, and as per the organisation’s Code of Conduct Rachel will have declared to the campaign director, her mother, their relationship:
Perform duties and conduct private affairs in a manner that avoids possible conflicts of interest with the work of Good Law Project.
Declare any financial, personal, family (or close intimate relationship) interest in matters which may impact on the work of Good Law Project.
Though given that Rachel’s mother Sam also once worked for Harriet Harman, it does all seem a bit incestuous. Cronyism in job contracts appears to be an option for Jolyon’s political connections.