Kids Company founder Camila Batmanghelidjh – who reportedly had five personal assistants and turned her office into a palatial throne room with a tree in the centre – ran her organisation into the ground and dumped the thousands of young people who relied on the charity at the foot of the taxpayer. And yet even now, people are falling over themselves to say how great she is.
It has often occurred to me that if you wanted to perform any great con trick these days you could do no better than to have a hard to pronounce name, wear achingly ethnic clothing and cultivate a sort of ‘mother earth’ persona. The search for authenticity is such that before long every culturally embarrassed media and political creep would beat a path to your door, sit at your feet and hug you like a tree. In reality you would never need to do anything much because you’ve already ticked all the culturally correct boxes.
He’s right. Despite having made thousands of young people reliant on the services of Kids Company – and, through her own financial mismanagement and the negligence of her trustees, left them high and dry when the charity collapsed yesterday – most other commentators are still falling over themselves to praise Batmanghelidjh for her supposed pure-hearted, selfless altruism.
Here’s Fraser Nelson, balancing accurate and deserved criticism of Batmanghelidjh on the one hand, with the almost obligatory effusive praise on the other: