Posted by: Witch Doctor | April 30, 2010

The intertwingled triplets – The First Triplet


Long post which you may find boring. On the other hand, if you are a witch you will revel in the fascination of Intertwinglements.

The Witch Doctor started blogging because she was astonished that “The Leaders” of the medical profession were either remarkably stupid or obediently complicit in allowing MMC/MTAS to follow the ridiculous path it did.

The Witch Doctor never has had a great regard for many “Leaders” in medicine. Those members of her profession that she respects most are excellent, caring, contemplative, knowledgeable, hands on doctors often to be found in the shadows looking after and taking responsibility for their patients, teaching and researching and often keeping the show on the road by filling in the gaps left by their angelic medical colleagues who are busy climbing up the greasy pole that they think leads to medical heaven.

And so she became irritated when the word ‘leadership’ in relationship to medicine began to be flaunted everywhere she looked. It seemed everyone who was anybody had to attend a leadership course or remain a nobody.

She also had a notion that “leadership” in this context really meant “followership.”

She then started to skulk around some of the “Leadership” courses that were being offered within the NHS. It was then she stumbled upon “Common Purpose.” She was surprised that many thousands of people within the public sector had attended their leadership courses and yet neither she nor any other doctor she asked had ever heard of this charity. It didn’t take her long to discover that odd conspiracy theories surrounding Common Purpose were rife within the Internet.

Little did she know that exploring the background to Common Purpose would direct her thinking towards Tony Blair’s “Third Way.” It seemed to her that this was the reason why the paths of the main political parties seem to be converging towards a new political ideology – one which she suspects is as yet undiscovered by most UK voters. One which seems closely related to Communitarianism.


Common Purpose is a “leadership” charity that intertwingles with people and establishments all over the place. It is a networking outfit that promotes itself as trainers of individuals THEY select to “lead beyond authority.” It operates both nationally and internationally. Their courses cost a lot of money. Many attending them are employed within the public sector eg, police, councils, teaching, NHS etc. and so significant amounts of money are transferred to CP from the public purse. Some of their courses are designed to encourage schoolchildren to develop leadership skills.

Common Purpose meetings are held under Chatham House Rules and those completing courses are called “graduates.” They are encouraged to keep in touch with each other through international websites and ongoing events.

It is thought that the term “graduate” rather than “member” means that it is not necessary for those with close Common Purpose links e.g. chairs of various charities, to declare their interest. I have no idea whether this notion is legally correct or not.

OFSTED has been criticised in The Telegraph. Note how it was not possible to establish CP graduate status of the Chair of Ofsted using a freedom of information request:




The Freedom of Information Request failed. However, The Witch Doctor can confirm that there is a strong Intertwinglement between Zenna Atkins, Chair of Ofsted and Common Purpose.

The Witch Doctor has often wondered if Common Purpose acts as a kind of networking conduit for those who ultimately chair (and therefore influence) public bodies or charities.

If you want to link to the Common Purpose website you have to ask their permission first. So you will need to surf around the internet to find it for yourself since this witch has no intention of asking permission to link!

If you read this blog, you will be aware that My Black Cat grovels around hunting out all the conspiracy theories and becomes quite excited about them. She has found plenty regarding Common Purpose. You can easily find out about them for yourselves if you surf the World Wide Web.

Black Cats believe in conspiracies.

Witches do not. They believe in Creep.

The question My Black Cat asks is:

“What are the conspiracy theories surrounding Common Purpose?”

The question The Witch Doctor asks is slightly different:

“Why are there conspiracy theories surrounding common purpose?”

The conspiracy theorists make many allegations regarding Common Purpose. Taking two only of these:

(1) It is alleged Common Purpose is much closer to government than would normally be expected of a charity offering leadership courses.

(2) It is alleged that there is a Marxist influence behind this charity.

If these allegations are true then it might explain why conspiracy theories have developed around Common Purpose.

By examining the close Intertwinglements of Common Purpose it might be possible to detect some pointers that support or refute these allegations.

Common Purpose was founded in 1989 by Julia Middleton, the current CEO. Prior to this she worked for The Industrial Society Interestingly, between 1978 and 1986 The Industrial Society ran “A Common Purpose Campaign.” These records are held in the Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick.

Below is an extract from this “original” Common Purpose Campaign. Perhaps this influenced Julia Middleton when she was considering a name for her new charity.

“What the Common Purpose has achieved Jan 1978-Dec 1980 (Feb 1981). Campaign to influence companies to take practical action on youth employment, Nov 1981. How Common Purpose would influence the nation in a further two years at a cost of £50,000 each year, Feb 1981. Youth Training, 1983. Challenge of Industry conferences, Jun-Dec 1983. Challenge of Industry conferences achievement sheet, Jul 1983. Pamphlet, One front door for education and industry, undated; Education for Industrial society. News release, New school societies for tomorrow’s bosses, 16 Dec 1986. Graduate Industrial Society first national conference, 15-16 Nov 1986.”

The Industrial Society became became “The Work Foundation in 2002”

“I welcome the launch of The Work Foundation. This new body is building on the 80 years of work of its predecessor – bringing all sides of working organisations together to find the best ways of improving both economic performance and the quality of working life’

Former Prime Minister, Rt Hon Tony Blair MP, Working Capital, 2002″

Prior to the launch of The Work Foundation, The Industrial Society transfered its training business to Capita Group PLC

“Will Hutton, chief executive of The Industrial Society, today announced the sale of The Society’s workforce training business and associated publications to the Capita Group Plc, one of the UK’s largest and fastest growing professional support services organisations, for £23 million. The two organisations plan to develop a strategic alliance, which is intended to bring benefits both to their customers and wider networks.

The Industrial Society retains its influential Futures and Policy teams, its leadership and coaching businesses, its rapidly expanding consultancy division together with its conference business, education department, research journals and its 10,000 strong membership.”

Possible links with government :

1.  It is alleged that Julia Middleton was Head of Personnel under John Prescott, former Deputy Prime Minister. The Witch Doctor has found no sound evidence that this is true, but this information should be easily available from government sources / others who have worked with her.

2.  Several politicians are aware and seem to support Common Purpose eg speak at meetings etc, however this is not surprising considering what appears to be vast networking activities of this charity.

3.  One prominent politician, Paddy Ashdown, the former leader of the Liberal Democrats is featured in Julia Middleton’s book “Leading Beyond Authority.”

4.  Julia Middleton is or was an Independent Assessor for the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

This information is available from a parliamentary publication.

“I would probably like to ask you about being an independent assessor, because we have never actual seen such a person. Can I, for a minute, just do that, could I ask you very quickly and if you could be very quick when you answer it; because, first of all, how did they find you?
(Ms Middleton) Tapped me on the shoulder.

708. Who did?
(Ms Middleton) I cannot even remember.

709. A man?
(Ms Middleton) Somebody from the Department wrote me a letter.

710. Which Department?
(Ms Middleton) The DTI.

711. “Will you be one of our independent assessors, please?”
(Ms Middleton) Yes.

712. Okay; and what is involved?
(Ms Middleton) Sifting through the application forms, making sure that the short-listing process is fair and decent, and then attending the interviews, making sure that that is fair and decent and an appointment is made appropriately.

713. In about how many appointments a year?
(Ms Middleton) I have done two this year.
(Ms Sussman) No prior briefing.
(Ms Middleton) No prior briefing.
(Ms Middleton) Dame Rennie has made some improvements to this system.

Mr Lyons

714. But neither have made assessors?
(Ms Sussman) No.
(Ms Middleton) Yes, I do think she is advertising for assessors, is she not?


715. Do you feel you are working for the Department?
(Ms Middleton) No.

716. Who are you working for?
(Ms Middleton) Now, Dame Rennie; before, I have no idea who I was working for.

Chairman: Good. I am sorry we cannot do justice to that, but I just wanted to dip into it ever so slightly. Thank you very much. It is fascinating; and George Orwell once talked about the deep, deep sleep of England, and it is interesting that you have come here to wake us up, and the work you are doing I think is extraordinarily interesting, and we have learned more about it, and I think we would like to know more about it too, and also thank you for doing it. Thank you very much indeed.”

Possible Links with Marxism :

I can find no hard evidence in the internet to confirm or refute that Julia Middleton has a Marxist or communist background. Wiki has an entry that states she was once an editor of “Marxism Today” although a citation is required. This information should be easily available from old copies of this publication.


20 June 2010 : WD observes that the WIKI entry mentioned above has been modified and the statement that Julia Middleton was once an editor of Marxism Today no longer exists.

More soon……


  1. I can’t make up my mind whether the panel are complimenting Julia Middleton with that Orwell comment, or being sarcastic. It’s the kind of thing that does sound very worthy until you see the fees that are charged and how many come from companies as opposed to the ordinary Joe Bloggs.

  2. Julia Middleton on her blog, on the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, mystified that it could have happened without people like her to ‘lead’ the plebs to do it:

  3. In the Parliamentary enquiry you linked to, as well as name checks for both Ken and Deirdre Barlow, Julia Middleton (more of a Janice Battersby I reckon) expresses her astonishment that more British people don’t go on demos, as she often did with her parents as a child. Non-violent, she stresses, yet everything with her is about clashes, force, confrontation (like her boasts of how some young recent university graduates on Common Purpose programmes had panic attacks when they’re plonked into the unfamiliar situation of a prison); Management Today, July 200, .

  4. What I would really like to know is who the organ grinders are. Julia Middleton is fairly far down the pecking order I feel and I wonder if she really knows what all this is about herself..

  5. Julie,

    I wondered too about possible undercurrents regarding the Orwell comment. Also, if Julia Middleton has conceived and initiated all she has done which is now on a global scale, and brought up five children to boot, then she is quite some lady!!

  6. Colacube,

    The Witch Doctor has recently become quite interested in the fall of the Berlin Wall. From reading, the impression I’m getting is that it happened because it was allowed to happen. I wish I was an academic historian and had time to study this fully.

    I noticed too JM raising that as a child she went on demontrations with her parents. Thought it was a bit odd to raise it in this context. Her parents clearly had some very strong feelings about something or other and felt it appropriate to include her. Wonder if she grew up for or against their beliefs.

  7. Talking of Orwell, I came across this;

    Look who awards it…

  8. If you’re studying the Berlin Wall, you could do worse than start with JPII. It was an overtly political appointment by the Catholic church; as the Archbishop of Kracow, JP was heavily involved in the fledgling trade union movement that was starting in the shipyards and after he became pope, helped set up Solidarity along with Ratzinger (who’s now Benedict). There is a school of thought that the guy that shot him in ’81 had been hired by the Russians because they were concerned at where Poland was going and JP’s involvement. There’s more to it than that, of course, but the churches (both orthodox and Catholic) did play a significant part in it.

  9. […] The intertwingled triplets – The First Triplet […]

  10. […] Nick (squatters in number 10) Clegg or his “mentor” Paddy (Brown is not a collegiate leader) Ashdown for that […]

  11. […] interesting, My Black Cat. We have been looking for and have found information indicating intertwinglements between Common Purpose and government and now we have found information regarding initial government […]


  13. […] you have been reading this blog for ages, you will know that the Intertwingled Triplets are Common Purpose, Demos and The Media Standards […]

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