On the subject of Civitatis International

Yes, that’s Civitatis, not Civitas. And I can’t remember why or when I came across them. But I did and my general impression was, not for any reason I can put a finger on, hmm, that’s not quite kosher.

A former aide to a Liberal Democrat peer has been condemned for charging former unpaid interns at his thinktank “£300 a go” for employment references.

Jan Mortier, who describes himself as a former consultant to Lord Garden, a one-time defence spokesman for Nick Clegg’s party, has admitted that he charges former unpaid trainees at his Civitatis International organisation for references, but denied that they had been interns, on the basis that they had been “trained directly” by him.

Score one for instinct I guess.

11 comments on “On the subject of Civitatis International

  1. Defence spokesman? Someone make that man an aide to the Economics spokesman! Who is the Lib-Dems economic spokeschair these days anyway?

    Still, £300 seems a bit steep. Better be damned good references. In these situations he ought to ask what Jeremy Thorpe would do? What would any fine upstanding Lib-Dem do? He ought to defend himself by saying he is sorry, he tried to be a good Lib-Dem member, but there were just too many interns to sleep with in exchange for references.

  2. Civitatis International advertises itself as a private foundation “committed to promoting peace, dialogue and co-operation between nations and civilisations”, and has submitted evidence to parliamentary select committees as a thinktank.
    Wanktank, more like, enabler of assaults on mundane stuff like freedom of speech through enrichment from other cultures, I guess.

  3. So if you’re reading a CV that has a reference from this bloke, what value do you place on the reference knowing it has come with a fee?

    And in the article he reckons it covers administration costs. What does he reckon is his hourly rate, given this can’t be more than 15 minutes work.

  4. Dear God.

    Jan Mortier, who describes himself as a former consultant to Lord Garden, a one-time defence spokesman for Nick Clegg’s party

    ex “consultant” to a “defence spokesman” for a libnodemocrat? How far down in the basement of public insignificance – can the downstairs take you?

    £300 payment? We do, we are, living in the era of stupid, where even being a nobody with social connections to political fuqwits is reckonable?

  5. @Adrian: “What does he reckon is his hourly rate, given this can’t be more than 15 minutes work.”

    If you like somebody and wish them well in the world, you’re going to spend more than 15 minutes writing the reference. But its a pro bono thing, and when you write more than a cursory job reference, it’s on your time. No charge.

  6. Channel 4 really should do a new series of “Benefits Street”.

    We’ve seen the chavs living off unemployment and disability benefits. How about a new series highlighting the people who produce nothing of any discernible value, but somehow manage to live high on the hog as the head of NGO’s, think tanks and the like?

    Read Mortier’s LinkedIn page, it’s fascinating:

    https://uk.linkedin.com/in/janmortier

    Elected Vice Chairman of the City of Plymouth Liberal Democrats, after serving on several executive party positions. Led half the governing executive of the party to defect to and campaign for the Labour Party candidates in the run up to the 2005 General Election.

    Yes, he put this down as a career highlight (!). As dearieme might say: “Jings! Crivvens! And help ma boab!”.

    And it gets worse. From there he slithered to the Club of Rome, which famously wants most of the human race dead.

    So I have little sympathy for any aspiring uptown scroungers who paid this man £300. Fuck em.

  7. @Steve: “Led half the governing executive of the party to defect to and campaign for the Labour Party candidates in the run up to the 2005 General Election.

    Yes, he put this down as a career highlight (!).”

    It may have been a highlight. In 2006, Jan Mortier was a Conservative Party member, according to the Plymouth Herald.

    The ex-LibDem, ex-Conservative, ex-Labour nice guy of politics Jan Mortier is a bit of a challenge. Or a bit of a chancer.

  8. “If I had any education I would know what ‘brown envelope’ was in Latin.”

    The other funny thing is whether you thought that you were educated like us. You weren’t.

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