At 16.07 GMT today the BBC was reporting thus on the ATOS story of the day:
IT company Atos has confirmed it is seeking to end its government contract to assess whether benefits claimants are fit to work.
One of its journalist was quoted as saying (the bold is mine):
BBC political correspondent Iain Watson said the government was furious with Atos for leaking information it believes to be commercially confidential.
“In other words, if Atos wants to pull out early some other companies may pay less to take those contracts on than they otherwise would,” he said.
So what the hell does that mean? Companies are paying the government to take on contracts? Isn’t that traditionally called bribery?
On the other hand, maybe we’re just talking about a curious slip of the pen – and not a case of Iain Watson subconsciously revealing a secret of the night he shouldn’t have let on to.
Either way, the overarching story itself is mighty sorry, yes it is. A lot of heartache, pain, suffering and cruelty circling around the whole saga. And most of it, sadly and disgracefully enough, centred on – and more unacceptably, directed at – disabled people.
The night may be tender. But this tender has had all the marks of a quite different night.