Part 28. Ashley Platts and Chris Needham (II)

In this part of the interview we continue to explore the suspicious inconsistencies in Ashley Platt’s behaviour over time. Was Ashley’s booby, Chris Needham, promoted multiple times so as to fail, thereby advancing Ashley’s real agenda?

 What did both Chris Needham and Luke Preece tell you was Ashley Platt’s ultimate goal in TBI?

Ashley was trying to get rid of other ex-pat managers. He thought that he should stay on as a management consultant to an all Indonesian management team.

Nice work if you can get it. Were any exceptions to be made apart from the ruthless Platts himself?

Depends on who was telling the story. As Chris told it, he, Ashley and Luke would be the last ex-pat managers. But then Chris got demoted by Mariam. As Luke told it, there was only space for Ashley and Luke. But Luke said he would try and stop Ashley from getting rid of Scott and myself.

Did you ever know Ashley to act to get rid of other expat managers? In other words, is there any proof that he was carrying out this agenda?

I was never part of the inner core. Ashley and Luke were in regular communication with Mariam and she rarely spoke to me, so I don’t know most of what Ashley got up to. But I can think of at least two examples. I know for a fact that Ashley persuaded the owner of TBI Bogor to fire R**. And at one point Luke told me that Ashley was going to give a power-point presentation to Pak Pauswan to try and get you fired.
Pauwsan confirmed that this happened. I will leak the email I wrote to him about it next week. How do you reconcile his proven record of removing other ex-pat managers and promoting Chris Needham?

I always presumed that Needham was Ashley’s puppet. I thought that Ashley planned to run TBI through Chris.

That’s what we have long thought. But I wonder if that explanation really fits the facts. Let’s look if Ashley really did run Kuningan through Needham.

Did Ashley ever come into the school to give helpful tips and advice?

He rarely visited the school at all. When he did he usually just popped his head in and said, “Hi”.

Did Chris ever discuss any meetings he had with Ashley about how to handle the school?

No he didn’t.

In your time as Academic Team Leader, what big ideas or changes did Chris Needham come up with?

He didn’t do very much at all. He came up with the idea of Saturday afternoon classes but these were discontinued at that point because he didn’t market them properly and they flopped. He made up a lot of rules about women’s clothing and shoes. Nothing important.

So would it be fair to say that Ashley probably wasn’t coming up with any creative ideas to help Chris Needham?

If there were any, no one knew about them.

Did you ever hear of Ashley sorting out the massive problems at TBI Fatmawati?

Sr* was on her own and she was really struggling. I knew her pretty well and it seems that Platts just left her to struggle and fail.

Would it be fair to say then that Ashley Platts did nothing much that we know of to ensure Chris Needham, his star choice, succeeded?

That’s certainly how he appears. I know that right at the end Chris burst into tears before Ibu Ning and confessed that it had all been too much for him and he had felt as if he was in over his head. It was Ashley Platts who had given him too much responsibility. He clearly hadn’t given him enough support.

When the extent of Chris’s failure became obvious, did Ashley ever defend the record of Chris Needham?

Not that I ever heard.

Did he ever apologize for having pushed Chris Needham forward or for leaving him to fail?

I never heard of him doing so.

Did he ever show any loyalty to the man he was always drinking with at Aphrodite and had selected as School Manager of 3 schools without interviewing other candidates?

Not that I ever saw or heard of. The common belief is that he just threw him to the wolves. He showed no loyalty whatsoever. I always presumed that Ashley had tried to save himself by disowning Chris. But I know what you think now. You think that Ashley selected Chris because he knew he was a complete fool and would certainly bomb as School Manager. Then Ashley could go to Mariam and Ning and say, “Look Bu, ex-pat school managers really are an expensive waste of money. We need to get rid of them all.”

If Ashley really did set Chris up to fail- and let’s admit it, he has never shown any concern for anyone else besides himself- what negative consequences did Ashley bring on TBI?

If Ashley did that, it shows a shocking lack of morals. He has inflicted a useless manager on 3 different schools and made life difficult for a dozen or more people. He would also have wasted billions of rupiah in lost revenue, all for entirely selfish purposes. If Ashley really did use Chris in that way, he really must be a conniving and under-handed individual.

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