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Why is it all such an utter cock-up?

Britain has been blighted by a series of costly mistakes, argues Philip Johnston

The problem is that many of us no longer trust the Government to do anything right because there is such a lot of evidence that something is deeply and systemically wrong with administration in this country. Too much public policy either fails to achieve its stated objectives; or it does so at exorbitant cost; or it makes bad situations worse; or it has undesirable and unforeseen consequences.

A Civil Service once the envy of the world has had its reputation tarnished by years of politicisation and impossible demands placed upon it; laws are introduced almost weekly that merely serve to inconvenience people and drive them to distraction, not help them; bad decisions are routinely arrived at; and public projects that are simply unnecessary are introduced vastly over-budget and those that are needed are incompetently delivered, or are not delivered at all.

Why does modern British government make so many mistakes and such big and costly ones at that? This question is vexing two of the country’s leading political academics – Anthony King, professor of government at Essex University, and Sir Ivor Crewe, Master of University College, Oxford – who have embarked on a research project to see if they can find the answer.

I've got some ideas, and some solutions; the main one of which is neatly coiled hanging on the back of the barn door.

Comments

I love your solution and you're right about the problem being systemic.

New Labour's inception was spawned by the notion of "narrative". I.e., fiction concocted to blind the public to what Labour was really intending to do. Blair was a genius at it - it was the means by which he delivered us unto the EU for his 30 pieces of silver, all without us noticing too much.

Labour has replaced traditional civil service roles with politicised roles - e.g., press secretaries like Bernard Ingham, with political, media-controlling agenda-setters like Alistair Campbell. The rot has grown rapidly throughout the system, to encompass a large number of unelected ministers, parachuted into government by way of peerages.

The triffords must be slain, the earth nourished and the seeds of integrity sown on fertile soil. You can't grow healthy produce in contaminated soil.

I love your solution and you're right about the problem being systemic.

New Labour's inception was spawned by the notion of "narrative". I.e., fiction concocted to blind the public to what Labour was really intending to do. Blair was a genius at it - it was the means by which he delivered us unto the EU for his 30 pieces of silver, all without us noticing too much.

Labour has replaced traditional civil service roles with politicised roles - e.g., press secretaries like Bernard Ingham, with political, media-controlling agenda-setters like Alistair Campbell. The rot has grown rapidly throughout the system, to encompass a large number of unelected ministers, parachuted into government by way of peerages.

The triffords must be slain, the earth nourished and the seeds of integrity sown on fertile soil. You can't grow healthy produce in contaminated soil.

A question and an answer within three lines:

"Why does modern British government make so many mistakes and such big and costly ones at that? This question is vexing two of the country’s leading political academics – Anthony King, professor of government at Essex University"

Give me a break, "professor of government, Essex University", the study of imbeciles by imbeciles.

If they are really serious about making government work their recommendation should be one sentence - make bureaucrats responsible for their actions, if improveemnt to the problem is not evident within one year stop funding the program.,

Re your suggested solution; I'm sure someone will put up the funding for the Lynching voucher.

We have deliberatly been cowed by our political leaders and their lackeys. We no longer have any self-respect. The worse it gets the worse the backleash will be.

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