Monday, December 07, 2009

Three Government Advisers Quit to Advise Tories

I hear that an announcement is just about to be made that Bernard Gray (the MOD's adviser on efficiency) has quit the Government to advise the Conservatives on public sector productivity. Martin Read, who is cited in Gordon Brown's foreword to the 'Smarter Gov' paper has followed suit, as has Sir Peter Gershon. They'll be advising Phillip Hammond - helping the Tories to squeeze out the endemic waste of the past decade.

This is quite a coup, especially as their insights on efficiency were spot on - but were ultimately blocked by Gordon Brown & Co.

It's yet another sign that the political establishment is swinging behind the Tories - and expects Brown to be booted out at the next election.


Silent Hunter said...

Rats? . . . Ship?

jbw said...

The power of Brown is slipping away - nobody is afraid of him anymore.

Anonymous said...

Don't have them - toss them away. You can never trust a turncoat!

Given the shambles things are in I would never trust any ex-govt adviser. Parasites wanting to continue their sucking at the public tit.

Away wi' them, filthy lice.

Desperate Dan said...

"It's yet another sign that the political establishment is swinging behind the Tories...."
I'd like to think that was true but sometimes it looks as though people who want to further their own interests swap sides just to continue exerting influence or exercising power over whoever will be in office after the election. There are also candidates who've swapped sides now that they see their chances of election would improve if they were Tories. And there are donors who've swapped sides now that the Tories will be dishing out peerages and quangoposts.
I wouldn't trust any of them as far as I can throw them.

John Copplestone said...

Just as long as we're all honest about the fact that "cuts" and "efficiency savings" mean, for the most part, making people unemployed or not filling vacancies even if the work is vital.

Probably necessary, but even the Communications Co-ordinators, Recycling Officers and Diversity Managers that everyone wants to cut out have families, mortgages and spend money in the real economy...

Unless coupled with effective measures to create new "productive" jobs, all this will do in the short term is reduce the size of the economy and the tax take.

Slimming down the public sector in a relatively painless and managed way is essential but must be part of a wider startegy to re-diversify the economy and will take a decade or more. Let's not let political gimmicry cloud our eyes to this reality.

Anonymous said...

This doesn't surpirse me. It continually seems like Gordon Brown has no control over those around him. Indeed, MP David Lammy's support for a National Civic Service recommended in a Demos report published last week, is another example. The reports recommendations are not backed up by sound evidence or research and are made in a haphazard fashion. Further, BIS issued a statement saying that this is not the policy of the Government.

The Government is falling apart and is littered with weak and incapable individuals. These latest defections are testament to that.

johnwillman said...

As a former colleague of Bernard Gray, I think he might take umbrage that you say he has quit the government. His recent independent report for the MoD lacerated government policy...

Jabba the Cat said...

I think the rats and sinking ship scenario is the more plausible one.

Barnacle Bill said...

Desperate Dan I fully agree with you, an example would be the number of our Gallic cousins across la Manche who one moment were in the Milice but subsequently ended up in the Resistance!

The Purpleline said...

These three advisers should have to compete with other experts in the field for the positions and attend a selection board with other candidates, where they present their credentials to the whole Tory party and general public. Explaining why we should engage them, what they actually believe in and why they left their former positions.

Salaries should also be discussed and subjected to Tory party votes.
Time to democratise the Tory Party Iain.

Tony said...

Gershon But Not Forgotten - Grant Shaps, 2007

Are advisors part of the problem? Is the Brown big idea on efficiency that of major and swift reductions in permanent employees in favour of temporary and short-term contract staff whose hours can be varied to suit political needs?

Anonymous said...

"Unless coupled with effective measures to create new "productive" jobs, all this will do in the short term is reduce the size of the economy and the tax take."

Public sector John-the tax is circular and instead of paying them £xK a year, we'll be paying them £60 a week.

Works for me.


I see Brown is going to name and shame overpaid civil

Wait a minute. Wasn't he supposed to be control of all this?

Clearly not.

It's a bit bloody late in the day to 'name and shame' when all the s**t currently hitting the fan happened on his watch.

Just how stupid does this man think we are?

David Lindsay said...

Why do we bother having Elections in this country any more? Consider the following:

Matthew Taylor, Head of the Number 10 Policy Unit under Blair, mate of Ed Vaizey's, on for a job under Cameron;

Julian Le Grand, former Blair adviser on health policy, on for a job under Cameron;

Ken Anderson, another old Blair adviser on health, now based at UBS, on for a job under Cameron;

Geoff Mulgan, old Trotskyist ex-Director of Demos, Blair's favourite think tank and itself a literal continuation of the dissolved Communist Party of Great Britain, on for a peerage and Ministerial office under Cameron;

And now these three.

Plus who knows how many more. Welcome to the One-Party State of Britain. If one of England's World Cup matches were fixed in the way that the political process now is, there would be riots in the streets.

Jimmy said...

That'll be Lord Gershon to you.

Anonymous said...

Re savings, Brown is saying a saving of £12 billion over 4 years. Is this a total of 12 billion over 4 years or savings at a rate of £12 billion pa by the end of 12 years.

BTW - re NHS salaries. The NHS is one of the biggest if not the biggest organisation in the world. Its inevitable that there will be some big salaries. Whats important is what the people do to earn those salaries.

Oh and will salaries be cut? Or just new appointments? That being so just why should anybody go for a promotion in order to earn less?

One of the biggest salaries is the BBC chief - £800k - just how will the BBC report on these fat cats?? Or will they have a case of elective amnesia.

Can someone explain how someone running the BBC can earn 800k yet the BBC can cheerlead the paycuts for public servants who do a damn site more worthwhile job than their chief?

ScotsToryB said...

John Copplestone, please explain how someone paid out of the tax take who then becomes unemployed and still paid out of the tax take does not reduce the size of the taxtake?
Of course it does.

Unless, of course, you believe that person has somehow magically earned his salary outwith the taxtake?

The money released by this should increase the size of the economy not reduce it i.e. the monies not raised in tax are then free to be spent by those who produce added value (providing the savings are returned to the taxpayers).

Please define 'new "productive" jobs'.



John Copplestone said...


Read what I wrote!

I said that making a public sector employee redundant does in the short term reduce the tax take.

It's a complicated caluclus but basically making people redundant will in the short term reduce the tax take and the size of the economy if they go on the jobless total - you will have idle assets.

And there are short-term costs - redunandcy money, early pension payments etc.

In the long term it will free up money - but the big "if" is in your penultimate sentence - "providing the savings are returned to the taxpayers".

Part of the point is that they won't be - they'll be used to reduce the huge public debt.

I would define productive jobs as those which add value. They can be public sector ones - a doctor or nurse for example adds value by making people well so they can go back to work or need less long term medical services.

The trick is knowing which add value and which don't. Some managers and adminstrators are worth their weight in gold, others are not. The NHS needs good managers, just nothing like so many of them. Ditto the armed forces, who have many more senior ranks especially generals, admirals etc. than they need, because no-one has had the guts to get rid of them when they don't have a real role. Easier to have them flying a desk than confront the problem. The Navy had more admirals (41) than ships (40) a year ago!

Unsworth said...

@ David Lindsay

"If one of England's World Cup matches were fixed in the way that the political process now is..."

You sure the matches ain't fixed? On the basis of past performances I'd like some reassurances, you see.

DeeDee99 said...

Tonight's poll will apparently show the Tories share of the vote declining to 38% and Labour creeping up to 30%. It's not all over yet.

Cameron stupidly threw away 3 or 4% by cancelling a post-ratification Referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. His announcement that because he believes the UK belongs in the EU, no Referendum can be held has cost him vital support. It may have cost him the election.

We are supposed to be a Democracy and the electorate have never been given a vote on the EU. It is time we had our say.

Barnacle Bill said...

We were given a vote on the EU, only then it was a trading "Common Market", not the federal state it has become since the Lisbon Treaty came into force.
No one has ever asked me if I want to be a European, at least a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty would have given me an option to say NO!
By removing that option the Conservatives have lost my vote.

No One said...

I worked for Martin Read at Logica found him to be an untrustworthy liar, and he really hated "techies" who were after all earning the crust that was feeding him

Peter Gershon, read his reports countless times and always found them to be simplistic nonsense, give him a dept to run for a few years and let him prove he can improve it the way he bullshits about it, he is a very theoretical manager

So all in all bad luck on the Conservatives