Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A government not fit for purpose

Top of the news today is the revelation (like this would be a surprise to anyone) that the Home Office is still in utter disarray.

I suppose we'll have the usual calls for the minister responsible to resign - and usually I'd be one of those leading the call. But what would be the point of that? I don't like Reid and, for all his supposed tough talk and rhetoric, I really don't believe that he'll change anything, but I don't believe anyone else would either. Labour. Lib Dem or Conservative. Moving Reid from the post will just provide his replacement with a ready made excuse to avoid dealing with the problem - namely that it was someone else's fault.

This seems to be a common response from politicians these days - it's always someone else's fault. The previous minister, the previous government, the officials in the department, the day of the week, wrong time of the month - anything to avoid accepting the responsibility of the position. It rather makes me wonder why they seek high office if all they intend to do is avoid actually doing anything or taking responsibility for what they might do.

But even more annoying than all of this is to have the dimwit Cameron suggesting that the best thing to do is to make the government bigger by splitting up the Home Office into more "manageable" chunks. Cameron believes that the Home Office remit is just too big a task for one minister and one department. Aw, diddums!

What garbage.

This suggestion is laughable for several reasons. For starters, what difference will it make if you split the department up? You'll still have the same "officials", same processes, same people and same approach. Except you'll now have even more departments with even more people to argue over the budget for new carpets, desks, expense accounts and pensions.

Secondly, why should the job of running the Home Office be any harder than it was 40 or 50 years ago? The remit is essentially the same - nothing has changed. Others have claimed that terrorism has changed it, but we've been living with terrorism in this country for almost 40 years. It is nothing new.

If anything, given the access to new technology, it should be easier than it was. Isn't that what the technology is supposed to do? Make it easier to do the job? If it doesn't then what is the point in having it?

The problems of the Home Office are no different to the problems of other government departments. They have all become too big and are largely staffed with incompetents who are cushioned from the real world by the safety and security of employment they enjoy and the knowledge that they have a nice fat pension to retire on (along with various places on the multitude of quangos to supplement their early retirement).

Head up those departments with politicians who are bereft of integrity, principle and, above all, competency and it is no surprise that they are "not fit for purpose". Of course they aren't! The ministers who run them aren't either. The majority of them are not fit to wipe the backsides of those great men who preceded them. They demean our Ministries just as they demean our Parliament.

The Conservatives used to be in favour of smaller government. Now they want to create whole new ministries and posts, more officials, more ministers, more chauffeur driven limos, more bodyguards, more private secretaries, undersecretaries and deputy undersecretaries, more useless inquiries, more jobs for the boys, more cronyism - and more tax to pay for it all.

Utter bilge. What we need are people of vision and to free us from being hamstrung by political correctness, constrained by EU diktats and strangled by UN conventions. What we need is independent people to run an independent country. As a guideline, any person who believes that we as a nation "need" someone else - be it the EU, UN or USA - is not fit to be in government.

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