Philip Hammond and the ‘Bonfire of the Quangos’

The Tories’ shadow chief secretary to the treasury Philip Hammond has been talent-spotted in the recent past both by and by’s Mike Smithson.

So I rather suspect he will try and forget as quickly as possible his disastrous performance on BBC2’s The Daily Politics yesterday, when he was quizzed by Andrew Neil on his party’s plans to light a ‘Bonfire of the Quangos’. The four-minute interview begins about two minutes into the clip and you can watch it by CLICKING HERE. (I’d advise switching off promptly at the 6:30 mins mark if you want to avoid Kelvin McKenzie).

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  • Off-topic slightly, but what is it with the BBC’s ‘rehabilitation’ of Kelvin MacKenzie over the last few years? He is a truly odious individual.

  • Simon Titley 7th Jul '09 - 1:36pm

    Kelvin MacKenzie? My guess is that – along with John Gaunt and Richard Littlejohn – he is wheeled out as a pundit to protect the BBC’s right flank.

    The BBC is sensitive to criticism of a ‘liberal bias’ and fearful of a Tory government.

    Giving an airing to Essex Man prejudices helps to satisfy a need for ‘balance’.

  • I’m not really worried whether or not the Tories can tell us now whether the Potato Council or the Home Grown Cereals Authority are safe at this point – or even Andrew Marr’s points about the salaries of quango CEOs.

    What was totally accepted at face value was the proposal that all these abolished bodies’ powers should be returned to Whitehall.
    And no mention at all was made of the one big measure that could bring real accountability and cost savings in the big quangos and pass real POWER (all the discussion seems to be about money but these are also powerful bodies we’re discussing) back to people – Regional devolution in England.

  • Hi Simon,

    Oh I get that alright; but their commitment to MacKenzie goes further than that. They don’t have to stick him on the Celebrity Apprentice (for instance) for the sake of ‘balance’.

    On another slightly spurious note, only in politics could a 53 year old former businessman be thought of as a ‘rising star’ 😉

  • How about getting rid of regional development agencies and actually passing their powers and budgets to democratically elected politicians at some level (preferably local ones). They spend millions of pounds but are totally unaccountable 🙁

    Yorkshire Forward spent over £300m in 2007-08

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