Tag Archives: civil service

6 February 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Thousands dying waiting for social care as Govt ignores crisis
  • Lib Dems: 50 days until Brexit cliff-edge
  • Greg Clark’s warning exposes recklessness of Tory Govt
  • Lib Dems: Govt must investigate civil service support for Tory meetings
  • Lib Dems threaten veto to force Govt u-turn on knife crime

Thousands dying waiting for social care as Govt ignores crisis

Responding to the research by Age UK showing that more than 50,000 older people have now died waiting in vain for care during the 700 days since the Government first said it would publish a Social Care Green Paper, Former Liberal Democrat Health Minister Norman Lamb said:

These figures

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Farron: Government making up Brexit strategy on the back of a fag packet

People who know about how the government and civil service operate have been expressing concern about the challenges Brexit poses for months.

Back in November, the Telegraph reported a leaked memo saying 30,000 extra civil servants would be needed to cope. The following week, the former head of the civil service Bob Kerslake had this to say:

It’s not possible to do that at a point when the civil service is at its lowest numbers since the second world war and continuing to fall.

“I think it is pretty essential for the government to pause, review, take stock of what it has in front of it and then revisit the question of capacity.

“And I don’t think it’s necessarily about lots of skills that the civil service doesn’t have – I think it has huge skills but there will be a real issue about numbers to deliver these very big demands.”

Back in August, former Cabinet Secretary Gus O’Donnell said that the Government needed to get its strategy in place before invoking Article 50 and there was no rush to do so:

“The key for government is to have a strategic plan to say: ‘What kind of UK do we want? What is our place in the world? What are we trying to achieve in these negotiations?’

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The Lib Dem minister and the carefully annotated 500-page document that was shredded by mistake

It’s Friday, so it must be time to read Civil Service World, which sounds like one of those publications they feature at the end of “Have I got news for you?”. (Baroness) Lindsay Northover tells the magazine about her experiences of working with civil servants, while serving as a whip in the coalition government. Lindsay is very complimentary, in the main, about civil servants. She tells of one of the challenges of coalition government:

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Opinion: if you pay peanuts, you risk bad governance

PeanutsIt is reported today that, in a further attempt to control spending, George Osborne is proposing further changes to public sector pay and conditions. Before he does though, perhaps he ought to make time for a little light reading…

Last week, the National Audit Office (NAO) published the extravagantly titled “Building capability in the Senior Civil Service to meet today’s challenges”, which sounds, on the face of it, to be a white knuckle, edge of your seat kind of read. And yet, if you’re keen to change the way that we are governed, …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 14 Comments

Opinion: time to march for the Civil Service

At the moment we are being outmanoeuvred by the Tories on the PR front, as the Osborne distortion of employee ownership illustrates, and we are not differentiating ourselves in an increasingly right wing government. We need to issue two challenges, right now, in addition to the clamour around the Employee Share Ownership issue – especially with the TUC demonstration looming on Saturday, which I shall be attending (hopefully I will see other yellow rosettes there).

They are related. The first is the austerity measures translated into

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 26 Comments

Opinion: Lib Dems should say “No, Minister” to Tory plans to politicise the Civil Service

An initiative by Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office minister, should be a cause of considerable alarm for Liberal Democrats. According to the Independent, Maude has proposed a massive expansion of politically-appointed civil servants. The details are rather sketchy. But it seems obvious that if Francis Maude gets his way it will hugely reduce the effectiveness of government.

There are countless problems with an apolitical Civil Service. It is traditionally seen as a bastion of Establishment moderation and elitism. There is a good deal of evidence to suggest this has more than a grain of truth. The success of Yes, Minister

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Opinion: are we participants in ‘elective dictatorship’ ?

A formula. Politicians who are weak, plus ‘Sir Humphreys’ who are strong, equals elective dictatorship.

It was Tony Blair who introduced the idea to the British public of politicians who see themselves primarily as spokespeople for the decisions and interests of officials. With Blair and his New Labour concept, it became more obvious that there was a new class of ‘professional’ career politician – seeing their role primarily as spinning-for-the-state and controlling public opinion.

A little-noticed last phrase in a BBC news item last week may be another symptom of a weakening democratic system of elected politicians – those who used …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 15 Comments

NEW POLL: Is it time to end ‘politically restricted’ jobs?

Blogging Labour MP Tom Harris has an interesting story today, revealing that Tina Stowell, the BBC’s head of corporate affairs “is not only a wannabe Tory candidate, but still has a live website proclaiming her love of all things Cameron.” But Tom doesn’t point this out in order to fulminate or demand her resignation:

And you know something? I don’t have a problem with this. I would much prefer to know the politics of someone I’m dealing with because at least you know where they’re coming from. She wants to become an MP? Good for her! I hope she

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Lib Dems reveal civil servants paid £26m in bonuses

Lord (Matthew) Oakeshott, the Lib Dems’ treasury spoeksman in the House of Lords, has been busy in recent weeks – busy compiling figures from Parliamentary answers on the level of “non-consolidated performance pay” (bonuses to you and me) shared between 2,600 of the most senior officials working in Whitehall. And here’s what he’s found:

  • senior civil servants were awarded “bonuses” totalling £26 million last year;
  • £1.21 million was paid out to 141 senior officials in the Department for Business – three quarters of the total – an average of £8,582 each
  • officials at the Department of Health received a
  • Posted in News and Parliament | Also tagged | 2 Comments

    Lamb reveals 50 Health civil servants earn £100k+

    From today’s Telegraph:

    The number of staff earning three-figure salaries at the Department of Health has shot up from just eight in 1997 when Labour came to power. Norman Lamb, Liberal Democrat health spokesman who obtained the figures in response to a written Parliamentary question, said: “For too long the Government’s priority has been increasing the amount of bureaucracy in the NHS.

    “The explosion in the number of managers, not just in the Department of Health but across the NHS in general, is crazy when front line services are under huge pressure. People will be shocked that so many civil

    Posted in News | Also tagged and | 9 Comments
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