Tag Archives: Priti Patel

Observations of an expat: Maybe Minister

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The row between British Home Secretary Pritti Patel and her until recently Permanent  Under Secretary of State Sir Phillip Putnam is part of a disturbing trend which is undermining a 150-year-old tried, tested and globally-respected system.

Europe, America and most of the rest of the world endure political patronage in varying degrees. This was also the case in the UK before Gladstone took a leaf from the Chinese and Indian experience and introduced civil service exams in 1870. Patronage, corruption and political ties were swapped for a civil service based on merit. Bribery income was replaced with job security, above average salary, a gold-plated pension and the prospect of a lucrative private sector contract upon retirement.

In return the civil servants were expected to offer apolitical and impartial advice to their policy-making ministers. When the policy was decided, the civil servants implemented it.  Secretaries of state came and went. The civil servants stayed on to provide a historic knowledge, keep track of the buried bodies and point out the consequences and pitfalls of a minister’s preferred course of action.

The final ruling, however, rested with the minister. That is why when a mistake was made it was the politician who resigned.  The issue of resignations is one of the core causes for the unravelling of the relationship between civil servants and government. Ministers have, for the most part, stopped taking responsibility for their decisions. Politics has become a career choice. Elected officials have become increasingly focused on retaining their jobs, political infighting and climbing the greasy pole rather than public service.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 15 Comments

3-4 August 2019 – the weekend’s press releases

Police should reduce fear, not create terror

Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Ed Davey has criticised Home Secretary Priti Patel as “out of touch” for her comments about the police making people “literally feel terror”.

Responding to Priti Patel’s interview with the Daily Mail, Ed Davey said:

The Liberal Democrats want many more police so they can catch criminals, prevent crime in the first place and work in our communities to help people feel safer – and it’s a shame Priti Patel didn’t back our campaign for more police these last four years.

Yet Priti Patel’s notion that making people terrified of the

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , and | 4 Comments

Swinson: No 10 must answer questions over Patel

I have to say, I’m not unhappy to see the back of Priti Patel from Government. I have never forgiven her for caving to pressure and withdrawing funding from an innovative and successful project which changed attitudes and behaviour, protecting girls from harassment and violence.  She can’t protect women and girls from violence, but she’s happy to talk about using our aid budget to help out an occupying army against government policy.

It’s quite astounding that Patel wasn’t sacked when the initial revelations about her behaviour came out at the weekend.

Jo Swinson said that there still questions for No 10 …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 17 Comments

After the Coalition: A Conservative agenda for Britain

Collections of policy essays from new or junior MPs rarely have much of an impact or shelf-life in British politics, but however fallible their predictions for the future they can be illuminating about the current state of the authors’ party and its broad ideological direction.

So it is with After the Coalition which is very different in tone and hope for the future from last year’s Which Way’s Up? by Nick Boles. The contrast is there in the sub-titles for the two books. Boles had “The future for coalition Britain” whilst the five authors behind this volume have gone for …

Posted in Books | Also tagged , , , , and | 9 Comments
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