Why UK Chancellor George Osborne will not be allowed to use the axe on the Public Sector – John Gelmini

George Osborne visits  Thessaly Community Project

George Osborne visits Thessaly Community Project (Photo credit: conservativeparty)

Earlier today, I re-blogged  an excellent article from Benedict Brogan, the Deputy Editor at the Telegraph entitled:

Osborne is sharpening his axe – but will Cameron let him use it? – Telegraph Blogs

I added my two cents worth of comment and received a comprehensive response from John Gelmini which I am re-blogging below. Whilst, I do not necessarily agree with all of John Gelmini’s arguments, I endorse the broad thrust and direction of his argument. Do you have an opinion that you would like to share?

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Whatever cuts George Osborne makes will be too little too late and all because of Cameron and Clegg’s cowardice and the complacency of a Cabinet of largely intellectual lightweights unable and unwilling to act with the speed, decisiveness and ruthlessness to get the job done.

The evidence is that George Osborne will not be allowed to force County Council, Police and Fire Command mergers with suitable de-layering and the sacking of 50% of Local Authority workers who are not needed and never were.

He will do nothing significant to reduce the number of unnecessary Civil Servants, nothing to curb Royal expenditure and the Civil List, and he will do nothing to stop the waste of Afghanistan, the maintenance of a naval task force off the coast of Iran, the use of Special Forces in Syria, and the disgrace of the overseas aid budget overseen until recently by “know your (blank) place”, Andrew Mitchell, a thoroughly useless and unnecessary Minister, even before his recent outburst.

He will impose benefit cuts which the public approve of but will like a lot less when they are applied to them and he will do nothing to create jobs and growth on the scale required.

The new bank will not be up and running until mid 2014 and with just £10 billion of lending capacity it will be too little too late.

Variable taxes on food to reduce the obesity crisis and the costs of the NHS which are out of control will also not apply and the MOD will carry on wasting money along with the Home Office which is failing to control immigration.

Worse than that, because David Cameron has insulted the Chinese publicly so many times, we will not get their Sovereign Wealth Funds building needed infrastructure, so building workers will remain on the dole and blue-collar unemployment will remain higher than it needs to be even after cuts.

Frankly, we would do better outsourcing the entire Government to the Swiss or the Singaporeans, both of whom would do a far better job than this sorry collection of lame ducks, idle Civil Servants, establishment, “has-beens” and public school educated Ministers lacking in drive, any sense of urgency, or commonsense.

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61 responses

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  60. First I would like to say that I find John a very refreshing and exciting writer even when I disagree with him.

    This country is badly managed and has been so for some time. In my opinion this is because we have allowed structures to become too large for good, tight management. At various times I have been involved in organisation from the very small to huge. Once they become of a size where personal contact and observation are unable to keep a manager properly informed so that he/she has to rely on written reports then problems start. The government is, in any event, out of control as it has far less power than global events and global organisations. A steep increase in labour costs in China, for example, would have a far greater effect on our economy than anything Osborne could do even granted he has a free hand.

    John is right to point out that many paid for out of the public purse should never have been employed in the first place. Depressingly many of them were taken on simply to try to keep others up to the mark and to report on targets and so on – all of which usually does damn all to improve matters, costs a bomb a creates a culture of mistrust which, in turn, means that those feeling untrustworthy become so.

    I know that Dr Alf will disagree with this but I really do think that massive devolution so that those paying taxes can really see what they are being spent on and that those spending them are properly accountable for their actions is the right way forward. Then we would see the sort of good management that is required, the end of pointlessly employed tickers and checkers and a culture where public funds are used to good purpose.

    Rodney Willett

    • Dear Rodney,

      Many thanks for your latest posting.

      I think that we are all agreed that the UK is badly mismanaged by the politicians and the professional bureaucrats who are both inefficient and frequently ineffective, as well.

      We tend to disagree (Alf, John & Rodney) when is comes to policy measures to redress the challenges.

      Personally, I broadly agree with John but not in the detail. You favor a much more devolved model of power. Actually, I do not disagree with devolved power per se but would argue that what is required is effective transformation in my view.

      In the short-term, greater devolved power, in my judgement would be incremental and lead to higher risk.

      I favor radical transformation with strong demand-side focus.

      Alf

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