14 July 2009

Brown isn't working

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Rachel Sylvester paints a vivid picture of the paralysis that has now gripped Whitehall during the dying days of Brown’s hold on power:

And slowly but surely the government machine is coming to a halt. Contracts are delayed, decisions deferred, reviews welcomed. When Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary, announced a U-turn on ID cards recently, he was only catching up with his civil servants. The Home Office had already delayed the contract to print the cards until October 2010, well after the election. At the Ministry of Defence, big procurement projects, including Trident, are on hold. Only departments that know their policies are likely to be adopted by the Tories, such as welfare and transport, press ahead at the normal speed.

They will love this in the bunker:

Instead of minimising Mr Brown’s weaknesses, the Civil Service is maximising them by encouraging him to dither. Ironically, it is the lack of direction that has turned many mandarins against Labour. Permanent secretaries are deeply irritated by the way that Mr Brown keeps fiddling around with the machinery of government.

“I have a lot of conversations with people who say they’re not going to vote Labour at the next election for the first time in their lives,” one policy official says. “Everybody’s fed up with No 10, the endless dithering, constant initiatives and no policy.”

Sylvester is being slightly unfair with her analysis.  This happens to all administrations in the period before a general election and the more so when the polls consistently favour the opposition.  Of course, Brown has made it worse for himself by being unelected with a reputation for dithering.  Callaghan suffered much the same before the 1979 election and he to was unelected.

So, just remember that when Brown stands up in the Commons to announce another relaunch or policy initiative, little is actually happening.  Our Dear Leader has lost credibility with the civil servants working for him.

We have is a dying dithering Government.  Not flash.  Just “No Action This Day”

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1 comment:

  1. Brown diddled while Tone burned, now it's his turn.

    ReplyDelete