Friday, 27 July 2012

Some random thoughts

There’s nothing worth watching on television this evening, so I thought I would take the opportunity to do a bit of catching up on the blog. In fact the television schedules look pretty dire for the next few weeks, and even the TV news has suddenly become utterly boring. Everyone is off on their hols, parliament is in summer recess, and so there is nothing much at all going on within these shores.

I am hoping that we shall get news at some time in the next month or two of a cabinet reshuffle, although we shall presumably have to wait until the prime minister has finished ‘chillaxing’ or whatever it is he is doing at the moment. I am eagerly looking forward to the departure of Eric Pickles from De-CLoG, although there can be no guarantee that this will happen.

There are several other ministers who are well past their sell-by date and who really ought to be put out to grass, but I get the impression that this prime minister does not have the sheer guts of Harold Macmillan, who exactly 50 years ago had a ‘night of the long knives’ in which a hitherto unprecedented number of ministers (including the Chancellor of the Exchequer) were summarily dispatched to the back benches.

Goodness knows we need a fresh start, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer would be a prime candidate for selection as a sacrificial victim again this time. However, political loyalties being what they are, I would be very surprised if ‘Dave’ can steel himself to sacrifice his old pal. Someone commented on Super-Mac’s purge – “Greater love hath no man than this; that he laid down the lives of his friends for his party.” I don’t think Cameron is in the same league.

Meanwhile, in case you hadn’t noticed, De-CLoG has published some rather important consultation documents recently, which I will cover in a separate post. No doubt they figured that with no-one having very much to do in the next few weeks, these consultation documents would be intensely studied in the absence of anything better to distract people’s attention. We have until mid-September to respond to these papers.

Finally, to end this rather random train of thought, a question - How many council houses could you build for between, say, 9 and 11 billion pounds? Or, if you were to split your 9 to 11 billion pound fund into several parts, how many school buildings could you refurbish or upgrade in addition to the new public housing, not to mention other much needed projects? Not that the government has ever had that sort of money to throw around, of course, but it’s just a thought.



  1. Behind every government minister there is a horde of people who have been in place for decades, how do we expect a ministerial appointee to make any difference overnight, if ever?

  2. Evan makes a very good point. There is huge inertia in the Whitehall machine, and ministers can have difficulty in making headway against this. The problem is compounded by the fact that most ministers have no real experience of the areas covered by their ministerial brief, and so have little to go on other than their party manifesto, which in turn has been written by people who know next to nothing about the subjects on which they are writing! (For a prime example, see “Open Source Planning”, the Tories’ pre-election ‘green paper’ on planning.) However, the point I had in mind is that there are some members of the cabinet who have proved to be particularly inept or bone-headed in their departmental roles, such as George Osborne, Teresa May and Eric Pickles, and the PM really ought to replace these ministers.

  3. 10 billion yes if only we had that sort of cash,and at the moment 3rd in the olympics.ooh what a great britain we are.