Ministers who dislike their own government’s policies

Has no-one told Labour Ministers they are all responsible for every policy and action of their government? If they don’t like something, and they cannot persuade their colleagues in private to change things, they have to resign.

We now see Labour Ministers rushing to distance themselves from the NHS cuts that are becoming visible. As the next couple of years unfold there should be many more pressure points on public spending. The blow out years are past, and even this Chancellor and this government are going to have to?? cut the rate of increase in public spending considerably. Given the poor way they manage the public sector, that will doubtless mean cuts in those services which Labour MPs cherish. We will become used to Minister after Minister lobbying against their own government, even at times lobbying against their own department!

??It will happen because they are incapable of managing their huge?? budgets well. Because they spend so much on wasteful things, and use staff and other resources so badly, there will be more cuts, and more phoney protests against them by the very people who are responsible. They do not seem to be able to control staff numbers, propose sensible levels of pay and pensions increases, nor to be able to use private sector consultants wisely??by replacing rather than adding to staff they already employ in house to do something. They heap quango on quango, chasing headlines and trying to avert bad publicity. They use Csars to take the pressure off Ministers who have failed in a particular area, and outside bodies to take the blame.


  1. Praguetory
    December 30, 2006

    I don't know whether you had Ivan Lewis in mind, but your prediction about Ministers criticising their own departments is already true. A junior minister at the Department of Health, Ivan is protesting against his own policies in his constituency. I sympathise with you. It must be wearing having these jokers as work colleagues.

  2. Cllr Graham Smith
    December 30, 2006

    Thank you for starting this blog. I find your views refreshing and would like to support what you say here.

    It is my understanding that Ministers have not accepted any responsibility for the actions of quasi-autonomous non-government organisations, such as NHS Trusts have now become, for some years now. Indeed Ministers increasingly appear to see their responsibilities in relation to such bodies in two ways:

    (i) to ensure that any such body failing to meet centrally-imposed targets is penalised (e.g. by cutting Central Government funding); and

    (ii) to ensure that no Conservative Party supporter or truly independent person is ever appointed to a non-Executive role on that organisation's board.

    Whilst this is a truly deplorable state of affairs, there are still good, principled men and women involved in the delivery of our public services. Such people are to be commended. And trusted.

    Over on her blog, Hazel Blears is currently trying to persuade people of the importance of having a national policy for the removal of tattoos on the NHS. What an utter waste of a Minister's time! Surely the removal of tattoos as a medical procedure undertaken by the NHS should be a matter of clinical judgment by the patient's GP, taking into account the individual circumstances of the case? Or does Rt Hon Hazel Blears MP consider that family doctors should not be trusted with such decisions?

    P.S. Whilst commenting, might I please suggest that your blog layout is altered so that it is readable on VGA (640×480 pixels) screens without having to scroll the text from side-top-side? If this is not possible, at the very least, please can it can the layout be altered to that the blog can be read on SVGA (800×600 pixels) screens without having to scroll sideways? TIA.

  3. Ross
    December 30, 2006

    There was a 19th century Mexican president, Ignacio Comonfort, who joined a rebellion to topple his own government, he could be the inspiration for Labour ministers campaigning against their own decisions.

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