Bank holiday task – which quangos would you abolish?

Today I invite my critics who wish to see a slimmed quango state to write in with thought out proposals for abolition or slimming of some government bodies. I will  read and post a few longer pieces if they are considered and understand the forces that will seek to defend their chosen quango . It is not an invitation to a longer rant.

It would be interesting to hear thoughts on  the Next Steps style Agencies that were designed to make parts of what is government work more business like, giving the day to day tasks of administration and processing to an Agency under a CEO whilst leaving policy with Ministers. The Driver and vehicle Licencing Agency and the Highways Agency are typical examples. These were activities we kept in the public sector.

In government in 1990 I privatised the Property Services Agency , so its building maintenance work  for the government estate  could be market tested and it could do work outside the public sector. Is this a model for other such activities?

As one time sponsor Minister for the LDDC I initiated the first consideration of how and when it could be wound up, job done, whilst limiting its activities and encouraging  mainly private sector investment.

 

It is very easy for armchair critics to write in and accuse MPs of being idiots in not agreeing to the contributors agenda, or being gutless in not implementing it. The task is how to get buy in and agreement to desirable reform, which often takes time and needs vocal support in a democracy. The forces for a larger state are numerous and well entrenched.

245 Comments

  1. steve
    May 3, 2021

    Good morning Sir JR

    Quangos do seem to be a contentious issue don’t they.

    I don’t profess to be an expert on them in general, but since you mention the DVLA (which has pripheral quangos i.e VOSA DVSO etc) I personally think it should be either abolished or made to comply with the same privacy and data protection laws as private bodies have to.

    The DVLA has become the supergrass for the anti-motorist local authority cash cow mafia, especially concerning questionably legal Bus Lanes.

    The DVLA even pass people’s personal data to private car park businesses operating on private land. How can that be legal?

    Ultimately it’s all about getting our and screwing us over.

    In summary – Abolish Bus Lanes, the DVLA, re-criminalise parking, abolish the post of Council Chief Executive, and come down hard on utilities when they pester harass and bully people.

    Vote winner.

    Reply
    1. steve
      May 3, 2021

      it’s all about getting our money

      Reply
      1. MiC
        May 3, 2021

        Well, the longer term aim is more specific, I think.

        It’s rather about stopping us, the millions of us, from getting “their” land.

        Or rather, ours back.

        Reply
        1. G Wheatley
          May 3, 2021

          ….first sensible thing you’ve said for a long time Martin.

          Reply
        2. steve
          May 3, 2021

          MiC
          Talking of getting land back, I hear Plaid is murmering about independence again. While I don’t think an Independent Wales would last very long I do suspect the sleaze coming to the surface in Westminster has a lot to do with it. Who can blame them ?

          Westminster needs to clean it’s act up, quite honestly.

          Reply
          1. Fedupsoutherner
            May 3, 2021

            Westminster is a joke at the moment and Boris has made the whole place worse. The whole cabinet of the Conservative party needs some serious changes and our host would be of benefit to the idiots we have now.

        3. Peter2
          May 3, 2021

          You mean the State stealing land off freeholders like all the dreadful communist dictators in history did.
          You, MiC unless you were one of the few elite commissioners would never get any land for yourself.

          Reply
          1. MiC
            May 3, 2021

            Was William The Conqueror, who took every single ditch, cottage and hedgerow of England a communist, Peter? News to me.

          2. Peter2
            May 3, 2021

            Gosh MiC
            You are now going back a millenia to try to prove you are right.
            Keep trying.

          3. MiC
            May 4, 2021

            OK, so the landowners’ puppet Whig and Tory governments, who passed all those Inclosure Acts, and forced all the commoners off the vast swathes of commons land and into the satanic mills, for themselves and for their landowner friends, they were all commies too, were they?

            You know nothing about your own history, and yet claim to be a patriot.

          4. Peter2
            May 4, 2021

            Still trying to go back centuries eh Martin?
            Hilarious nonsense from you as usual.

    2. MiC
      May 3, 2021

      How can that be legal?

      Well, because you vote for governments which have a very cosy relationship with the private sector and make it so, that is how.

      Next?

      Reply
      1. Peter2
        May 3, 2021

        Next?
        Tell us MiC which political parties don’t have a relationship with the private sector.

        Reply
        1. MiC
          May 3, 2021

          The police have a relationship with criminals.

          Other criminals often do.

          Therefore the police are criminals, says Peter.

          Reply
          1. Peter2
            May 3, 2021

            No MiC
            Your nonsensical comparison has no validity.
            Are you saying the EU or the Labour Party (when in power) had no relationship with the private sector?

          2. steve
            May 3, 2021

            MiC

            LMAO, brilliant.

      2. steve
        May 3, 2021

        MiC

        No Sir, we vote for governments that diverge from their pre election manifestos or downright dishonour their pledges to us.

        Big difference between voting and being duped.

        Reply
        1. Peter2
          May 3, 2021

          Well just stop voting for them Steve.
          LMAO

          Reply
        2. Fedupsoutherner
          May 3, 2021

          Correct Steve. I’m fed up voting for something I didn’t know about. If I did know about it then bringing policies forward like the policy for EV cars etc is not what I voted for. As I’ve said before on this site, I am trashing my ballot paper for the local elections. I cannot vote for any party standing in my area.

          Reply
          1. MiC
            May 3, 2021

            Ah, brexit, you mean. Finally you come clean.

    3. J Bush
      May 3, 2021

      +1
      And why isn’t the government using the Data Protection Act and GDPR against DVLA for these obvious breaches of law?

      Reply
      1. steve
        May 3, 2021

        J Bush

        “And why isn’t the government using the Data Protection Act and GDPR against DVLA for these obvious breaches of law?”

        The money. It’s a nice little….actually big fat juicy earner. That’s why.

        Reply
      2. MiC
        May 3, 2021

        GDPR is a European Union law.

        The UK is no longer bound by it, to the extent that its Tory rubber-stamping parliament might approve now.

        You won, get over it.

        Reply
        1. Peter2
          May 3, 2021

          Originally yes you are correct MiC
          GDPR was an EU creation.
          But it has passed into UK law so it will need repealing by Parliament.
          Finding time since January in the current circumstances isn’t easy but I hope it will soon be abolished.

          Reply
        2. J Bush
          May 3, 2021

          GDPR is still on our statute, and whilst not answerable to the EU on this, it still applies in the UK. Please by all means, check with the ICO for confirmation.

          Reply
          1. MiC
            May 3, 2021

            Yes, but any Act or Statutory Instrument subsequently can simply say “notwithstanding the provisions of GDPR” or such words.

            Parliament is supreme.

          2. jerry
            May 4, 2021

            @JBush; “GDPR is still on our statute”

            Good! Nothing wrong in giving people legally enforceable control of their own data, especially electronic, I suspect those who want the law abolished will need to argue a very strong case to have it revoked – or is it just the fact that it is ‘named’ EU Law that frustrates?

    4. jerry
      May 3, 2021

      @steve; “The DVLA has become the supergrass for the anti-motorist local authority cash cow mafia, especially concerning questionably legal Bus Lanes.”

      Perhaps but in such cases a Road Traffic Law has been broken! More troubling is the access the DVLA gives/sells to private companies whose entire business models is often based on (unwritten) questionable Civil Law infringements, all to often unknowingly committed, such as not reading the correct sign, or suffering from ‘fat finger’ syndrome type offences or for pure marketing purposes (VOSA also appear to be guilty of this too, allowing access to MOT records).

      I would also suggest the DVLA but for other reasons, when set up it was understandable to centralised all staff and applications at the one location (of the mainframe computer?), but such technoligy and the need for security of ID has moved on, the DfT should take the Agencies oversight duties back in-house but also return to having local staff located in accessible County Council or Local Authority offices -perhaps even in now under used police stations, meaning personal ID can be easily checked and matched, even cross referenced with other LA records in needs-be, any documents can be securely handed over and either authenticated copies made or receipts given.

      Reply
      1. steve
        May 3, 2021

        Jerry

        “Perhaps but in such cases a Road Traffic Law has been broken!”

        Citing Bus Lanes, I read somewhere a while back that they could possibly be illegal, as I recall it was to do with whether or not the Local Council ownes the bus service. I believe it was reckoned that only one local council in the country ownes the bus service, that being Reading Borough Council – Sir John’s neighbouring borough.

        Basically the inferrence was that where the Bus Company was privately owned, the local council has no right to give that private company sections of publicly funded highway.

        But since then they might have made laws to circumvent that. In fact they probably have, and just as many of these kinds of laws are made on the hoof to make it possible to screw us over, it doesn’t mean those laws are democratic in nature.

        It comes down to : they’re big and the little man is…..well, little. That’s how they get away with it. The famous S1172 NIP case a few years back proves this.

        Reply
    5. G Wheatley
      May 3, 2021

      It’s all about earning £2.50 per pop.

      Reply
    6. Timaction
      May 3, 2021

      Whilst slightly off topic, it is relevant. Having retired from my main occupation I was encouraged to apply and went to work for a local Council in a junior supervisory role. I was amazed. No wonder our Council taxes are so high! They sit at their desks, work from home (wink wink), consult everyone about……..everything. Extra time at lunch hours. Take an age to deliver on anything and in some cases make “work expand to fill the time allotted”. In other words pretend to be onto a work issue whist actually surfing the internet or doing something for themselves! Supervision/management was awful. It really does need root and branch reform, of all Councils up and down this land. Independent review and scrutiny on the number of people and managers. How many people are really needed to do the roles? Road planners scrutinised to see if “improvements or change in road design” are actually necessary or done to keep them employed! I lasted 11 months before I lost the will to live.
      When I recently complained about the fifth year of above inflation Council tax rises, my local Liberal Councillor (Mr Climate Change Emergency!) wrote saying that they had removed 5 of the 16 top managers (Big salaries, no responsibilities) to save money. Really proves my point. If they aren’t needed now, they never were.
      The same applies to the Home Office who I worked with before retirement. Total shambles of woke/Pc individuals who are………..clueless.

      Reply
      1. a-tracy
        May 3, 2021

        The Councillors and head council officers choose their own standards checkers, ridiculous.

        Reply
      2. jerry
        May 3, 2021

        @Timaction; I’ve also witnessed and heard of the same sort of time management issues, but from within the private sector, involving contracted suppliers to the public sector, costs that are charged the taxpayer at the end of the day. Then of course there are all those well publicised issues with govt IT projects where private sector consultants keep find problem, often with computer systems or programs they have designed. So please, spare us the faux disgust at the public sector all the time, the ‘gravy train’ is far more widespread, as you would see if you only put aside that public bad, private good, bias.

        Reply
  2. Mark B
    May 3, 2021

    Good morning and thank you, Sir John

    Whilst there is undoubtedly a great many I would just like to pick just two.

    The Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) and the Office of National Statistics (ONS). Why ? Because I fail to see what service to the nation and government they provide. The OBR cannot sack Ministers or Civil Servants if their respective department goes over budget or fails to control costs on various projects. Yes HS2 I am looking at you ! It is a toothless nonentity and I fail to see its use. The ONS goes against my principles. “What ?” I hear you say. Well, the one thing John Cowperthwaite hated statistics. From his Wiki page it reads :

    However, Cowperthwaite was a pragmatic civil servant rather than a theoretician and he based his policies on his experience, empirical data and what he believed would work in practice.

    He refused to compile GDP statistics arguing that such data was not useful to managing an economy and would lead to officials meddling in the economy.

    Well it seems to me that he was right. Compiling statistics just leads to more government interference and mess. Hence why we are being taxed to the eyeballs and beyond.

    All QUANGO’s and similar must follow the successful LDDC model. Created for a specific need. Funded from central government with all the necessary legal powers to fulfil task. With clear objectives and ends date(s). And once completed successfully, closed down. Oh, and the right people with the right CV appointed to manage such, not some PPE.

    Thanks

    Reply
    1. J Bush
      May 3, 2021

      +1

      Reply
    2. jerry
      May 3, 2021

      @Mark B; “I fail to see what service to the nation and government they (the OBR & ONS) provide.”

      Perhaps no service to the govt of the day, in difficult times or as elections draw close, but a great service to us mere plebs!…

      Reply
    3. Andy
      May 3, 2021

      Statistics inform decision making.

      Without statistics how would you know how many people we had in the country and what sort of people they are?

      Children need schools. Women need maternity services. Pensioners need care homes. Without statistics you have no idea what, if any, of these you need. And you don’t know where you need them.

      The main problem with statistics in recent years has been that the Brexitists ignore them.

      Reply
      1. steve
        May 3, 2021

        Andy

        “The main problem with statistics in recent years has been that the Brexitists ignore them.”

        No Andy, the problem with statistics is that governments distort them.

        Reply
      2. Peter2
        May 3, 2021

        Andy
        And you ignore the statistic that growth in the UK post Brexit is predicted to be higher than the EU.

        Reply
        1. Andy
          May 3, 2021

          That’s a forecast, not a statistic.

          And it relates to the coming few months – immediately post pandemic.

          Forecasts for the coming few decades show the opposite.

          Reply
          1. Peter2
            May 3, 2021

            It relates to a longer time frame than a few months andy.

            The forecasts you then refer to relate to are trying to forecast the growth of the UK in decades ahead versus what the growth might have been had the UK remained in the EU.
            With all the huge number of imponderables involved that really is a forecast.

    4. glen cullen
      May 3, 2021

      +1 gets my vote

      Reply
    5. Richard II
      May 3, 2021

      You may not see, Mark B, what service to the public the ONS provides, but I do. For one thing it allows us some kind of check on government/media propaganda campaigns. For example, ONS figures let us judge for ourselves what excess all-cause mortality in our local authority area there has been during the Covid crisis. In Wokingham borough (2020 population est. 174,000) it was about 60 to 120 last year, depending on how you calculate it – not pandemic level, or a ‘plague’, as some people who get their information from the media call it.

      I am sure there are many other examples, especially to do with the social impact of government policies, that we need to be informed about in as objective a way as possible. I would much rather rely on qualified, hard-working statisticians who feel a professional duty to their subject matter, than on newspaper editors and political bosses.

      Reply
    6. X-Tory
      May 3, 2021

      I completely agree about abolishing the OBR.
      I have prevously argued on these pages that GDP forecasts are actually *worse* than useless and should be abolished.
      GDP forecasts have never, ever, ever been right. And yet they influence the government’s economic policies. So our economic policies are based on false information. Madness!!
      Much better for the Chancellor to just use his good judgement and his political principles and do what he believes to be right and then measure the effects and adjust the policy as required.

      Reply
      1. a-tracy
        May 3, 2021

        X Tory I wonder if there anywhere that holds a quick fact check on what the OBR predicted for the past decade and what actually happened on everything they forecast?

        We should do the same with weather forecasters compared to shipping forecasters to see how accurate they are.

        Reply
  3. Javelin
    May 3, 2021

    Lowest April temperature in 100 years in the UK, India and USA. Clearly the climate did not obey the green communist manifesto.

    Reply
    1. Javelin
      May 3, 2021

      Anything Governmental to do with climate change and green energy can go straight on the carbon rich bonfire.

      Reply
      1. Ian Miller
        May 3, 2021

        The Climate Change Committee should be top of the pile.
        With unbelievable stupidity, the UK not even afforded a referendum on the subject and without the freedom to even debate the lie, is embracing a ‘Climate Change’ tyranny which only helps China to reach its Global Domination agenda.
        Outnumbered many times over by the populations of China, India and many other countries they don’t believe in any of this AGW hypothesis.

        Reply
        1. Fedupsoutherner
          May 3, 2021

          Absolutley correct Ian. Garbage in its purest form. It would definitely be top of my list.

          Reply
    2. Andy
      May 3, 2021

      Today’s temperate is weather. Weather is not climate.

      Reply
      1. Lester
        May 3, 2021

        Andy, presumably the fact that the Biden administration has deleted all the data prior to 1983 regarding Burn Acreage in the USA is of no consequence, they are attempting to show that the Burn Acreage is increasing whereas it was far higher previously.
        They only choose dates which appear to show that the climate is warming, the recent highest temperature ever recorded in Death Valley, if you view Tony Heller’s posts on YouTube you will see that there was a higher temperature recorded in 1913 using an accurately calibrated thermometer.
        If the Oceans are rising at such a catastrophic rate shouldn’t someone warn Barack Obama as he’s building a mansion on the shoreline at Martha’s Vineyard?

        Reply
        1. Bryan Harris
          May 4, 2021

          ++

          Well said Lester

          Reply
      2. MiC
        May 3, 2021

        Yes, that’s what they say too – but when we have a record, blistering summer, and ten years on the trot, isn’t it, Andy?

        Reply
        1. Peter2
          May 3, 2021

          Global temperatures since 2000 have failed to increase as predicted by the models.

          Reply
          1. Fedupsoutherner
            May 3, 2021

            Correct. In 1990 it was predicted that the Maldives would be under water and many countries would be invaded by the sea. Also, I seem to remember that Spain would be a desert by now. I remember that because we moved to Spain in 1999 and my father in law didn’t approve and told us he had read about Spain becoming a desert and what a mistake we had made. What a joke.

          2. MiC
            May 4, 2021

            FUS, no that was not predicted as the most probable progression.

            It was predicted as being within a wide range of possibilities, and you quote the extreme.

            You are clearly scientifically and logically illiterate.

      3. Peter2
        May 3, 2021

        But that isn’t what is being compared.
        This April is the coldest April for many decades.
        Same in USA.
        Contrary to predictions.

        Reply
    3. glen cullen
      May 3, 2021

      I thought the temperature rise was the resultant factor of rising levels of CO2 and the reason for the ICE motorcar ban 2030…..but if Aprils temperature is down how can a government justify the car ban ?

      Reply
    4. Timaction
      May 3, 2021

      Move along, nothing to see here! The Government under Princess Nut Nut won’t be paying attention as it doesn’t fit her and therefore Boris’s religious beliefs. First we had pollution (true), then it morphed into global warming (false), when that didn’t fit we had climate change (we’ve always had climate change). No funding for anyone who doesn’t support that narrative, who are derided for having to see evidence to support their views. Plenty of scholar’s in a couple of clicks on the internet to show its nonsense. Remember that CO2 makes up 0.04% of the atmosphere. Water vapour is more influential!

      Reply
  4. agricola
    May 3, 2021

    Your last sentence is absolutely true and the tendency of both state bodies and departments within private companies to grow, to reflect the ambitions of those in charge of them is a normal human process, but not a good one.

    Having no knowledge of the full extent of UK quangos or what they do, I would demand an A4 sheet, both sides if necessary, in explanation with costs and future ambitions from each chairperson.

    With the principal in mind that Ministries and Ministers should be fully responsible for what goes on in their name I would consider the following.
    1. Abolition of a quango serving no useful purpose.
    2. Bringing a useful quango back into the ministry.
    3. Any that merited stand alone status, such as the DVLA organisation you mention, have the responsible ministry appended to their title so that everyone knows who is ultimately responsible for their activities. Important because I have only just learnt that the Liberal Democrat part of the Cameron coalition was responsible for the Post Office at the time when it’s IT failures caused employees to go to prison and suffer great unjustified financial penalties. All down to said politicians being blinkered as to the integrity of said IT system, despite evidence to the contrary. That is possibly an argument for having expertise in charge rather than a political placeman.

    Ultimately I want those responsible explaining themselves in the HoC.

    Reply
    1. glen cullen
      May 3, 2021

      Correct – its not about the justification, efficiency, need, profitability nor public good of an individual quango – its about the reason for them in the first place and the requirement to move that project outside the scope of a government department

      To complete SirJs task could anybody provide a link to a list of ALL current quangos

      Reply
        1. M Davis
          May 3, 2021

          A more recent and in depth one:
          https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/786952/6.5040_CO_PublicBodies2018-19.PDF

          ALB = Arm’s Length Bodies. The Government knows exactly how to complicate things for the layman!

          Reply
    2. DavidJ
      May 3, 2021

      +1

      Reply
  5. Peter
    May 3, 2021

    The Arts Council. Fund the key museums and venues and let the rest find private sources of income which don’t involve the taxpayer.

    Reply
    1. jerry
      May 3, 2021

      @Peter; Good luck with that one, more chance of the utility companies being renationalised I suspect!

      The hard left love the grass-roots Arts, as do the moderate left love the Arts, as do the centrists, as do the moderate right, as do the many on the hard right, all understand the grass-roots feed into the (future) museums and venues…

      Reply
    2. glen cullen
      May 3, 2021

      Don’t allow quangos the ability to issue public funds – that power should remain with government departments
      Maybe quangos shouldn’t have any fiscal accounting at all and all requests for funds should be applied directly to the associated government department

      Reply
  6. Everhopeful
    May 3, 2021

    Were QUANGOs ( apparently not an official term) created to reduce the Civil Service?
    They appear to have succeeded in that and we no longer have a country which runs smoothly.
    IMO government work is not suitable for privatisation but I know, personally, of great gains made by being in the “right place at the right time”.
    The definition of QUANGOs seems a little fluid ..but if the BBC is indeed one then that in my book is the first for the chop.
    Next Steps is an old idea ( I read) dating back to the Thatcher Govt.
    Why not just bring back a proper, rules based Civil Service?
    Based in London…our capital city.

    Head in hands over our rants. We have to live government policies!

    Reply
    1. Everhopeful
      May 3, 2021

      Oh..someone has said SAGE is one!
      The very worst!
      “Off with its head!”

      Reply
  7. Cliff. Wokingham
    May 3, 2021

    Perhaps Sir John we need to abolish them all initially and then work out which are necessary to our nation and reinstate those. Put them all on notice.

    If we are being selective here are four I would like to see the back off….

    Office for Civil Society.
    Wilton Park.
    HS2 Ltd
    BBC.

    I think the problems and waste are far deeper than quangos. Do we need Crime Commissioners, powerful city mayors, devolved administrations, difference and diversity officers etc?
    Perhaps whilst we have a large commons majority, we should have a national debate as to what we actually want the state to do. What do we want the NHS to actually treat and not Treat? What do we want our military to actually be involved in? Should our education system educate or, as now, indoctrinate?

    It’s a huge subject but we will bankrupt our nation or tie our nation up if we don’t get a grip on the expansion of the state.

    Reply
    1. Lifelogic
      May 3, 2021

      Exactly.

      Do we really want the dire “free point of rationing and delay” NHS to kill nearly all competition and innovation in healthcare? Do we want Education to be a virtual state monopoly caused by unfair state competition through tax payer funding? I do not. They should be funded to encourage fair competition, innovation and real choice not to kill it as currently. People should be able to spend as they wish and given education vouchers and tax breaks.

      Reply
    2. J Bush
      May 3, 2021

      Re: Crime Commissioners +1

      The first one in Cumbria got ‘elected’ on approx 4% of the vote! Then hit the headlines with his limousine jolly!!

      I have spoilt every ballot paper with ‘waste of taxpayers money’ since they were created.

      Reply
      1. Sea_Warrior
        May 3, 2021

        My PCC’s ‘office’ consumes 0.5% of the police budget. That is too much.

        Reply
    3. Andy
      May 3, 2021

      Would you involve the majority of the electorate in your ‘national debate’ about what you want the state to do? Or would you limit it to the 42% of voters who voted Conservative giving you your large Commons majority?

      What if the actual majority disagrees with you?

      I don’t want the state to do pensions. Pensions are by far the biggest single item of government expenditure and I don’t see why my taxes should fund people who have been feckless for their whole lives and who have not saved adequately for their own retirements. Scrapping pensions would enable us to slash state spending by a quarter. Whilst no quango will ever bankrupt our country the cost of serving the elderly and pandering to their whims very possibly could.

      Reply
      1. Cliff. Wokingham
        May 3, 2021

        The left do like their generational wars.
        Had I not had to fund your education and your children’s education, all of your generations health care and all the quangos and your EU, then perhaps I could have kept more of my own money and not needed to rely on my pension which I have paid dearly for.
        I fund you and yours when you’re young and now you fund me now I’m old. It’s like a deferred loan system. That’s how it works. The problem is Andy, you always think the grass is greener for us but, you would unlikely have been able to survive had you lived my life. When I die and it will be soon, the state will mug me again rather than let me pass on to my heir what I’ve already been taxed on.
        Unlike you young Sir, I do respect democracy and if a majority opposed my views that’s fine. I would not come on here whinging and throwing my toys out of my pram as you have.
        I would even defend your right to voice your vile opinions but, I’m an adult and comfortable in my own skin.

        Reply
        1. J Bush
          May 3, 2021

          +1 Well said

          Reply
        2. Peter2
          May 3, 2021

          Very well said Cliff.

          Reply
      2. steve
        May 3, 2021

        Andy

        “…the cost of serving the elderly and pandering to their whims very possibly could. ”

        May I ask, Andy, what would you do with pensioners ? would your ideas pass moderation ?

        Reply
      3. SM
        May 3, 2021

        Andy: wasn’t it Lloyd-George who introduced State pensions, which were affordable at the time because most recipients, both male and female, were guaranteed to be dead before they reached 70.

        Regarding the ‘feckless’ who have not saved for their retirement, how would you devise and instigate a system that checked every eligible applicant and judged whether they were in need of a State pension because unavoidable problems had occurred in their life negating their attempts to provide for their old age, or because they had simply frittered away their opportunities on wine, women and song?

        Reply
      4. Dave Andrews
        May 3, 2021

        I agree in part, though I would argue someone should get a return reflecting the national insurance contributions they’ve paid during their working lives.
        On the other hand, what do they deserve who have voted for borrow and spend governments all their life, saddling the next generation with a colossal national debt?

        Reply
      5. Peter2
        May 3, 2021

        What would happen to old people who suddenly had no income under your proposal Andy?

        Reply
      6. John C.
        May 3, 2021

        Gerontophobia again. Are you seriously suggesting that you remove the entire income of millions of elderly people and allow them to starve? I suppose the answer must be yes.

        Reply
    4. jerry
      May 3, 2021

      @Cliff. Wokingham; There is no need to abolish the BBC (and no doubt Ch4 next), just do the next best thing, appoint someone who will regulate their news and current affairs broadcasting out of existence to all intent, whilst govt cuts funding in real terms, thus removing the only checks and balances the right wing media have to contend with. No names but I’m sure anyone following media the media industry will know what and who I’m referring to…

      Reply
    5. G Wheatley
      May 3, 2021

      Likewise with every piece of legislation introduced since Tony Bliar came to power, Cliff.
      And then go back and examine every piece of EU legislation to see whether we can sensibly revoke any/all of that too.

      Reply
      1. jerry
        May 3, 2021

        @G Wheatley; “Likewise with every piece of legislation introduced since Tony Bliar came to power,”

        Typical partisan and unthinking, would the pubic really want to revert to a pre “Bichard Inquiry” levels of child safeguarding for example.

        That said, ideally all extant legislation should periodically re-examined and assessed for relevance, fairness, effectiveness etc. and either sent for amendment or repealed.

        Reply
    6. Ignoramus
      May 3, 2021

      Completely agree with these choices. Another could be The health and Safety Executive which I recall, perhaps erroneously, was a recommendation of Sir John for David Cameron but rejected.

      Reply Yes untrue

      Reply
  8. J Bush
    May 3, 2021

    Yesterday a list of useless quangos was provided by one of your other readers and I expect your readers will have more lists today, which I will probably +1.

    However, at the top of my list is SAGE and the equally disgusting Behavioural Insights Team, closely followed by PHE and all the other NHS quangos, as all of these have lost the plot on what the health of a nation actually means.

    After that will come all the environmental and green quangos, closely followed by the politically correct and woke types.

    The reason I list all of these types of quangos is because all, without exception, infringe on the basic rights and freedoms of the population. The damage done by SAGE and its counterparts has, at best, been criminally cruel, in more ways than one.

    Politicians of all colours (and all they all seem to have merged into the same murky colour) have become interfering control freaks on what they think we should do, say and think. And all the voting for more laws to achieve this interfering, menacing control proves, is that the government and the opposition are all in the same gutter level position as the quangos and laws they create. Enough! How can they claim we are a ‘democratic’ Nation, when they behave like this?

    Reply
    1. agricola
      May 3, 2021

      J Bush, democracy is in evolution. Minority vested interests are currently having their say and many of us are begining to kick against being told what we can say and how we should think. As the current batch of politicos bend to the noises off from this would be controlling minority we should kick hard against it. They are a cancer on the body of society. While I have no problem with the people being straight or gay or both, live with it and enjoy. I do however despise those who would cast uncertainty on children and teenagers who given time will work it out for themselves. It is done at a time when girls are having crushes on gym mistresses and boys on each other as they transit puberty. I look upon those who would wish to pressure the young as intellectual mac flashing perverts.

      Getting back to democracy, we need more of it. This means more referendums to ensure that politicos are doing what the majority want. I know, witness the last five years, it will terrify the life out of the establishment. It is the herd of sheep dictating to the shepherd and his dog where they wish to go, and not in the direction that the vested interests of the wool and meat market find suits their agenda. However it is necessary if we wish to retain a cohesive society. There are many other areas of turmoil and abject failure in the way the current UK is allowed to lurch about from crisis to crisis, because of this weakness in our democracy. It is unfinished business and ever will be.

      Reply
  9. Lifelogic
    May 3, 2021

    They should nearly all be abolished. As you say “The forces for a larger state are numerous and well entrenched.” The only real protection against this are elected MP and they have failed totally in this task.

    Most politicians are professional career politicians on the make while looking for “consultancy positions” many are corrupt. Most have little understanding of logic, science, real economics, energy, climate and no interest in actually acting in the best interests of the people. A vote once every five years for the least bad option of two is not a real democracy. Particularly when government funded organisations like the BBC, schools, and government adverts drip the nation in endless lies and propaganda to misinform or scare them.

    Reply
    1. J Bush
      May 3, 2021

      I agree with everything you say, except that most politicians are professional.Career politicians yes, professional, no. They act more like spivs.

      Reply
      1. Lifelogic
        May 3, 2021

        +1

        Reply
    2. agricola
      May 3, 2021

      Agree LL, said much the same myself in a different way to J Bush.

      Reply
    3. Fedupsoutherner
      May 3, 2021

      Once again L/L a very true comment.

      Reply
  10. James Strong
    May 3, 2021

    Abolish all quangos.
    And invite them to apply for re-instatement.

    Require them to make the case in favour of their existence, not us to make a case for their abolition.

    Applications to be limited to 10 pages of A4, no glossy binders/books/folders. No slick powerpoint and no film/video presentations.

    The committee, unfortunately a sort of quango, to be made up of 25 randomly selected voters rather like the jury system. That is, not made up of any of the ‘great and good’ or people likely to have met the applicants at agreeable cocktail parties.

    All applications to be decided within 2 working days.

    The burden of proof to be on the applicant, beyond reasonable doubt. Not on the balance of probabilities.

    If the case for any quango is strong they’ll be re-instated. If they can’t convince a majority of 25 ordinary people then they don’t deserve to exist.

    Bank accounts of committee members and employment situations of close family members to be vetted to minimise chance of potentially corrupt influence.

    Reply
    1. J Bush
      May 3, 2021

      Good proposal. Sadly, the ‘spivs’ in Parliament will never agree to that.

      Reply
    2. Enrico
      May 3, 2021

      +1

      Reply
    3. oldtimer
      May 3, 2021

      10 pages of A4 is far too long. If they cannot produce a convincing written case in one (the first) paragraph, let alone one page of A4, then they do not deserve to exist. One page should be sufficient to identify its objectives, key performance indicators, strategy and business model by which are achieved. On the reverse side of the A4 there should be a summary of key financial data (over the past five years) which identifies the amount and source of income which sustains its operations, expenditures, total assets, total liabilities, cash flow and returns on assets (if it is meant to be a profit earning quango).

      My suggestion is that each quango be required to produce such a one page report and that the government publishes them in a single volume so that the public can begin to grasp the scale and costs of their activities. At the moment I would not know where to begin. If government cannot be persuaded to do this then perhaps the Adam Smith Institute or the IEA could be persuaded to take on the task (using publicly available information) as a project for publication and debate.

      As things stand, I would not where to start to answer your question.

      Reply
    4. Lifelogic
      May 3, 2021

      +1 but – If the case for any quango is strong they’ll be re-instated but at just 25% of the size they were.

      Reply
    5. glen cullen
      May 3, 2021

      But its government departments that initiate, and justify the need for a quango

      HS2 Ltd was initiated by the Department of Transport – its not up to HS2 to justify its own existence; it’s for the Department of Transport to justify, set the employment standards, performance measurements and continuation

      Reply
    6. Addanc
      May 3, 2021

      In total agreement. It is about time a main stream politician suggested spending less.

      JR please publish a GBP size for the qango trough.

      Reply
  11. Al
    May 3, 2021

    Deacreasing the number of Quangos will do nothing if you do not also decrease the spending and staffing of those that remains as a result. The number of Quangos fell by 10% between 1997 and 2010, yet the amount spent by them and staff employed by them increased.

    Personally I would be having a close look at any whose main role is handing out grants to charitable organisations. Gift Aid allows taxpayers to donate their own money far more effectively, and abolishing them returns control to the donor over the causes and the ability to assess whether a charity is something they wish to donate to on their own.

    Reply
    1. J Bush
      May 3, 2021

      I certainly don’t agree with National & International ‘charities’ getting money the government take off the taxpayers. All donations to these should be voluntary.

      Reply
      1. SM
        May 3, 2021

        +10

        Reply
      2. DavidJ
        May 3, 2021

        +1

        Reply
    2. oldwulf
      May 3, 2021

      @Al
      “Gift Aid allows taxpayers to donate their own money far more effectively……”

      Our public services rely on the money taken from us ….. tax. This is probably more important today than it has ever been.

      When we make a charitable donation, I’m not sure that it is sensible for us to be permitted to divert our tax money away from our public services, into the hands of charities.

      There is also an anomoly in that a non-taxpayer must pay £100 in order to give £100 to charity. The net cost of a £100 donation for basic rate, higher rate and additional rate taxpayers, is much less.

      Reply
      1. Al
        May 3, 2021

        @oldwulf “I’m not sure that it is sensible for us to be permitted to divert our tax money away from our public services, into the hands of charities.”
        Is it any more sensible for taxpayers to pay for public services and then have their tax money diverted to the hands of charities they may not support, with a cut taken to pay the costs of the diversion?

        Reply
  12. Samuel
    May 3, 2021

    As a partner in a GP surgery, the abolition of the CQC would be a huge step forward to enabling surgeries to get back to delivering care instead of chasing myriads of standards and tick boxes. Doctors, nurses and pharmacists are already regulated, and services are overseen by commissioning organisations. The CQC, as an additional regulator, does not add value to primary care but draws time and money away from patient care and is a poor judge on what is good or bad care:

    – Achieved 95% childhood immunisation target but didn’t have vaccine fridge door *locked* on day of inspection? CQC rating: ‘requires improvement’.

    – Working closely with local community groups to support patients but didn’t mention ‘social prescribing’ on website? CQC rating: ‘requires improvement’.

    – 100% of vulnerable patients with written personalised care plan agreed and implemented with patient and multi-agency stakeholders but one recently out-of-date poster in waiting room referring to a local service. CQC rating: ‘requires improvement’.

    – More than one of the above? CQC rating: inadequate.

    There are over 200 CQC markers each with their own list of action and requirements. This necessitates us spending £35k a year on staffing simply to manage regulatory requirements. To say nothing of CQC registration fees. It is no wonder than clinicians are fleeing primary care and no longer want to hold accountability; for patient care-yes, for CQC regulatory compliancy-no.

    Regulate care homes and other settings that do not have their own professional bodies. But health organisations that have professionals that have their own regulatory bodies separate to CQC and commissioning organisations to report to do not need another quango that adds little value and instead adds stress.

    The best thing this government can do right now for healthcare is to remove the burden of CQC regulation. Regulating healthcare activities can already be achieved through GMC, NMC, well-written contracts, NHS England Policy Standards etc

    Reply
    1. J Bush
      May 3, 2021

      Thank you for this insight, which is largely hidden from ‘joe public’.

      Reply
    2. Everhopeful
      May 3, 2021

      +1

      Reply
    3. David Brown
      May 3, 2021

      Wow very good insight into health care

      Reply
    4. graham1946
      May 3, 2021

      When are you going to open up the surgeries again, or is the phone the new way to go? I have been called for a consultation with the Asthma clinic, (relatively minor you may think, but essential to prevent future serious problems), but upon phoning for an appointment I have been given a telephone consultation in 3 weeks time. How is the clinician going to review my breathing or check whether I am using the equipment correctly as has been done every year for as long as I can remember? Why are doctors so afraid of disease? Time was when they treated everything they came across, not selectively deciding who they will help.

      Reply
      1. graham1946
        May 3, 2021

        PS The ‘doctors’ I refer to of course mean GP’s not the brave souls who have slaved away in hospitals all over the pandemic period.

        Reply
        1. Fred.H
          May 3, 2021

          I often hear about ‘GPs’ – I’m confused where would I find one?

          Reply
    5. Mark B
      May 3, 2021

      Many thanks.

      To say nothing of CQC registration fees.

      Sir John

      Why does a government funded body need to charge fees ? They are not a private company. This is just another European style tax take.

      Reply
    6. Mockbeggar
      May 3, 2021

      Nice to have the view of one victim of an unnecessary Quango with clear examples of pettyfogging bureaucracy. This should go to the top of the list. Thank you, Samuel.

      Reply
    7. Jim Whitehead
      May 3, 2021

      Samuel, +1
      For General Practice and General Dental Practice the CQC has added so much extra pressure and bureaucracy, time consuming and resource consuming, as well as enthusiasm sapping.
      Any enquiry into retirement, especially early retirement, from general practice will usually cite the parasitic interference by the CQC.
      I could recite reams of idiotic and infuriating items and episodes of personal interaction with the numbskulls of the CQC.
      Let me simply quote my own GP, “They don’t listen, they simply don’t listen.”
      I can confirm that.
      Notification of a CQC visit to a General Practice or General Dental Practice results in several days of panic and paper chasing, with patient needs temporarily sidelined in order to line up useless bundles of ‘protocols’ and to rehearse answers to questions totally irrelevant to provision of clinical care. ‘Diversity’ is not at the bottom of their list of box ticks. Relevance? Don’t ask.
      As Samuel attests, clinical results don’t count for the CQC.
      “We’re not interested in that”, I quote from direct experience, and this was repeated several times during one visit.

      Reply
    8. acorn
      May 3, 2021

      All public bodies are created directly and indirectly by the House of Commons in legislation. The CQC was invented by the Health and Social Care Act 2008. The Statute book is where you need to start eliminating quangos by eliminating buckets full of primary and secondary legislation.

      Reply
    9. Timaction
      May 3, 2021

      Indeed. Many of us didn’t know this. Any one would think we have an overbearing socialist tick boxing Government………..oh wait.

      Reply
  13. Oldwulf
    May 3, 2021

    Transparency and publicity are the key.

    What about a new reality TV show. The CEO of each quango is given half an hour to explain what their quango does, what it costs and why it is worth the money.

    There is then half an hour of forensic questioning maybe by Andrew Neil.

    A public vote decides whether the quango lives or dies.

    Reply
    1. J Bush
      May 3, 2021

      But, but, that is real democracy, they’ll never allow it.

      Reply
      1. oldwulf
        May 3, 2021

        @J Bush
        Maybe the Establishment would prefer plan B

        Parliament sets up a new public body ….. errrr …… a new quango.

        “The Registrar of Quangos”

        Maybe something similar to the Charity Commission, but with far more teeth ?

        Reply
    2. Jim Whitehead
      May 3, 2021

      +1

      Reply
  14. Dave Andrews
    May 3, 2021

    The Equalities and Human Rights Commission
    This is a magnet for individuals with a socialist agenda, wishing to bring all in conformance with their view. Get rid of it. The law is in place for anyone to bring an action, the same as I would if my rights were infringed, except it’s my money and I have to judge whether it’s worth the cost.

    Reply
    1. J Bush
      May 3, 2021

      +1

      Reply
    2. Everhopeful
      May 3, 2021

      A very good candidate!
      +1

      Reply
    3. Mark B
      May 3, 2021

      +1

      Reply
    4. Jim Whitehead
      May 3, 2021

      D.A. +1

      Reply
  15. MPC
    May 3, 2021

    I agree that far too many on this site are armchair critics who overlook the need to build a persuasive case for change and achieve buy in. That is essential, with realistic alternative policies, whether concerning quangos or direct policy delivery. Rather than issue armchair calls for an immediate stop to Net Zero, which won’t happen, many people would be willing to take part in a broad campaign against it that the entrenched media could not ignore or easily belittle. As during the EU referendum, such a campaign requires a number of high profile leaders in order to get off the ground and be effective.

    Reply
    1. Mockbeggar
      May 3, 2021

      But see Samuel’s contribution above.

      Reply
    2. No Longer Anonymous
      May 3, 2021

      Correct. I am an armchair critic.

      Cannot stand the bloody things. A sofa with scatter cushions on it is much more my thing.

      Reply
  16. DOM
    May 3, 2021

    We rant, Sir John, because we are angry and we are angry because we can are being exposed to form of extremist collectivist politics pushed by Labour and their allies and embraced by your party for a cosy life designed to remove our freedoms, impose limitations and slander us day and night using Marxist inspired Critical Theory

    I would abolish the Tory and Labour parties. They are without question the greatest threat to this nation. Yes, they do believe themselves to be part of the State.

    Next the CPS, set up under MT but now a Labour stronghold. And secondly, the Electoral Commission. The EC is a gatekeeper body designed to prevent entry to anyone deemed a threat and to ensure the continuance of the status quo

    Reply
    1. J Bush
      May 3, 2021

      +1

      Reply
    2. Lester
      May 3, 2021

      DOM

      great point!

      Reply
    3. nota#
      May 3, 2021

      @DOM, yep agreed, we have developed a Political Elite/Class that are to wound up in their own self importance they are no longer able to see the wood from the trees. The bit that is important is Government by the People for the People – to most that is the essence of Democracy. That is the bit that should be pushed, emphasised and adhered to.
      You could even reason, that Political Gangs were the Gang leader chooses who will represent you falls a long way short of democracy.

      Reply
    4. Jim Whitehead
      May 3, 2021

      DOM +1

      Reply
    5. Timaction
      May 3, 2021

      ………..and OFCOM. Totally unfit to prevent abuse by the MSM pumping out their left wing propaganda. Can’t wait for Andrew Neil’s new news programme to start. Goodbye BBC, ITV, C4 and5 and especially woke Sly news.

      Reply
  17. David Brown
    May 3, 2021

    I’m sure there are some quangos that could be abolished
    The balance is not to simply shift responsibility to the private sector and find we are all paying more for the same service.
    Generally I believe a strong private sector cannot function effectively without a strong public sector.
    Football clubs is an example where private ownership has brought protests.
    Education, Health, and Utilities should all be 100% state funded no exceptions.
    I’ve commented before that I pay my tax and I’m very happy paying tax it’s good for the soul and am happy to pay more.
    Some quangos support industry and evidently the UK has a lower productivity rate than major EU economies. Scrapping some could lead to even lower productivity. Although may be reducing the working week will help raise productivity and reduce unemployment?.
    I guess it’s all a balance and no one person has the answers.
    Today’s topic is an interesting one although probably not a Gov priority.

    Reply
    1. nota#
      May 3, 2021

      @David Brown – interestingly as was stated yesterday 20% of all the tax collected go to these Quangos. So the basically un-accountable get your money regardless of their performance or ability.

      Reply
    2. Timaction
      May 3, 2021

      Productivity per capita will never improve if the Tory’s keep importing 700,000 people every year. How about not “Building Back Better” but securing our borders?

      Reply
  18. Everhopeful
    May 3, 2021

    These bodies seem like mini EUs.
    Soaking up dosh.
    Expanding their spheres of influence.
    Seeking more and more power and control.

    Reply
    1. J Bush
      May 3, 2021

      +1

      Was reference to someone citing SAGE me? If so, I have no problem with this. It is afterall, my opinion.

      Reply
      1. Everhopeful
        May 3, 2021

        Sorry. Yes it was you.
        An extremely good suggestion ( SAGE).
        I’m never quite certain what is or isn’t a QUANGO.
        Had I thought of it I would have put it above even the BBC for extermination!

        Reply
        1. J Bush
          May 3, 2021

          The blighters (politicians) use different acronyms to hide the true total – smoke and mirrors

          Reply
        2. J Bush
          May 3, 2021

          🙂

          Reply
    2. Mark B
      May 3, 2021

      The original concept back in the 80’s worked, nowadays it is been abused. The model is indeed that of the Continental System where you cannot do something unless you have the right paperwork. And to get the right paperwork you have to pay and pay, and pay, just like on the continent.

      Reply
      1. Everhopeful
        May 3, 2021

        +1

        Reply
  19. dixie
    May 3, 2021

    Hard to tell what many really do and what benefits their people really get from their positions, the information is dispersed and variable.
    As a first step I would have all public bodies provide clear, standard and readily accessible statements on the UK Gov public bodies website, not separate websites, which include;
    – purpose
    – sponsors
    – measurable objectives
    – delivered measurable benefits to the taxpayer
    – success criteria
    – exit criteria
    – funding from all sources and annual accounts
    – people, remuneration all interests and corporate/public connections

    If there is no defined exit date then there should be a regular review.
    Personally I think any group or individual that receives public funding from any government should have to publish such material clearly.

    Reply
    1. J Bush
      May 3, 2021

      +1

      They need to be accountable to those who are ultimately funding them via taxes.

      Reply
    2. jerry
      May 3, 2021

      @dixie; Most of what you say the quangos should publish is surely a competence of the Govt, after all it is also by definition the quangos remit, including what they should exclude themselves from! The fact that few if any govt has ever provided such information, at least clearly, goes to reinforce the speculation that a majority of quangos are nothing more than a blast screen to protect Whitehall and Minsters, only when the fan gets messy are such remits published, and of course they can be adjusted to suit the time and circumstance, who needs to be protected and why – or am I being far to cynical?

      Reply
      1. dixie
        May 3, 2021

        I have no doubt a number of at-arms-length bodies are really fig leaves to project protect ministerial and civil servant modesty, but the fact remains that the above information is not commonly available. For example you have to hunt round simply to find the last years accounts for the Commission on Climate Change and I have not found any list of direct/staff interests at all. Why make it difficult unless they are incompetent or they have something to hide something?

        Why does the Consumer Council for Water even exist unless Ofwat is failing in which case why is failure of the latter not addressed effectively, or is it merely to keep the CCfW Chairman paid a pro-rata equivalent of 90k pa simply to oversee a complaints department?

        On balance I wouldn’t say your were being too cynical .. maybe not enough.

        Reply
    3. Mark B
      May 3, 2021

      +1

      Reply
  20. Stred
    May 3, 2021

    Climate Change Committee

    Reply
    1. glen cullen
      May 3, 2021

      +1 for no other reason that its biased by its own name – maybe not a quango. Maybe we should also review the need for certain committees and All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs)

      Reply
    2. DavidJ
      May 3, 2021

      +1000

      Reply
    3. Jim Whitehead
      May 3, 2021

      Stred. +1
      A Conservative Government continuing the existence of this Committee defies reason and belief.
      Let opinion at large and market forces determine the purchasing decisions of individuals and the policies of the car manufacturers.
      How I look forward to casting my vote against this abominable government.

      Reply
    4. J Bush
      May 3, 2021

      +1

      Reply
  21. Bryan Harris
    May 3, 2021

    Excellent piece JR, indicative of why you are still a top politician; …….. and that is quite a challenge.

    Without direct involvement with a quango it is hard to be specific about what is wrong with any of them We just know that the system is far too costly with very little oversight, the wages are far too generous, and decisions made by numerous quangos are mostly influenced by socialist dogma.

    Perhaps if we were able to see a complete list of existing quangos we could start investigating some close to home?

    A tremendous amount of pressure for some years now has centred on the BBC, with a case for abolition documented and well known. That we were so badly ignored in this case, and HS2, makes it seem an impossible situation to get changes made.

    I would also ask why parliament isn’t doing this job for us? IE Investigating failing quangos and getting them closed down – That should be a part of its job specification since they allow them to come into existence.

    Reply
    1. Lester
      May 3, 2021

      BH
      + 1

      Reply
    2. Jim Whitehead
      May 3, 2021

      B.H. +1
      The BBC persists in its deliberate targeted propaganda in its relentless effort to change the fundamentals of belief and discussion in this country.
      How much and for how long before it is considered to be beyond toleration?

      Reply
  22. No Longer Anonymous
    May 3, 2021

    Scrap anything to do with racial and sexual equality.

    Never have there been more people whose wealth depends on those things failing and lo, the issues have never been more in crises despite the utter transformation of our society from what it was in the ’50s.

    My grandfather would think me an utter Lefty because of my positive opinions on gay marriage, homosexuality and the wholehearted acceptance of an Indian daughter-in-law into my family (being more fond of her than my own son, in fact.)

    Yet the race industry will have it that I’m nothing but a racist – this going by the racial awareness course I took at work last week. The questions were IMPOSSIBLE to get right at the end of it and were designed to hector and criminalise me.

    They are taking a hammer and chisel to the mosaic that is our diverse and tolerant society. Only ever pointing out our failures, ignoring one side of the story and ignoring our staggering successes.

    Malcom X warned black people against white liberals who would use them to take power and here they are.

    Wicked people. Wicked.

    Reply
    1. Bryan Harris
      May 3, 2021

      Scrap anything to do with racial and sexual equality.

      I have to agree with that No Longer Anonymous – but first we have to cancel the disgusting Equalities Act that caused all of this trouble related to alleged equality…..

      Reply
    2. nota#
      May 3, 2021

      @NLA. its strange how the self creating authorities are unable to define who and what the alternative to the ‘Human Race’ is.

      Just realised I have answered my own question, create a body to look into something and it creates an in-dispensable self perpetuating, self inventing, just for self gratification Empire to feed Government with their latest ‘Virtual Signaling’

      Reply
      1. No Longer Anonymous
        May 3, 2021

        The latest trip wire for me to fall over is ‘BAME’. Now a pejorative term.

        I wish they’d issue a weekly bulletin of what is acceptable and what is not.

        Reply
        1. MiC
          May 3, 2021

          Who are “they”?

          Reply
    3. Jim Whitehead
      May 3, 2021

      NLA +1
      How worthless are your wholly valid protestations in face of the unforgiving and intolerant animosity that now impacts you.

      Reply
  23. majorfrustration
    May 3, 2021

    I do like the idea of all Quangos seeking, as it were, re-election. This could be brought in as and and when the next five year term of NxDs come to an end. Assuming that most Quangos run on a five year operational basis.
    Certainly the NHS quangos could do with some sorting out RHA, CHA – any Quango that has an overseeing requirement – is the FCA a Quango – the one that the current head of the BoE ran or did not as the case may be

    Reply
    1. J Bush
      May 3, 2021

      That is going to be a very, very long ballot paper. 🙂

      I know there are over 1000 of them, but someone yesterday stated there were just under 5000 of them!

      Reply
  24. Sakara Gold
    May 3, 2021

    The PSA is not the only example of a successful semi-privatisation of a quango. In 1983 SoS Environment Michael Heseltine (one of my political heroes) set up the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission. In June 2013 the government provided an £80 million grant to enable this body to morph into English Heritage, this was to become a self-financing charity – now re-branded as Historic England. The properties such as Stonehenge and numerous ex stately homes, collections etc remained in public ownership, now spun off as the English Heritage Trust. These organisations generate significant income and provide career opertunities for those interested in archaeology and tourism. The trust’s financial plan sees the annual requirement for subsidy being cut from £15.6 million in 2015/16 to £10.1 million in 2020/21 and zero in 2022/23.

    Unfortunately, there seem to be very few other examples of successful quango privatisation. Many of them are spin-offs from other quangos, such as PHE and the NHS. PHE has its own expensive layers of management (their regional directors structure), was unable to influence the course of the Chinese plague virus epidemic and has been severely criticised in a series of recently published books.

    Why are roughly 20% of the workforce working in non-productive civil service-type jobs funded mainly by the taxpayer? Politicians spend their lives climbing the creasy pole to reach positions of power such as SoS. Once there, they are expected to enlarge their departments, play politics and take responsibilites off one another and increase their budgets. A classic example is Hancock setting up the much-criticised Test and Trace scheme under the auspices of the NHS – with a budget now approaching £35 billion

    So here is my list of six quangos that the nation could do without

    Independent Commission for Aid Impact – Cost: £4.3 million – Function: Scrutiny of UK foreign aid spending
    Independent Reconfiguration Panel – Cost: £300,000 – Function: Advises on NHS service change
    Great Britain China Centre – Cost: £900,000 – Function: Supports UK-China relations
    Judicial Appointments Commission – Cost: £4.5 million – Function: Jobs for barristers
    Health Education England – Cost: £48 billion – Function: Organises education, training and workforce development in the NHS.
    And lastly, Test and Trace – Cost: £35 billion – Function: Provide a well paid job for Dido Harding

    Reply
    1. G Wheatley
      May 3, 2021

      All but the last two are relative minnows in this pond.

      NHStrack&trace has £55 billion allocated (with a defence budget (iirc) of only c.£46bn). T&T had an initial £22bn injected into it (pun intended) with a ‘top-up (pun intended once again) of a further £15bn, total £37bn. There’s a further £18bn waiting for when it is ‘needed’.

      …….. and yet we have to cut our aid to UNICEF by 60% from £40m to £16m??!!!!! Shameful.

      Reply
      1. Sakara Gold
        May 3, 2021

        It gets worse. Many of the quangos on the government’s XL list generate income – for example the Animal and Plant Health Agency gets £83.7 million from government, yet earns £65.8 million in income. However, instead of returning this to the Treasury, it gets to spend the lot – £149.5 million. On what exactly, i have no idea. However i am sure that a quango bean counter somewhere could tell us. Another good example is the British Council – costs the government £168 million, earns £998.7 million for a total of £1.15 billion. The Russian government banned it a few years back for recruiting too many FCO spooks for SIS

        Reply
  25. Walt
    May 3, 2021

    Sir John.
    Bring essential work into the ambit of the Civil Service, each department under the oversight of a responsible minister. Abolish all quangos, including bodies that are not defined as such but which function similarly. Let any that consider themselves useful prove their case in the open market without government funding.
    However, abolition will not happen, because (a) quangos are a useful veil for politicians and (b) they provide a place to put and occupy people who might otherwise be a nuisance.

    Reply
  26. J Bush
    May 3, 2021

    +1 Re your paragraph commencing – “Why are roughly 20% of the workforce working in non-productive civil service-type jobs funded mainly by the taxpayer?”

    It is criminal that a 5th of the population are ultimately being funded by people who have lost, in fear of losing their jobs and the followings generations, who have had their education b******d, while they sanctimoniously sit pretty in their protected jobs.

    Reply
  27. steve
    May 3, 2021

    I think we can solve most if not all of the issues that make life crap, it is simple – just abolish everything that we don’t like or didn’t vote for. Including laws we don’t like.

    Reply
    1. MiC
      May 3, 2021

      Aye, ask kids, and they’d probably abolish school.

      Reply
      1. Peter2
        May 3, 2021

        Are you in favour MiC?

        Reply
      2. Fred.H
        May 4, 2021

        and the SNP know that – lower the voting age, give them free this and that, and you have a whole new raft of gleeful supporters.

        Reply
  28. Christine
    May 3, 2021

    The TaxPayers Alliance has a list of 10 quangos that can kindle the bonfire, written in June 2020.

    https://www.taxpayersalliance.com/10_quangos_that_can_kindle_the_bonfire

    This will be a good start.

    This link also has a link to the Government’s official list of 249 quangos currently in place, with their income and expenditure. I’m sure many will be totally unaware of the existence of most of these bodies.

    Quangos apart, this Government seems intent on wasting money on vanity projects like a royal yacht and decorating No. 10, when so many people have lost their livelihoods. It really is callous and obscene.

    Reply
  29. Andy
    May 3, 2021

    The Public Accounts Committee heard evidence that suggests Tory Brexit will necessitate the need to create many more quangos. Regulators for areas we used to share with 27 other which we now need to regulate – and pay for – ourselves. The bill could be billions and we may need up to 50 more of them. Nobody wants unnecessary bureaucracy – well, nobody except Brexitists who have created masses more of it.

    The idea we can scrap all quangos is for the fairies. Things like the Civil Aviation Authority, the Rail Accidents Investigation Branch, the Forestry Commission, the Foods Standards Agency and the Health and Safety Executive are completely necessary.

    If you want to save taxpayers money, scrap the ERG and other Tory backbench pressure groups which are funded through our taxes. If an MP wants to join such a group they should pay for it from their salary. It should not be allowed to put such things on expenses.

    Reply
    1. Peter2
      May 3, 2021

      Who in politics is calling for the scrapping of all quangos?
      More made up nonsense from you andy.

      Reply
  30. Derek Henry
    May 3, 2021

    Morning John,

    An understanding of how the monetary system works in the real world has to come first before any changes takes place.

    A false understanding about deficits, debts, taxes etc only lead to wrong decisions for ideological reasons that makes things worse not better over time.

    We’ve been there , done that.

    Anybody who thinks their taxes fund government expenditure should be excluded from the debate. Until they fully understand how our monetary system operates.

    So OBR, IFS and tax payers alliance for example should be closed down and asked to concentrate on inflation constraints instead of budget constraints.

    Without a clear understanding it just ends up being ideological nonsense from the left and right. The liberals are even worse they have no idea how anything works.

    Surely that has to be the starting point of any debate on any changes that take place ?

    Reply
  31. glen cullen
    May 3, 2021

    While awaiting the full current list of quangoes I’d suggest the following conditions to each and every quango

    They don’t have any funds they only provide suggestions and direction
    They have no accounting requirement
    They are given set KPIs
    They are housed in public building
    They are employed on fixed term arrangements aligned to public servants
    They are limited in duration to any newly elected government

    Reply
  32. Denis Cooper
    May 3, 2021

    In defence of the ONS its activities go beyond passive collection of statistics to active generation of useful statistical information through surveys and other research, including at present collaborative practical research to estimate the levels of Covid-19 infection across the country.

    The results are published weekly, and personally I find it quite helpful to know that when I leave the house the probability that some random person I may encounter on the pavement will be infected with the disease has dropped twenty-fold from the peak in January, see Figure 1 here:

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/coronaviruscovid19infectionsurveypilot/30april2021#number-of-people-who-had-covid-19-in-england-wales-northern-ireland-and-scotland

    When it was one person in fifty, and I had not been vaccinated, and the weather was miserable and mostly dark I avoided going out as far as possible because it was too much hassle constantly trying to avoid close encounters, especially with inconsiderate joggers potentially puffing virus over everybody they met …

    Incidentally, on the matter of statistics, to adjust for our relative populations pandemic statistics for India
    should be divided by twenty, as a round number, to make a valid, pro rata, comparison with the UK.

    So while around 400,000 new cases a day in India now seems to be a frightening and catastrophic number when it is divided by twenty the incidence is only a third of the UK peak of around 60,000 cases a day.

    Interestingly also the mortality rate with the Indian variant seems to be lower, at only about 1%, but it also seems to be affecting many more people in younger age groups than the original strain.

    Reply
    1. Bob Dixon
      May 3, 2021

      I believe the numbers that ONS publish. As for the numbers trotted out on the BBC!!!!!

      Reply
    2. Derek Henry
      May 3, 2021

      Well said Dennis,

      They are very very very good compared to the OBR, IFS and think tanks on the left and right with ideological agendas.

      Reply
  33. bigneil(newercomp)
    May 3, 2021

    On the radio this morning – an all party commitee wants the travel ban extended past Boris’s freedom date – to stop any travellers bring back new variants of Covid. . . . . . . There was a reply from Govt that they have no need to extend the travel ban as they have a robust Border Control . . . REALLY????? – – 209 roll up in rubber dinghies in ONE day – -and govt class that as ROBUST????? God knows what numbers are kept out of the news but clearly a govt approved invasion is taking place.

    Do ANY of you have ANY connection to the hellish world you are creating here??? Or do any of you even care??? – – Certainly none of the govt have any shame on what they are getting paid to do.

    Reply
  34. Denis Cooper
    May 3, 2021

    Off topic, a hundred years today since the partition of Ireland, as explained here:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-56806404

    “NI 100: Tracing the history of the 100-year-old Irish border”

    And we have Brandon Lewis saying:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-56966270

    “It’s not just the start of Northern Ireland as we know it, it’s the start of the United Kingdom as we know it.”

    Which is no longer true now that the United Kingdom has notionally left the EU but that part of it has been effectively abandoned to remain subordinated to swathes of EU laws in perpetuity.

    He might just as well have said “There is no Irish Sea border” – oh, but of course he did:

    https://twitter.com/brandonlewis/status/1345057483887411200?lang=en

    Is there no possibility of getting somebody better to replace him?

    Meanwhile, this is a view from Northern Ireland:

    https://unherd.com/2021/05/northern-ireland-has-no-hope/

    “A man who’d describe himself as a Unionist … complained to me recently: “If I can’t jump in the car with the dog and go to Scotland to see the kids, without the dog having a rabies shot and a passport and a letter from the vet and whatever else they want … the kids might as well live in Spain.””

    Reply
  35. MFD
    May 3, 2021

    Like a lot of the Quangos mentioned here, PSA was not a roaring success as it put a lot of expertise into private companies that then needed government over sight( Defence Estates) doubling the number of employees to do the required work and therefor costing more.
    Too many quangos are box ticking!

    Reply
  36. Iain gill
    May 3, 2021

    Financial ombudsman service needs to go first.

    Replace it with subsidised legal advice and a simpler smalls claim court style approach, with properly qualified people.

    Current FOS is corrupt, incompetent, and rubbish in every way.

    Reply
    1. No Longer Anonymous
      May 3, 2021

      Yup.

      My bank were about to ‘fine’ me £3000k for my failure to pay a credit card bill (that had been run up by a fraudster.)

      When I proved to the FOS that it was actually the bank at fault I was awarded …. waitfurrit…. £150. For a summer spent worrying about being unable to re-mortage and having to spend time and money putting a case against the bank.

      I get it wrong and I have to pay the bank £3k. They get it wrong and they only have to pay me £150 !!!

      It didn’t cover telephone calls, time or stamps … let alone the interest I could have saved.

      The bank wrote off the debt as it was ‘too low to investigate’ despite their being a very clear suspect. So now you know what to do it someone else’s credit card drops through your letter box.

      Reply
      1. Iain Gill
        May 3, 2021

        oh I have evidence of far worse from the FOS

        if they were not public sector, meaning the police and FCA leave them alone and accept laughable reports by clearly biased people, anyone outside the public sector would be locked up for what the FOS do every single day

        Reply
  37. kb
    May 3, 2021

    Highways England, and the other Highways Agencies in the rest of the UK.
    The bodies in charge of our roads are crushing the real economy.
    Here we have agencies whose agenda is to destroy the very thing they are meant to be serving.
    Get rid, and replace with bodies whose number one priority is “get Britain moving again”.

    Reply
  38. nota#
    May 3, 2021

    Sir John

    The question you pose is a big ask, as Sakara Gold pointed out yesterday on this blog there are 988 of them. It would appear the biggest bone of contention is they are all unaccountable to the people that pay their wages – the taxpayer. The suspicion it is just job creating for ‘Boy and Girls’ that have friends.

    This week we are being asked, along with everything else to vote for a local ‘Police Czars’ is another job for friends, it appears that way. Are the Local Councils that administer the rate collection for the Police no longer capable as our elected representatives to manage them as they have done for eons.

    If we now separately vote for who gets to run taxpayer funded bodies, why not all of them.

    Reply
    1. Derek Henry
      May 3, 2021

      Hi nota,

      Hope you are well.

      ” biggest bone of contention is they are all unaccountable to the people that pay their wages – the taxpayer. ”

      Simply not true – Hence that’s the crux of the issue. Your taxes fund none of it not a penny.

      So your starting point and many others in this debate is from a false premise. So starting from a false premise, how can you fix it ?

      Reply
      1. nota#
        May 3, 2021

        @DH, so not a penny to fund a Police Czar comes from the taxpayer. Sage works for free, Highways England gets zilch.

        Yet it is also stated that these Quangos consume one fifth of the monies received by the treasury. That means you are suggesting no one gives the State money!

        If all 988 of them were self financing this discussion wouldn’t exist.

        Reply
  39. G Wheatley
    May 3, 2021

    Sir John,
    Simples.

    First, disband S.A.G.E.
    Without their dubious ‘advice’ there would be no pandemic (or at least not in the UK). Readers should acquaint themselves with the many, many interviews given by Dr. Mike Yeadon [and other dissenting, eminently qualified medical professionals that are not just being ignored, but actively sidelined, and in some instances are the subject of concerted efforts by the ‘establishment’ to assassinate both their characters and their professional reputations].

    Then we can get rid of SPI-B and SPI-M and everything connected therewith.

    Only then can we start to “build back better”, as they like to say.

    Reply
    1. graham1946
      May 3, 2021

      Does India have a SAGE?

      Reply
      1. Everhopeful
        May 3, 2021

        Yup.
        INSACOG
        Also clamouring to lock down and mandate masks.
        Blaming religious festivals….saying govt. ignored their warnings etc.
        And on and on….
        I think every country has one.

        Reply
  40. Wilfred Aspinall
    May 3, 2021

    Well an obvious for the list is reform of government, both national and local. Local government: scrap the district councils and establish more Unitary Councils with an elected Mayor and slimmed down Council to have oversight. Streamline the finance and administration.

    House of Lords reform relieving 830 members of sitting in the HoL (retain title but having no legislative roll) and instead creating 100 – 150 – Senator Lords (members) sitting as part of the legislative process.

    House of Commons reform setting a clear criteria for becoming a member without discrimination. Their function and means to represent ALL citizens. Cut the size down to no more than 450.

    Provide facilities to enable these slimmed downed executives to function with a devolved approach for all our citizens to have their right of representation.

    Currently nobody knows who to write to and have a speedy response to issues- whether that is on national or local subjects.

    It appears that you can only write to your own MP with comments yet all MP’s vote on issues that concern us all.

    Accountability must be at all times not at every 4-5 year election.

    Good on Sir John to have a blog

    Reply
    1. Bob Dixon
      May 3, 2021

      When can we start to implement your solution?

      Reply
    2. J
      May 3, 2021

      +1

      2020 statistics
      UK population 67,886,011
      House of Commons 650
      House of Lords over 800

      US population 331,002,651
      Congress 535
      Senate 100

      The above speaks volumes

      Reply
    3. J Bush
      May 3, 2021

      Perhaps we could follow the US, which has collectively 535 in congress and 100 in the senate. It also has a population nearly 4 times greater than the UK.

      Therefore our HoL could be reduced to 25 and the HoC reduced to 134.

      With those numbers we could even double their salary, but not their expenses and pension.

      Reply
    4. nota#
      May 4, 2021

      @Wilfred – well said. Not sure about elected mayors – that just creates attracts prima donnas .

      To represent ‘ALL’ you could even reason its the party system that is the fault line – which party ever had an exclusive proper handle on what was needed? To me the big fault line comes in the selection of candidates in the first place, that should be the exclusive right of the people in a constituency. Not the right of one gang leader to parachute in and fund someone that exclusively supports them personally and their views.

      Reply
  41. nota#
    May 3, 2021

    988 taxpayer funded bodies without any one able to take on individually the accountability and responsibility on behalf of the taxpayer that pays their wages.

    The other thing mentioned yesterday was not only the general income reward thrown at these accountable individuals, they also get none contributory indexed linked pensions. That then brings up 2 elements in their fight against the rest of the UK’s workforce, as in – those that pay these pensions, get their pay and pension as a bundled package – they are not separate. I was reminded how bizarre this practise was with the death of Bernie Madoff. Mr Madoff was awarded a 150 year prison term for his ponzi scheme, we used to call this pyramid selling in the UK and our Government outlawed its practice. This highlights the ‘them and us’ the UK runs the biggest ‘Ponzi’ schemes yet seen, yet sees it is OK for them but no one else.

    The UK Quangos are not rewarded for real tangible results, they are not pitted against competition to ensure value for money. Having Quangos says our Civil Service is incapable. Having Quangos says our Politicians are also inadequate.

    Of the 988 I would suggest that any responsible Government would get rid of the lot, step back, reevaluate. Then if the Empire of the State needs outside help, look at the Commercial alternatives and if not there then create enteritis that are accountable directly to the Electorate – not forgetting the Government is saying that is how they want to manage the Police. So why not every taxpayer funded operation.

    The only reason not to be decisive comes over as protection for back-room deals and spreading the love around for friends. As always in this Game it isn’t what is actually done but haw transparent you are with other peoples money.

    Reply
  42. Barbara
    May 3, 2021

    I can’t think of a quango I wouldn’t be happy to see abolished, to be honest.

    Reply
    1. Fred.H
      May 3, 2021

      Barbara and Sir John,
      If the Government seriously wanted to honour its pledge to remove Quangos, they should do as X-Tory suggests ie.-
      The solution is to ask the TPA to conduct a review of every one of these bodies, with the task of recommending one of 4 alternatives – (i) leave unchanged with justifications, (ii) absorb into named government department, (iii) privatise (hmmm), or (iv) just abolish. And publish each and every outcome. That is the best answer to this problem.

      Reply
  43. Duyfken
    May 3, 2021

    Asked for suggestions of which Quangos should be eliminated, contributors have provided many good reasoned examples, which I applaud. In addition, remaining Quangos should have their existing powers examined with a view to having these curtailed. Too many appear to have acquired authority to be able to bully the public to conform with their directives, and in the seeming endless collection of data they intrude on our time and our privacy, exercising disciplinary action in default. This is the road to a police state.

    As far as possible, Quangos should have an advisory role only.

    Reply
    1. nota#
      May 3, 2021

      @Duyfken
      In a Democracy all laws rules and regulations, are created, amended and repealed by elected representatives. Which highlights what the status of the UK is

      Reply
  44. ChrisS
    May 3, 2021

    The spectre of English taxpayers funding a fresh spending spree in Scotland would be laughable if it were not proposed by your own government, Sir John.
    Boris is already wasting £15bn a year or our money subsidising excessive expenditure in the province and discontent over this is already at quite a high level and growing every time Sturgeon or Blackmore open their mouths. Since Blair conceded devolution, demands for more money have grown every year as has the call for full independence.

    The last thing we should grant Scotland is more money. Sturgeon and her supporters need a lesson on what it would be like to be self supporting. Boris should be offering full devolution. By that, I mean full control over what money is spent in Scotland as long as it is raised in Scotland plus they need to pay their fair share for defence and foreign aid etc.
    After an inevitable period of real austerity and tax rises, the call for independence will soon become muted.

    Reply
    1. Derek Henry
      May 3, 2021

      Hi Chris,

      Hope you are well

      ” The spectre of English taxpayers funding a fresh spending spree in Scotland would be laughable ”

      It is, it’s hilarious because it is a myth.

      You need to study the government accounts and then you’ll realise what you suggest is impossible. A figment of the imagination of So many.

      Reply
  45. Bob Dixon
    May 3, 2021

    Lets start with the BBC.

    Reply
    1. Derek Henry
      May 3, 2021

      Hi Bob,

      What would you replace it with ?

      Amazon, B&Q, Facebook ?

      A fascist state ?

      Reply
  46. X-Tory
    May 3, 2021

    Oh c’mon , Sir John, asking “which quangos would you abolish?” is a completely unfair challenge. There isn’t even an agreed government list of “quangos”! The government does not use this word, referring to NDPBs (Non-Departmental Public Bodies) – but then, just to complicate matters, they also have a separate list of ‘ALBs’ (Arm’s Length Bodies). The TPA (TaxPayers’ Alliance) estimated in 2009 that there were 957 what we would call ‘quangos’ in total, employing around 700,000 staff and spending over £120 billion (yes, with a B!). To expect us to know them all, let alone how they operate and thus which should be abolished is absurd! A useful cheat-sheet to help your readers is here: https://www.parliament.uk/globalassets/documents/commons/lib/research/key_issues/Key-Issues-Quangos.pdf

    No, the solutiion is the one I gave you yesterday: ask the TPA to conduct a review of every one of these bodies, with the task of recommending one of 4 alternatives – (i) leave unchanged, (ii) absorb into government department, (iii) privatise, or (iv) just abolish. That is the best answer to this problem.

    Reply
    1. glen cullen
      May 3, 2021

      Correct

      Reply
    2. Derek Henry
      May 3, 2021

      Hi X Tory,

      Hope you are well

      The TPA (TaxPayers’ Alliance) also told your taxes paid for it ?

      A lie , a very dangerous lie. Worse than some the Quango’s they are trying to get rid of.

      Which is my point. Instead of looking at things via an ideological lens. Why not study the government accounts and find out the truth for yourself like I did ?

      Reply
  47. Gordon Merrett
    May 3, 2021

    I would like to see the so called Public Health England sent packing. It made a complete mess of the PPE and initial rollout of the Vaccine’s and who could give injections thereof by it’s blind autocratic mindset. Everything had to be kept under their control even though they were completely out of their depth.
    Also there are far to many layers of management in the NHS so this would at least get rid of one of them.

    Reply
  48. paul
    May 3, 2021

    The people want more referendums on government policy before the money is spent the better balance of who run’s the British isles.

    Reply
    1. glen cullen
      May 3, 2021

      Lets face it, people only voted Tory to get out of the EU – we didn’t endorse, green policy, banning ICE motorcars, increase size of the Lords, more quango, more immigration nor the WA & NIP…..we certainly need more referendum

      Reply
      1. MiC
        May 3, 2021

        Some people may have done for that reason, but you have no evidence to produce the definitive pie chart of deciding factors for their so doing.

        It is like your silly claims to knowing why 17 million individuals voted Leave.

        Give it a rest, do.

        Reply
        1. Peter2
          May 3, 2021

          Give it a rest applies to you beautifully MiC

          Reply
      2. nota#
        May 3, 2021

        @Glen, we didn’t think we were going to get a EU mini-me as a replacement. Today we get to recognise a 100years of the creation of NI and we do it by kicking them out of the UK and leave them to the mercy of the EU, the people in NI they get no say.

        It sums up the contempt there is by those with power towards those they are said to represent.

        Reply
        1. glen cullen
          May 4, 2021

          correct

          Reply
    2. richard lionheart
      May 3, 2021

      no, referendums cost money and cant be corrupted and manipulated. What we want is legally binding election manifestos which parties and party leaders can be held accountable to in court if they dont make reasonable efforts to fulfil whilst in power..

      Reply
      1. richard lionheart
        May 3, 2021

        *CAN be manipulated

        Reply
  49. Mark Thomas
    May 3, 2021

    Sir John,
    The Electoral Commission is not fit for purpose. This has become increasingly apparent since the referendum. The way they pursued Darren Grimes and the huge fine they arbitrarily imposed on him were outrageous. As was their well-publicised raid on the offices of the Brexit Party during an election. All while failing to investigate remain campaign groups for rule-breaking. One has to ask – who appoints these people?

    Reply
    1. richard lionheart
      May 3, 2021

      HEAR HEAR!!! many of the Quangos have been swallowed up in the Marxist March through the Institutions. The EC in particular is a mendacious anti-democratic tool of the hard left, turning a blind eye to left wing election rigging and pursuing any party, person or group not in the Woke PC lefty fold. of all the corrupt lefty quangos, the EC is the most dangerous to our freedoms.

      Reply
  50. X-Tory
    May 3, 2021

    “The task is how to get buy in and agreement to desirable reform, which often takes time and needs vocal support in a democracy. The forces for a larger state are numerous and well entrenched.”

    With respect, Sir John, neither you nor, more importantly (if that’s possible!) Boris Johnson seem to understand the point of a parliamentary majority. It is to IMPOSE your viewpoint, through legislation, and against the wishes of your political enemies.

    I suspect that the reason “armchair critics” call this government “gutless” is because it doesn’t use its 80 seat majority to BULLDOZE conservative (note the small C) legislation through parliament. Screw ‘”buy in”. The Left will never come round to our way of thinking, so stop wasting time and just steamroller them.

    Reply Yes, we need buy in from Ministers!

    Reply
    1. Zorro
      May 3, 2021

      Reply to reply – So we need buy in from so-called Conservative ministers in a big majority Conservative government to dare to pass sensible conservative policy. Can we not just have the required Conservative ministers. I think that you will find that the Conservative party should really be able to help with that!

      Zorro

      Reply
      1. J Bush
        May 3, 2021

        Sadly, for that to happen, those masquerading as conservative politicians need to be removed and replaced with real conservatives. And that includes the guy at the top!

        Reply
    2. Derek Henry
      May 3, 2021

      Hi,

      Yes you need buy in from ministers.

      But don’t then in the next breathe lie about how the monetary system operates to push it through.

      Tell the truth and do it the right way.

      Otherwise, voters will just see it as taking accountability away from being voted out at elections and giving that accountability to the private sector which can’t be voted out.

      Bank of England comes to mind, Bank of England needs to be consolidated with HM Treasury again. Reverse what happened via the Mastricht treaty.

      Do it right and make it very transparent. Don’t lie about how things actually work.

      Reply
      1. richard lionheart
        May 3, 2021

        David Frost did a good job of unwinding Maastrict, but theres more unwinding to do. We need to purge the cancer of maastrict out our system.

        Reply
        1. Derek Henry
          May 3, 2021

          Hi Richard,

          Hope you are well.

          Damn right !

          The jobs not finished.

          Reply
  51. Zorro
    May 3, 2021

    I hope that you were not referring to your loyal voters as critics JR? Anyway, on council/government micromanagement and waste/no value for money, I thought that I would quote from our Council’s latest COVID newsletter. Did you know that Wokingham Council is expending employment opportunities thrtough the recruitment of the following:

    Could you help with our Covid recovery work?

    Are you looking for a new job? Or maybe you know someone who is? We are hiring for a number of roles across the council, with some specifically created to help with our Covid recovery work.

    If you have experience in managing projects and supporting the delivery of strategies, why not apply for our Covid Recovery Officer role.

    Alternatively, if you’re passionate about equality and diversity, we are looking for a Senior Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Specialist; and we’re also on the hunt for a Poverty Officer to lead on our strategic approach for poverty. The closing date for these roles is Monday 3 May – so get your application in now!

    You really couldn’t make it up!!

    Zorro

    Reply
    1. Fred.H
      May 3, 2021

      No wonder Council Tax goes up the way it does. An employee each for Poverty, Diversity and Covid Recovery seems about as useful to the residents as the proverbial ashtray on a motorbike.

      Reply
    2. J Bush
      May 3, 2021

      In Cumbria we get regular covid reports from the Police! We get more of these than actual crime reports.

      And that is another reason why I will be writing ‘waste of taxpayers money’ on the PCC ballot paper.

      Reply
  52. John McDonald
    May 3, 2021

    The word Quango says it all. A State responsibility which has be contracted out to the private sector. Jobs
    for the boys at the top of the organization at least. It gives Government an easy life and does not actually save the tax payer anything in real terms.
    A Quango is an organization which Government is unable to completely sell off, like all of our once called “public utilities ”

    So yes get rid of all Quangos. If the organization needs government direction then it should be a government body not a private or semi-private one under the so called cover of saving public money which they don’t in the longer term and actually are self creating/expanding.

    Reply
  53. Yossarion
    May 3, 2021

    Any quango associated to the legacy of the EU Regional Assemblies still ruling over England. I see Blair is talking up a federal UK, no mention of England in His ideals in the interview with ITN.

    Reply
  54. forthurst
    May 3, 2021

    The examination boards should all be abolished. Public examinations have been on a scholastically downward trajectory ever since the CSE was invented for children lacking academic ability. Since then examination boards have conspired and competed with each other to offer schools the most high level passes for the least amount of scholastic achievement resulting in academic courses at academic universities having to offer a year or more of remedial education to bring students up to undergraduate entry level. In addition, numerate science and mathematics has been made more girly friendly so that females can compete more equally with boys in subjects in which boys have a genetically determined superiority (on average); bring back calculus at O level and use it in Physics theory where it belongs. If there is someone in the classroom who doesn’t understand, then they are in the wrong place.

    Firstly, for profit organisations should be banned from involvement in public exams; secondly, the Russell group universities should be told to re-establish O and A level exams at a level at which they can clearly identify aptitude and intellectual ability on a sliding scale so that those qualified to enter a university can be identified easily. No more starred As or schools where the whole of the six form gets A grades+. The Bell curve should not be denied for reasons of equity. CSE level exams should not be re-established but replaced by vocational exams leading to the skills essential to the economy but which do not require an academic emphasis. This can be done locally as they should require a significant amount of practical work.

    Why? Because we are falling badly behind nations that have maintained their academic standards and not been overrun by morons with PPE degrees.

    Reply
    1. richard lionheart
      May 3, 2021

      One examination board. run by the education dept. Why would you need any other arrangement, What use is the education dept if it cant assure the standards of exams ?

      Reply
  55. turboterrier
    May 3, 2021

    The answer to your question Sir John.

    All the quangos that use Climate Change as a lever to operate and put the fear of god up the people.

    That I think covers nearly all 1000+ quangos in existence.

    Reply
  56. richard lionheart
    May 3, 2021

    Quangos are just a little money spinner for politicians mates. So stop paying people to sit on them, or limit the influence people can have by limiting how many quangos and for how long they can sit. Politicians used to become politicians so they would be remembered for doing great public good, its why the Victorian age was great. When you started paying Politicians stupid wages it became a gravy train. Quangos have turned into the same thing.

    Reply
    1. Fred.H
      May 4, 2021

      There was a time when only the wealthy could be an MP, many wishing to develop ways for their wealth and influence to grow. Then some managed to find being an MP could help them ‘make a difference’ wishing to improve all manner of societal issues. Gradually it was felt a salary was more equitable, and then a package of support administration. Now the role is too often a good CV entry, or campaigning justification. Bring on the career MP, carefully dodging the harmful issues of the day, if they survive the electorate ‘report card’.

      Reply
  57. Janet Warrior
    May 3, 2021

    Thank you for caring what we think, Mr Redwood. First candidate for abolition (and replacement with an apolitical management and less power) is the Electoral Commission, which is no longer trusted by the public.
    As for reducing bureaucracy in the public sector staff, I know first hand that much time is spent gathering and sorting ethnic origin, health and safety, and financial reports to the government on a monthly basis. At one point, my small HR team at the LEA were spending 5 hours a week doing this. That’s quite an expense and little was done with the information.
    In the NHS, the stupid attempt to set up an “internal market” has resulted in whole teams of hospital staff employed to code the procedures the Trust has carried out, so they can bill the Commissioners, who also have a team of staff to try and find fault with it, in order not to pay. An absurdity on an EU scale, I think!

    Reply
  58. Lindsay McDougall
    May 4, 2021

    I would get rid of much regulation and with it the regulators. These were set up as a sop to the Civil Service in order to get them to endorse the Thatcher Government’s privatisation programme; implementation of EU laws and directives has resulted in their expansion. Let’s take a couple of examples. Energy competition is best ensured by new energy companies entering the market rather than price controls by OFGEN, accompanied by Statute Law to specify a protocol for switching energy suppliers in a simple manner. It would help if every energy company was obliged to have a tab, accessible from the Home page of its web site, of its schedule of prices for all of their gas and electricity tariffs, in a format specified by law – say quarterly standing charge, charge per unit consumed and any discounts.

    I also believe that we are controlling (anti) social media companies in the wrong way. Why not pass a law specifying that the obligations of the CEO and the editor of a social media company are exactly the same as those of the proprietor and editor of a national newspaper? Transmission of criminal material would result in their prosecution and transmission of libelous material would open them to being sued. Yes, it would radically change the business model and operating procedures of social media companies, and it would also get rid of a lot of the filth.

    Reply
    1. Janet Warrior
      May 4, 2021

      +1

      Reply
  59. No Longer Anonymous
    May 4, 2021

    It was disturbing to hear Dominic Raab talking about “… as close to normal as possible” after 21st of June.

    That this may mean masks and social distancing still.

    This is NOTHING like normal then. If the most successful vaccine roll out ever doesn’t get us back to proper normal then we’re never going back to it. Or rather the Government is going to carry on ruining businesses with great futility while they lose all credibility with the public who ignore them in ever growing numbers (as they are now.)

    Reply

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