Why Ministers struggle to run government

The civil service has been used over many years to running the U.K. as a subject state of the European Union. It has given them a growing and activist agenda of legislation covering an ever  widening range of areas. The civil service busied Ministers with trying to negotiate minor changes to the EU wishes. Parliament has been told to legislate a vast amount of derived law, with the civil service drafting complex and long versions of the initiating Directives and telling Ministers that was necessary to avoid infraction proceedings against the  U.K. in the European Court. Much of it went through as long and complex unamendable secondary legislation under the authority of the European Communities Act.
The Treasury ran economic policy on the EU austerity model. They dictated tax and spend policy from the Maastricht debt and deficit controls. The EU’s extensive net zero policy overarched energy, industrial and environment policy. Governments usually went along with these extensive directives. They either adopted the aims as their own or denied anything significant was happening.

Now we are out there is clear evidence that many civil servants still seek to keep Ministers and government aligned with EU policy. There is a reluctance or inability to grasp the opportunity Brexit offers. Ministers  need to set new aims and insist on repeals and amendments to the EU ways. The U.K. needs  to be far more flexible and innovative. The civil service has been disappointing in implementing Ministerial wishes to resolve the lop sided and unfair EU interpretation of the Northern Ireland Protocol, and the policy to end illegal cross Channel migration as a couple of examples. We need a new Union of purpose between civil servants and Ministers to shape an independent policy.

266 Comments

  1. Peter Wood
    May 1, 2022

    Good morning,

    Interesting read…. but just a minute, remind me again who it is that’s in charge of the British Government…I forget his name….

    1. Everhopeful
      May 1, 2022

      +1
      It’s um….you know…thingy.
      All wind and no trousers!

      1. Hope
        May 1, 2022

        JR,
        And why are you and other MPs not holding Johnson’s feet to the fire? Lately you continue to blame others or any body just like Johnson! It was not me, I did not know, no one told me.

        Good grief but when it comes to the Ukraine he is leading the world! A country of no strategic interest to our country, wasting hundred billion or more of taxpayers cash risking world war three but an issue where Johnson thinks it makes him popular.

        12 years to establish party and govt. policy on everything. Your party has reneged on key manifesto promises without good reason whatsoever ie Brexit notice to be sent the following day, economy, immigration, taxation etc etc.

        Your party and govt has still failed to implement Brexit, failed to scrap N.Ireland protocol- allowing EU to take control of our country by rules regs and laws without an argument, take control of our territorial waters, be subjugated by getting energy from France, food supplied by EU as another threat, without a protest or murmur. Where is that strong world leader when it comes to defending our country? Covid showed Johnson could not stand up to fake govt.scientist figures, Sturgeon, Drakeford!

        It is everyone else’s fault- not. Johnson’s fate is in your and your colleagues hands no one else.

        1. Shirley M
          May 1, 2022

          + many. Too many MP’s more bothered about the party than the country, or the electorate. Promises mean nothing to your party. We want action, not words.

          1. Hope
            May 1, 2022

            Shirley,
            JR’s party has a quota selection rather than one based on merit. What do they expect? Again a self defeating problem caused by…… JRs party and govt. To seek blame is beyond belief.

            Dowden confirmed half the party’s MPs will be women. The same the public sector has headed under the socialist Tories.

        2. Lifelogic
          May 2, 2022

          Who do you want to replace him they are look even worse to me?

          1. Hope
            May 2, 2022

            LL,

            JR would be one name, IDS another. From people like them they would promote people in their own light not socialist greenies or led by their zipper like the lying chaotic misfit in No. 10.

            For someone who claims to promote scientific mathematic types it is beyond belief you are unable to understand the record and facts from 12 years of socialist Tory high spend, tax and piss down the drain is higher than it was under Labour!

        3. InReply
          May 7, 2022

          100% agree.

      2. glen cullen
        May 1, 2022

        +1

    2. Peter
      May 1, 2022

      PW
      ‘remind me again who it is that’s in charge of the British Government…’

      Whoever it is they take instructions from the globalists. Net Zero, Covid lockdowns and the Great Reset sail through unopposed – whether or not the voting public want them.

      When it comes to manifesto promises, like solving Northern Ireland issues or illegal immigration, it is all talk and various excuses for doing nothing at all.

      1. Donna
        May 1, 2022

        I voted Conservative in 2019 for the first time in decades after Nigel withdrew my BP candidate in order to “get Brexit done.”

        We got BRINO ….. and then a Labour-Green Government which removed our Civil Liberties and blew up the economy with no justification whatsoever (as they very well knew).

        I can’t think of a single reason why I’d even consider voting Conservative again at the next election.

        1. glen cullen
          May 1, 2022

          Very true Donna, and many believe as you do

        2. Your comment is awaiting moderation
          May 1, 2022

          +1

    3. Nottingham Lad Himself
      May 1, 2022

      It’s not just him.

      It’s all the ministers.

      1. Shirley M
        May 1, 2022

        Who chooses the Ministers?

        1. Nottingham Lad Himself
          May 1, 2022

          Haha! In their way, the electorate…

          1. Shirley M
            May 1, 2022

            That is a very tenuous link. For starters, if we were choosing the Ministers SJR would have been among them.

          2. Nottingham Lad Himself
            May 1, 2022

            No, what I mean is, that if you vote Tory then you get Tory ministers and none other.

            So you narrow the field just a bit, like.

    4. glen cullen
      May 1, 2022

      I have a dream…a dream that we have a continued conservative government with a massive majority free from the rules of the European Union, free to manage our own affairs, free to make our own decisions – what !!!…we’ve had that already for a decade !!!

      1. Everhopeful
        May 1, 2022

        +1
        …and we swelter with the heat of injustice and oppression…

    5. Gary Megson
      May 1, 2022

      Quite so Peter! Brexit happened years ago, there are opportunities out there (we are told), yet nothing’s happening – not even checks on dodgy incoming food. So John Redwood tries to blame civil servants. Let’s blame the real culprits, this Conservative government, this Prime Minister, and the Brexiters who promised us milk and honey, and yet now we find they don’t even want to do checks on imports of milk and honey

      1. Peter2
        May 1, 2022

        dodgy food !
        What from your great and wonderful EU
        Thought everything was perfect in the EU gary.

        1. Bill brown
          May 1, 2022

          Write something with relevance and information

          1. Peter2
            May 2, 2022

            Hilarious that you never follow your own advice Billy.

  2. Mark B
    May 1, 2022

    Good morning.

    I would be amongst the first toi criticise the the CS but, not this time. For who was it that brought us into the then EEC and who was it that, once we were finally on our way out thanks to the Glorious Referendum of 2016, tried heaven and earth to keep us in ? Why, it was parliament and those MP’s that made up the government.

    I do not subscribe to the narrative that Ministers are just doing what they are told and, if they become resistant they just outright refuse to do the Ministers bidding. The Civil Service is bound by the same laws as the rest of us and, if a law is passed that they cannot agree with then they have a right to refuse to do it just as any other employee or person has. Without this right we would soon end up in a totalitarian state much like the one that is being built by Ministers and MP’s via the Online Harms Bill and much else.

    Civil Servants advise, Ministers’ decide. So if you want better decisions you first need to get better Ministers’ able to think for themselves and handle their briefs.

    1. Richard II
      May 1, 2022

      I think it’s a bit of both. Ministers shunted from one portfolio to another barely have time to get up to speed on their job, even if they are competent enough in themselves. And so the civil service steps into the gap and runs the show – I’m quite sure they don’t mind! And why should ministers complain about how the system works? Most of them are looking for promotion to a more senior position, and as long as they keep their nose clean that’s what they get as the older guys retire. I’d love to think there was a better way of running the country. Perhaps taking big areas of power out of the hands of Westminster and devolving it to local authorities is the option we need to try more of. If we could avoid power getting into the hands of people like Sturgeon in Scotland and Drakeford in Wales, that is. In any case, a good place to start would be letting local authorities decide their own housing requirements, not have numbers imposed on them by Westminster.

    2. Maylor
      May 1, 2022

      +1
      Great reply

    3. MPC
      May 1, 2022

      Quite right. The civil service has an obedience culture its the elected government that’s to blame for inertia

    4. Hope
      May 1, 2022

      Mark,
      Election week coming up, it is everyone else’s fault. We did not know, no one told us. Rees- Mogg leaving silly notes, where is the back bone- get to work or be sacked/made redundant.

      A real conservatory party might be interested how staying at home by tens of thousand civil service workers effects local economies and small business in recovery or cost of living! All of which was the socialist Tory party fault in the first place.

      Ah well, tax them that is their answer to everything.

    5. Mark B
      May 1, 2022

      Oh look what I have found. Quite interesting.

      This document is intended not only for existing civil servants, but also for EEA & Turkish nationals who intend to seek employment in the Civil Service . . .

      If our kind host allows :

      https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/944044/Changes_to_the_Civil_Service_Nationality_Rules_from_1_January_2021_-_Guidance_and_departmental_actions.pdf

      1. Philip P.
        May 1, 2022

        Indeed very interesting, Mark B. By comparison, foreigners are not allowed to work for the French civil service in any of the following fields: the diplomatic service, armed forces, police and security forces, the legal system, and the tax office. Perhaps you know whether it’s the same in this country.

    6. beresford
      May 1, 2022

      If they don’t want to implement popular policies enacted by a democratically elected government, they have a right to seek alternative employment, whether of their own volition or not.

  3. Mike Wilson
    May 1, 2022

    So, it’s all the fault of the Civil Service! I’d love to know what the job descriptions are for senior Civil Servants.

    I’d say the problem lies with the people who are ministers. They are clearly not up to the job.

    1. Nottingham Lad Himself
      May 1, 2022

      It’s wearing a bit thin, isn’t it?

    2. acorn
      May 1, 2022

      The problem isn’t with the Civil Service, it’s with the way we elect people to Westminster. You can be sweeping the floors in Tesco one week and be Minister of State for broom handles after the election. European and US political parties choose members as candidates with the knowledge and experience of the Cabinet posts they are targeted to take up. The UK cabinet is the opposite; mostly a game of musical chairs. If you survive a couple or more of “reshuffles” you are doing well but your department isn’t. While Downing Street and our Punch & Judy parliament are playing silly buggers, the Civil Service has to keep the economy operating and stop the former from wrecking the country.

      1. Peter2
        May 1, 2022

        Your argument seems to be for an unelected technocracy.
        I’m not surprised.

  4. David Peddy
    May 1, 2022

    Hear, hear. The Civil Service is overmighty here and needs to be put back in its place

    1. Hope
      May 1, 2022

      DP,

      I am not so sure. I think govt and Tory party are the problem. They are in charge they set the rules, laws and standards. Who was it who kept on saying stay at home save lives protect NHS, go clap on a Thursday while pissing it up at No. 10?

      How much was the wallpaper? No one told me, I will get it from the party, against the law and rules? No one told me.

  5. […] Read more about Why Ministers struggle to run government […]

  6. Ian Wragg
    May 1, 2022

    U till there is a clear out at the top of the civil service nothing will change. It can be seen by the department s defying the government on wfh.
    All the institutions are pro EU and it’s the MPs jobs to enforce change.
    The NIP must go immediately and anyone standing in the way should be sacked.

    1. Shirley M
      May 1, 2022

      +1 Ian

      1. Hope
        May 1, 2022

        Ian,
        Oh come on. 12 years in office. Cameron was appointing former Labour ministers instead of Tory ones. Cameron allowed Clegg to appoint over a hundred Lib Dumb peers when they had a disaster election!

    2. Lifelogic
      May 1, 2022

      Start with an easy hire easy fire rule (for state serctor and private) no more that 3 months pay as a pay off in any circumstances. Anyone decent can get easily another job anyway! They all know they will not be fired and that in itself is a huge part of the problem.

      Easy hire and fire is best for employees and productivity too as the good workers do not have to endlessly carry the duff ones. Also no reason not to give someone a try out if you cannot be stuck with them – and so rather more jobs and higher paid ones.

  7. turboterrier
    May 1, 2022

    The civil service is disappointing.

    The civil service has always been disappointing and will always remain so. There is no incentive to do anything otherwise than to take the easiest route for them, work within their remit on auto pilot,take no risks, question nothing, serve their time and collect their pension. The higher up the organisation the problem is compounded as the risk of responsibility and accountability increases albeit seldon actioned. Their own personal political allegiance can subvertlly come into play and cloud their judgement. Turn up at the office leave the brain on the door and keep head down to finishing time.
    Payment based upon performance, cost saving measures, questioning paths of advancement, continual improvement should be the order of the day. Failure does not mean promotion. End this mentality of who cares, I am just a number, a small cog and it’s not my money. The civil service is a monolithic organisation it needs a complete seismic overhaul to drag it into the 21st century. Over managed, over staffed, inefficient, non effective and not fit for purpose.

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      May 1, 2022

      Excellent summary Turbo.

  8. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    May 1, 2022

    Now that you have taken back control, you can decide to scrap checks on EU food imports. A one billion Brexit benefit! 🙂

    1. Shirley M
      May 1, 2022

      I am not happy about that decision at all. The EU has lowered their food standards, although I seem to remember the EU caused much trouble by accusing the UK of ‘wanting’ to lower food standards. The EU will stoop to any level! We should be checking all EU food stuffs thoroughly, especially meat, for both health reasons and a bit of retaliation.

      1. Alan
        May 1, 2022

        Shirley M
        Remember horse meat! Also garden plants from EU infested with bugs in soil so returned to nursery.
        Did I read GB now not checking goods into country whereas goods to EU are.
        Another step back into EU on their lop-sided terms.

        1. Nottingham Lad Himself
          May 1, 2022

          Yes, a great deal of the horse meat being sold as beef came from an abattoir in Todmorden, remember?

          1. Mickey Taking
            May 2, 2022

            imported from where?

          2. Nottingham Lad Himself
            May 2, 2022

            The horses came from various places.

            They were killed, packed, and sold in Yorkshire.

      2. hefner
        May 1, 2022

        But JR-M, the Minister for Brexit Opportunities, has this 29th of April just scrapped the introduction of controls on food coming from the EU (that were supposed to start on 1st of July). He said it was to spare already squeezed firms further costs because of potentially complex and costly red tape likely to increase the inflationary pressure.
        So Shirley, is JR-M wrong to be postponing these checks?

        1. Peter2
          May 1, 2022

          Did you complain when there were no checks for the previous decades hef?
          Why do you suddenly worry that your beloved EU is now not to be trusted?

          1. hefner
            May 1, 2022

            I knew it, P2 is again taking the argument from the wrong end (You should be try to become a MP, you appear to have all the required qualities).

            Brexit was to allow the UK to set up its own laws, regulations, … good.
            In order to do that there was an agreement, the UK/EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement, signed at the end of 2020 by some august personalities (remember David Frost?) that defined how such trade was going to be organised. It was presented to us as an ‘oven-ready Brexit agreement’ and accepted as such by the majority in Parliament.
            We were told that EU/UK borders would not be a problem (electronics and all those things: you commented about it P2, remember?) The EU took the measures for its side of the agreement and set up in various ports the relevant border offices in Belgium, the Netherlands, France, … which became operational on 01/01/2021.
            As I see it they filled their side of the agreement.

            I am not complaining at all about the present situation: as far as I understand it keeps products coming from the EU somewhat cheaper than they would be if the UK had done what it had said it would do in the TCA. I think that is what JR-M is saying.
            Or did I not understand what the Minister for Brexit Opportunities said? Please explain where he and I are wrong.

          2. Peter2
            May 1, 2022

            As usual you avoid answering my question and go off on a red herring hunt.
            I say again, why do you suddenly not trust food imports from the same suppliers in the EU who have supplied us for decades?

          3. hefner
            May 1, 2022

            Your question was stupid and did not deserve an answer: simple.
            Even more so because my original comment was to Shirley (*)

            But I am going to be charitable: I obviously trust the food imports from the EU or from wherever they might come as I expect the importers to be professionals checking properly their products.
            My point (that you still refuse to recognise) is that the present situation and the near future non implementation of controls (officially part of the TCA) before end of 2023 (?), which JR-M has recently discussed, is something that the UK has to address.

            * Incredible: I was trying to ‘discuss with the butcher and the chitterlings sausage came into the conversation’.

          4. Peter2
            May 1, 2022

            Resorting to personal abuse as soon as your argument is exposed heffy.
            The caring sharing delightful left in action.
            You were happy for 40 years of unchecked imports from Europe.
            Now you are outraged as goods are allowed in from the same nations and the same suppliers ordered by the same UK companies.
            Hilarious

          5. hefner
            May 2, 2022

            If you think you have ‘exposed my argument’, I’ll let you rest with the happy feeling of having silenced me with the power of the brilliance of your intellectual questioning. Enjoy.

          6. Peter2
            May 2, 2022

            Thanks hef
            Sarcasm…what is it that others say…..?
            PS
            Yet again failing to address the actual point I made and resorting to rudeness.
            Just as I said in my post.
            Hilarious
            Again.

      3. John Miller
        May 1, 2022

        I completely agree Shirley. I had a friend, an ex-police commander, who worked for MAFF. The EU opened the floodgates which led to the horsemeat scandal. The EU rule that “I have a piece of paper that says x” trumped the British method of physical inspection and led to my friend being a very busy man…

      4. Hope
        May 1, 2022

        Shirley, I disagree. No one should buy EU food wherever possible, especially from RoI. Better still if we had a govt who honoured their Brexit promises money would be spent on farmers to increase food production at home not giving them money to rewild FFS!

      5. Nigl
        May 1, 2022

        Visiting the continent umpteen times over umpteen years, I have absolutely no problem with their food. Indeed as far as taste and the selection in their markets/shops etc I wish we could swap our pap with them.

      6. Bill brown
        May 1, 2022

        Shirley

        Retaliation, this leads nowhere and is counterproductive

        1. Peter2
          May 1, 2022

          So no retaliation in Ukraine?
          Just allow bullies to prevail?
          You are now not in step with EU foreign policy billy.
          On dear.

          1. Clough
            May 1, 2022

            EU foreign policy is to commit economic suicide, and bully their own citizens into accepting it. We’ll see if it works. There are signs from southern Europe that it won’t.

          2. Bill brown
            May 1, 2022

            Peter 2

            It was retaliation in terms of the EU not Ukraine.
            You seem to wish to misunderstand everything from me and Hef.

          3. Peter2
            May 1, 2022

            I read what you say and comment
            Perhaps try to be more succinct if you think you are both being misunderstood.
            But I note you cleverly sidestepped answering.

        2. Shirley M
          May 1, 2022

          No retaliation leads the EU into placing more and more obstructions and difficulties in our path as it benefits the EU and causes problems for the UK. Appeasement just leads to more demands. Letting the EU walk all over us (for the sake of a non-existent friendship) accelerates their ‘punishment’ agenda, whereas retaliation makes them think twice and if nothing else it will stop the EU from benefitting quite so much from their hostility.

          1. Bill brown
            May 1, 2022

            Shirley M

            These are our allies largest trading partners and friends. I believe your approach is wrong and a misunderstanding. This needs to be solved by negotiation

          2. Shirley M
            May 2, 2022

            Bill brown – I disagree that the EU are our allies or friends, or that they can be trusted to negotiate fairly, if at all. 40 years of experience has taught us that.

      7. Dave Andrews
        May 1, 2022

        The tell us we eat too much meat, and animal rearing consumes too much reserve, so perhaps we should end all imports of meat.
        The green lobby should be cock-a-hoop.

      8. Nottingham Lad Himself
        May 1, 2022

        It is your beloved Rees-Mogg who is opposed to implementing the checks, isn’t it?

    2. a-tracy
      May 1, 2022

      Ah but we don’t have to buy and eat it, it must be labelled correctly so that we can say no.

    3. Richard1
      May 1, 2022

      Certainly there is no need for checks on goods from reliable sources like the EU. Or Australia Canada NZ Singapore Switzerland Norway etc.

      We could do the occasional spot check and come down like a ton of bricks on any infringement. But I don’t think there will be any.

      That’s the way trade needs to work. Checks controls quota a tariffs are just rocks in your own harbour.

    4. No Longer Anonymous
      May 1, 2022

      Political chaos at one end of the EU map. Full scale war with a super power (soon to become global) at the other.

      What’s in between, PVL ???

      When we joined the Common Market I’m sure that Ukraine wasn’t in it.

      1. No Longer Anonymous
        May 1, 2022

        …. or anywhere near it.

      2. Nottingham Lad Himself
        May 1, 2022

        There’s no particular problem within the borders of the European Union, however.

        Yes, there’s something a bit odd at the northern end of S Korea too, isn’t there? And at the southern end of the US?

        1. Peter2
          May 1, 2022

          Any particular examples of problems with goods imported from the nations you describe NHL?

        2. No Longer Anonymous
          May 1, 2022

          NLH – Well. With the EU things were pretty sorted (including with people who ended up voting Brexit) until it expanded and expanded until such as Ukraine became *our* backyard.

          This was not envisaged in the 1975 vote.

          Both the war in Ukraine AND Brexit were a result of the EU (under the aegis of NATO) getting too big for its boots. Can you really not see that ?

          Anyway. Pop your mask back on. Can’t be too careful out there.

          1. Nottingham Lad Himself
            May 2, 2022

            Funny, I could have sworn that Russia just simply invaded Ukraine.

    5. MFD
      May 1, 2022

      No Sir, we need to increase home grown and prevent our Enemies in the eu driving the direction of travel etc.
      I have boycotted all produce and goods I find from eu countries, no continent holidays.
      I have been able to keep our local farmers and trades working and I get better quality into the bargain. Drop the trash! No to vonderliar

      1. Bill brown
        May 1, 2022

        There is no enemy in the EU except in your mind

    6. Ian Wragg
      May 1, 2022

      I think you should be chivvying Germany and Italy to stop financing Pootins war. After all they thought it was a good idea to destroy Greece for the greater good. It’s a bit like WW2 your never sure which side the Dutch ate batting for.

      1. Nottingham Lad Himself
        May 1, 2022

        Has the UK stopped buying Russian diesel yet?

        1. Peter2
          May 1, 2022

          Germany hasn’t.

          1. Nottingham Lad Himself
            May 1, 2022

            Hefner and Bill are so right.

        2. Peter2
          May 1, 2022

          You posed a silly question NHL
          And I have shown that others in your preferred EU are doing exactly the same with even greater levels of purchases.
          No wonder you have to dodge the debate.
          As usual.

      2. Bill brown
        May 1, 2022

        Absolute rubbish

        1. Peter2
          May 1, 2022

          Are you claiming Germany isn’t a huge buyer of Russian oils bill?
          Come on eh as Martin says.

          1. Bill brown
            May 1, 2022

            Peter 2

            I am claiming that your level of arguments are not substantiated and you evade the facts presented to you. Sheryl didn’t misunderstand my comments on the EU as an example but you had to involve the Ukraine, just to give you an example. You accuse Hef of being rude but you use similar words and methods

          2. Peter2
            May 2, 2022

            Answer the question Billy.
            You know I’m correct.
            Germany is still buying huge quantities of oil and gas from Putin.

          3. Bill brown
            May 2, 2022

            Peter 2

            I was not asked the question but you are keeping up your abusive tone, rather sad

          4. Peter2
            May 3, 2022

            Unlike others you side with, my tone is definitely not abusive billy.
            I did ask you a question and you are still avoiding an answer.

      3. Hat man
        May 2, 2022

        You’re still hopelessly off the mark in your WWII framing of the Ukraine crisis, Ian, as if it was another stop-the-dictator-from-taking-over Europe affair. What you’re not seeing is America’s campaign of economic pressure on Russia and Europe, to retain control of global energy supplies. And especially to create markets for its own shale and fracking-derived energy sources. Cheap reliable gas and oil from Russia to Europe doesn’t fit the US agenda. So first Germany was pressured into dropping Nordstream 2, and now the pressure is on to stop all gas and oil deliveries from Russia. Meanwhile the Liquid Natural Gas tankers from the US are on their way to Europe. The problem is that many countries haven’t yet built the terminals to unload LNG, but no doubt the prospect of a freezing winter and industrial collapse in the EU will spur them to get it done.

  9. turboterrier
    May 1, 2022

    Following on from yesterday topic in relation to today’s you never hear from the minister in charge of Renewable energy the research that is being carried out by his department to manage and address the many problems that exist in the safe disposal of all the materials associated with wind turbines and solar panels. This problem will only increase as more existing sites meet the end of their operational life in many cases not the 25 years predicted by the power companies and generators but realistically 15-17 years. If correctly removed including their massive concrete bases this will have a devastating impact on the environment.
    Has this been considered in the plans for Net Zero?

    1. alan jutson
      May 1, 2022

      turboterrier

      Indeed many reports confirm time expired wind turbine blades are being buried in massive landfill sites, as they are deemed not economical to salvage/shred and re-use.
      Research still ongoing about best way of trying to recycle them, or re-use the raw materials.

      1. alan jutson
        May 1, 2022

        Google:
        What happens to all the old wind turbines ?
        Link :
        http://www.bbc.co.uk.>news>business-51325101

    2. Fedupsoutherner
      May 1, 2022

      Turbo. And all the defunct batteries.

    3. No Longer Anonymous
      May 1, 2022

      The green policy isn’t designed to give us viable alternatives but to impoverish us into being unable to afford to use energy.

      A two tier society. The Tesla Class and the serfs.

      1. glen cullen
        May 1, 2022

        Well as I can’t afford to purchase a Tesla for £40k, retro fit home charger £15k or heat pump £25k (apparently you also need new radiators and pipework) I must be a serf – 50% of our population live in flats or terrace housing and can’t accommodate home charging or heat pumps…the country is already divided

    4. anon
      May 1, 2022

      Most older windfarm sites will be re-powered with more efficient turbines plant before the end of there operational life. search for ‘UK opens first wind turbine recycling centre’

      Am sure if nothing else they could form artificial reefs to protect our fisheries from being bottom scraped & destroyed by EU mega-destroyer-trawlers.

      Nuclear has very expensive and longterm issues, other energy plant have similar recycle issues.

      Lets just back UK based Science and industry and get on with it.

    5. Ian Wragg
      May 1, 2022

      Stop muddying the waters. Everything to do with wind is environmentally friendly. Carrie says so.

  10. DOM
    May 1, 2022

    Blair’s client State political machinery (separation of powers eroded) that elevates the EU and collectivism still survives and to a degree has become embedded. It has to be dismantled before it destroys democracy and civil liberties

    1997 will in time be seen as a moment when evil took hold of the British State. The US, 2008

    Mandelson’s ‘Post Democratic Age’ is totalitarianism. I call it evil

    As an aside. I see the Tory party have embraced misandry. This feminist poison is being used to demote and demonise WHM’s

    1. hefner
      May 1, 2022

      What has the Web Host Manager got to do with this?

    2. Nottingham Lad Himself
      May 1, 2022

      I find Wholemeal Hovis McDougal’s absolutely fine, Dom.

  11. turboterrier
    May 1, 2022

    Has the Home Office actually costed the full impact on dealing with all these oil and insulation and extinctio rebellion activists?
    If such figures were prevented to the minister there would be a good reason to pass a law against destructive protests. This would enable the courts to pass suitable sentences relevant to the cost on the taxpayer. Government could set a minimum fine £5k or 1 year in prison or seizing of property.
    Has nobody in the Home Office thought of trying to claw some if not all of the costs back?

    1. Nottingham Lad Himself
      May 1, 2022

      Go and live in Russia if you so like laws like those.

      Oh, maybe you already do…

      1. SM
        May 1, 2022

        That is a fatuous response, NLH.

        Note the reference to ‘destructive’ protests – supposing some zealots decided to glue themselves to lorries or interfere with major structures/complexes because they were strongly against the legality of gay marriage or giving employment to those of a different skin colour? Would you so blithely defend their rights?

        1. Nottingham Lad Himself
          May 1, 2022

          Are you not content with the scope of the law to impose penalties for criminal damage, then?

          You seem to want particularly draconian ones for those incurred by committed people whose principles you happen to hate than you do for common criminals such as vandals, which is rather revealing.

          1. beresford
            May 1, 2022

            I would be quite happy to see the same penalties applied regardless of political affiliation or not. If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime. Particularly ridiculous was the Colston statue acquittal, where removal had already been put to public vote and a sensible compromise was being discussed, but a minority imposed their desires on everybody else by criminal action. Meanwhile a ‘right-wing activist’ who attended a rally to stop such crimes being committed was imprisoned for urinating through some park railings.

          2. Nottingham Lad Himself
            May 1, 2022

            And due process in both cases was undergone by the accused, wasn’t it?

          3. Peter2
            May 3, 2022

            That’s a ridiculous interpretation of beresfords post NHL

      2. Fedupsoutherner
        May 1, 2022

        NLH. I think you’d be more comfortable there. So you don’t mind if the country is disrupted? Well I do and anyone else breaking the law for wilful criminal damage would be prosecuted. I can’t think of anything more bloody stupid or dangerous than vandalising a petrol station. Perhaps you were there.

        1. Nottingham Lad Himself
          May 1, 2022

          No, I drive a diesel car.

          My next one – soon – will probably be another.

          I don’t do many miles these days mind.

          I’m sure that the law of Criminal Damage has ample provision to deal with those incidents as it is.

      3. No Longer Anonymous
        May 1, 2022

        NLH – The police used to be able to stop protests like this in short time.

        These are State approved protests. Boris must surely be on their side.

        They align perfectly with the creation of the Tesla Class (Zil lane) vs Serf society – brought to us by the same loons that forced us to wear masks to “KEEP SAFE” (99.999% survival rate) and who now support war with Russia (which could so easily go nuclear, 99.999% kill rate) so that Ukraine may join* the EU that we can’t seem to leave for fear in might lead to IRA terrorism.

        * and NATO of course.

        1. Nottingham Lad Himself
          May 1, 2022

          So what do you think that Putin would do next, if allowed to take over Ukraine unopposed and murder all the active democrats there?

          1. No Longer Anonymous
            May 1, 2022

            It is quite clear that he had reached the maximum of his expeditionary capability, NLH.

            His army is a rag tag of amateurs with knackered machinery – befitting of a nation with an economy the size of Italy’s and without the ideology of the USSR or Nazi Germany as impetus. Not anything like the 15 million man Blitzkreig that Hitler embarked upon.

            He was provoked into a move he did not want to take after 20 years in power and 20 years of abuse.

            There is ample evidence from the Nuland-Pyett tape that America was up to its neck in the Maidan Square putsch in 2014 and recent overtures from NATO towards Ukraine made him finally flip – perhaps he saw the weakness of the Western response to covid and the appointment of clearly weak Biden as his moment.

          2. R.Grange
            May 2, 2022

            Your lack of knowledge of Ukraine is glaring, lad. The regime there has been doing a very thorough job of killing and disappearing its opponents, without ‘Putin’ doing anything. Are you not aware of the 2016 OHCHR (UN) report on human rights abuses in Ukraine, online? There are six pages in section D entitled ‘Summary executions, enforced disappearances, unlawful and arbitrary detention, and torture and ill-treatment’ which might interest you. This is the country which you think has been ruled by ‘active democrats’.

          3. Nottingham Lad Himself
            May 2, 2022

            The civilised way to address those problems – to the extent that they exist – is to make their resolution a condition of accession to the European Union, which the people of Ukraine very much want.

            It isn’t to destroy much of it, committing mass murder and unspeakable atrocities in the process by invading it with an evidently brutal and barbaric army.

    2. Everhopeful
      May 1, 2022

      +1
      I’d love to know which superglue they use.
      I struggle to get the most mundane fractures to stick.
      If govt. WANTED them stopped they would just do it.
      Govt has no prob imprisoning the innocent…so why allow pretend motorway adhesion?

      Maybe Mr Shapps holds the clue?
      Decades of complaint re loud and persistent car stereo noise.
      Suddenly solvable in legislation that furthers the disempowerment of the car!
      ( And gathers more tax)
      @ “noise cameras”.

      1. No Longer Anonymous
        May 1, 2022

        I use a glue called PowerBond 806 and have even used it to glue a cast iron gear in a high powered food mixer and the repair lasted for years.

        You can only get it online.

        FGS. Don’t let XR know about it.

        1. No Longer Anonymous
          May 1, 2022

          PS.

          Superglue was first created as a battlefield first aid treatment for holding wounds together.

          That’s why the only thing it will glue together is skin.

        2. Everhopeful
          May 1, 2022

          +1000
          Thanks for the tip! And my lips are sealed 🤐
          I have noticed that most brands are very good at skin to skin.
          Not so good with what I want to mend!!
          Very interesting about battlefield use…I saw it recommended on some prepper site to put in an emergency first aid kit.

          1. No Longer Anonymous
            May 1, 2022

            Well if you open the bottle cap with your teeth your lips definitely WILL be sealed.

    3. Narrow Shoulders
      May 1, 2022

      The law should allow for peaceful, organised demonstration on public lands but not thoroughfares. However once it is apparent that the general public is being inconvenienced the police must take action to alleviate that inconvenience.

      Anyone wishing to demonstrate on thoroughfares should have to get permission two weeks in advance. Permission will not be unreasonably withheld.

      Smashing petrol pumps and glueing oneself to private property is surely trespass at best and possibly criminal damage. Easy justification for forced removal.

    4. Mark B
      May 1, 2022

      We do not need new laws as we the current laws are quite sufficient. They just need to be enforced !

      1. Nottingham Lad Himself
        May 1, 2022

        There is an apparent problem with some police, who act repeatedly as if certain laws do not exist, and as if others which do not do.

        I think that it is to mislead the public as to the law, and therefore to influence their attitude to the lawmakers on false impressions, that is, to politicise them.

    5. Mark
      May 1, 2022

      We already have laws. The issue appears to be rather more about the police being slow to intervene, and the justice system being reluctant to pursue and sentence perpetrators adequately under the law. Having some members of government expressing sympathy with XR is also unhelpful.

  12. John Miller
    May 1, 2022

    The civil service has now been exposed. Like New Labour and Blair, Mandleson and their odious crew, the same accusations have been levelled too often.
    It is obviously difficult to accuse Priti Patel of rascism, so a new flavour of crime was introduced.
    Bullying.
    But now we find Mr Gove is also a “bully”.
    Sadly, the common denominator is that both ministers expect the civil service to work. Wolf has been cried too often and the result is the civil services true complaint is revealed – “work”…

  13. alan jutson
    May 1, 2022

    Who are the Civil Service personnel responsible to ?
    If it is Government Ministers then the solution is simple, Ministers decide what the policy is, and direct their Departments accordingly, failure to carry out instructions properly should simply result in dismissal after the proper warnings and protocols have been undertaken.
    If the Civil Service is responsible to itself, then Government need to change the rules.
    Sorry John but I do not see this as a significant problem, an excuse for failure to get the job done, or for a failure of policies not completed.
    The failure either way is with Government Ministers and the Prime Minister, full stop.

    1. a-tracy
      May 1, 2022

      I agree with Alan. It seems to me that Ministers are sometimes promoted who have no management experience at all.
      John instead of spraying accusations around, experienced Ministers like you should form advisory groups that could help one department such as the Treasury to go in to to procedure checks, time and motion studies, ensure all this governments aims and policies and procedures are explained clearly, there is talent wasted on the backbenches, people who I’m sure would volunteer to review contracts, job descriptions, current projects to ensure they are in line with the aims and goals Boris persuaded us all to vote for his government on.

      1. dixie
        May 3, 2022

        That is a very good suggestion, assuming the party leadership actually has the goal of establishing and maintaining a high quality government.

    2. glen cullen
      May 1, 2022

      ”Ministers may not dismiss civil servants. Civil servants are employed by their departments and are disciplined and dismissed by other civil servants – and if necessary by the permanent civil servant head of the department, the “Permanent Secretary” https://www.civilservant.org.uk/information-dismissal.html
      If you can’t review, assess or sack them you can’t control or manage them…this situation needs to change

      1. Shirley M
        May 1, 2022

        +many

  14. Denis Cooper
    May 1, 2022

    I always expected that after half a century of entanglement with the EEC/EC/EU it would take us many years to fully adjust to the new reality, which is of course a return to the old reality of being an independent country.

    It would help if the government made a habit of setting out to explain what it was trying to do, and why and how, and entered into honest and open discussions with all interested parties. It seems that Jacob Rees-Mogg and worried vets are hardly talking to each other, and when they do talk it is often at cross purposes:

    https://www.politicshome.com/news/article/rees-mogg-brexit-checks-scrapped-vets-infectious-disease

    “Anxious Vets Warn Scrapping Post-Brexit Checks Will Expose The UK To Disease”

    I would have thought the rule should be that whatever checks on incoming EU goods were being performed when we were in the EU should continue now we have left the EU, for the present, because our suppliers in the EU are still operating under EU law and that has not changed just because we have left.

    So if vets carefully inspected incoming cows when we were in the EU then they should carefully inspect incoming cows now in exactly the same way, until we see some good reason to adjust our risk assessment for incoming cows and change the inspection protocol, while if incoming fish fingers escaped any similar close inspection when were in the EU then they should not be closely inspected now.

    And that would be in line with Article 7.4 of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, to which the UK and the EU and all of its continuing member states are parties:

    https://docs.wto.org/dol2fe/Pages/SS/directdoc.aspx?filename=q:/WT/L/940.pdf&Open=True

    “ARTICLE 7: RELEASE AND CLEARANCE OF GOODS”

    “4 Risk Management”

    “4.1 Each Member shall, to the extent possible, adopt or maintain a risk management system for customs control.

    4.2 Each Member shall design and apply risk management in a manner as to avoid arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination, or a disguised restriction on international trade.

    4.3 Each Member shall concentrate customs control and, to the extent possible other relevant border controls, on high-risk consignments and expedite the release of low-risk consignments. A Member also may select, on a random basis, consignments for such controls as part of its risk management.

    4.4 Each Member shall base risk management on an assessment of risk through appropriate selectivity criteria. Such selectivity criteria may include, inter alia, the Harmonized System code, nature and description of the goods, country of origin, country from which the goods were shipped, value of the goods, compliance record of traders, and type of means of transport.”

    1. a-tracy
      May 1, 2022

      Goodness Denis that you have to explain just things just makes me despair.

    2. No Longer Anonymous
      May 1, 2022

      And how typical of our arrangement with the EU.

      They get to keep the whole fish and all we get are the fingers ! I do hope they didn’t come from our waters.

      1. hefner
        May 1, 2022

        71% of the UK water companies are held by foreign ‘interests’:
        YTL Corp. Berhad -> Wessex Water
        Cheung Kong Group -> Northumbrian Water
        BlackRock, Lazard, Vanguard have interests in Severn Trent, United Utilities, South West Water
        Deutsche Asset Management and US Corsair Capital have 50% of Yorkshire Water
        JPMorgan has 40% of Southern Water
        About 30% of Thames Water were held by funds from UAE, Kuwait, China and Australia
        Colonial First State Global Asset Management holds shares in Anglian Water, Severn Trent, United Utilities and South West Water.
        Then Veolia is deeply involved in the wastewater treatment.

        That was the situation in Sep’18. Some owners may have changed over the last three-four years but I guess the overall picture is unlikely to be very different.

        Obviously as had been heavily advertised around 1987 and during the whole privatisation effort by successive governments (whatever their hue) the UK people might have taken their place among the happy shareholders of all these foreign companies, but I doubt it is the majority of UK people.

        1. Peter2
          May 3, 2022

          Have you a dislike of foreigners then heffy?

  15. Nigl
    May 1, 2022

    On the basis that we have known this for years, indeed a regular feature on your blog and from contributors plus Lord Frost, IDS produced a list. your government has done little apart from talking a good game keeping it in the long grass.

    So what has changed? You are in big trouble at the polls, Thursday might be interesting so let’s find someone to blame. It’s that pesky Civil Service, the best in the world so we keep getting told and then suddenly, when it suits you, it isn’t.

    We, of course, knew it was BS but good management is not on a politicians C.V.

    Your glaring omission, yet again, is a key component of this issue. Ministers. Apart from Gove who seems to be used as some sort of ‘hit man’ the remainder seem weak/ineffective ( I can see Lifelogics words already)

    Maybe you could enlighten us if civil servants are given numerical objectives etc/ how they are performance managed and by who and how monitored because it should not be too difficult to capture outputs, non gov website usage, key strokes, computer up time etc.

    Equally what other levers have you. Cancel London allowance for the percentage they work from home, start changing personnel and actually getting rid of them, not some pool where the useless go to be reallocated and them hardest. No automatic knight/dame hoods. Reward performance not years of service.

    Dan Hannan shreds them in the ST this morning. The country wants ‘you lot’ to get stuck in. Unfortunately I do not think you can.

    1. James1
      May 1, 2022

      Easy. Just get rid of them. I suspect the same ‘productivity’ could be achieved if 50% of civil servants (indeed the entire public sector) were to be made redundant and freed to do something productive in the private sector.

    2. Nottingham Lad Himself
      May 1, 2022

      Oh, Daniel “no one is thinking of threatening our place in the Single Market” Hannan, yes, him eh?

      1. Peter2
        May 1, 2022

        Access to the single market was what Lord Hannon was referring to in his speech.
        You know that NHL

        1. Nottingham Lad Himself
          May 1, 2022

          His intention was absolutely that the UK would leave the SM.

          I proffer that he simply lied, therefore.

          As did most of the prominent Leave campaigners.

          At least one of them got the push as an MP for it in another context however.

          1. Peter2
            May 1, 2022

            Of course we have left the Single Market
            As was explained by the PM at that time.
            Access is still available.
            As we see with the huge trades by American Chinese Japanese South Korean and Indian nations.
            None of whom are members of your beloved EU

          2. Nottingham Lad Himself
            May 2, 2022

            Peter, Cameron correctly pointed out as a warning, not a promise, that leaving the European Union meant leaving all its institutions including the SM and CU, and on the basis that he wrongly thought that no one would be so stupid as to do that, and that the UK would be faced with possible difficulties in negotiating re-entry to them, which he again wrongly thought that no one would be so stupid as not to do in the event.

            And you know that.

          3. Peter2
            May 2, 2022

            Yet many other nations trade very successfully with Europe without being members of the EU
            They dont pay billions a year in membership fees nor do they allow the EU to make their laws.
            Your obsession with the single market is ridiculous when you look at world trade and that the biggest traders with Europe are countries like America South Korea Japan China and India.

          4. Mickey Taking
            May 2, 2022

            NLH- – well call me Dave was stupid enough not to consider that the vote might go against him anyway!

        2. hefner
          May 1, 2022

          Indeed, P2, Daniel Hannan said on multiple occasions that his position was for the UK to retain access to the Single Market without actually being member.
          Unfortunately for him the TCA that came out of four years of discussion of various Brexit ministers with the EU did not provide an access to the SM as open as before Brexit.

          So you’re absolutely right P2, D.Hannan said that but it was clearly not something he had properly thought about, a bit strange for another very clever man who had sat in the EU Parliament for 21 years. Don’t you think?

          1. Peter2
            May 1, 2022

            Wrong as usual heffy
            See above.

          2. hefner
            May 2, 2022

            Incredible P2, you should try reading again what I wrote:
            1/ I was agreeing with you about what Hannan had said.
            And 2/ I was pointing out that the TCA did not allow an access to the SM as open as before, so in that respect it had not fulfilled the wishes DH was making in his comment.

            Are you really unable to distinguish the two parts of my original comment?

          3. Peter2
            May 3, 2022

            Yes I am able to distinguisg between the two points you made heffy and that is exactly why I referred you to my post to your pal NHL

            Why so you find it so difficult to understand?

            What NHL claims Lord Hannon said and meant is ridiculously wrong.

            We still have access to the Single Market.
            Just like many other nations who trade successfully with European countries

  16. Nigl
    May 1, 2022

    And in other news I read Boris is leading the war against Putin. That could mean the U.K. is at war with Russia or that is how Putin might see it.

    No thank you. A bombastic PM in trouble at home seeking a distraction and a legacy plus other ambitious Ministers using it as an excuse to demonstrate their credentials, a toxic cocktail. Is anyone counselling caution?

    1. RichardII
      May 1, 2022

      And the problem now is that Russia has gained hypersonic missiles against which NATO currently has no defence. Warsaw or for that matter London could be reduced to rubble without Moscow needing to use its nuclear weapons. But then NATO’s response would probably have to be nuclear, so Johnson will have got us into a nuclear WWIII. I don’t think anyone voted for that.

      I shall be bearing this in mind on Thursday.

      1. Fedupsoutherner
        May 1, 2022

        Richard. Will we all still be here on Thursday?

        1. hefner
          May 1, 2022

          You might have to wait till the 9th May, Victory Day in Russia 🙈
          Or to give you courage, ‘Nothing can stop what is coming, nothing’.

      2. No Longer Anonymous
        May 1, 2022

        Richard 2

        Keep your mask on though.

        For safety and courtesy to others.

    2. MWB
      May 1, 2022

      Someone should gag Truss and Wallace. A pair of gobs****s.

    3. Nottingham Lad Himself
      May 1, 2022

      I think that one Mr. Zelensky might just want to have a word about his billing, don’t you?

  17. Shirley M
    May 1, 2022

    The tail is wagging the dog. I am sure Ministers lay down some tasks, with reasonable deadlines. Monitor closely. The buck stops with those in charge, BUT, they should have the ability to hire and fire. If they cannot get their own staff working efficiently then they themselves should be disciplined, and eventually removed. The managers are in an impossible situation if those incompetent/disrespectful/ignorant/obstructive staff members know they can ignore their manager with impunity.

    This is what happens in the real world.

    1. a-tracy
      May 1, 2022

      Each minister has special advisors, there are over 110 of them on the same pay level as senior civil servants, what are they blimin doing? I read Boris has 44 of them. They need to start justifying their roles.

      1. glen cullen
        May 1, 2022

        Party’s should employ and fund special advisors and not the taxpayer; are they not just a duplicate of the senior civil servants

        1. hefner
          May 2, 2022

          No, the special advisors (117 in July 2021, according to the Institute for Government) are supposed to be bringing ideas from outside the Civil Service. When he was around, D.Cummings was not duplicating any senior civil servant. Or do you think he was?

    2. Nigl
      May 1, 2022

      +100

  18. Julian Flood
    May 1, 2022

    Sacking a few red button mandarins is, no doubt, impossible. Perhaps the threat of the sort of treatment given to, e.g., over-important Speakers might do the trick.

    JF

  19. Shirley M
    May 1, 2022

    The tail is wagging the dog. These difficulties are caused by the inability to hire and fire civil servants at every level. In the real world, employees who are incompetent or obstructive are disciplined, and eventually fired if their performance doesn’t improve.

    Given the perks and benefits received by most civil servants (and even gongs for some) you’d think they would do their best to hang onto those jobs, but it appears (rightly or wrongly) that they have a job for life so they have no need to worry about their work ethic and/or competence. It is the perfect job to attract the wrong sort of people, many of which wouldn’t last a week in private industry.

    1. Shirley M
      May 1, 2022

      Please delete the above post- duplicate post due to technical difficulties (I couldn’t see the post awaiting moderation, so assumed it hadn’t been posted). It appears your website may now be incompatible with Google Chrome. MS Edge works OK.

      reply You sent no duplicates so I posted what was there. It seems you can get plenty through.

  20. Lifelogic
    May 1, 2022

    Civil servants run the country in the interests of civil servants (and the 20% who “work” for government – often from home). Only elected MPs have any interest in trying to get them to consider the real interests of the taxpayers who fund this all. Alas MP and ministers fail almost completely in this task.

    So in Paris they have suspended use of EV battery buses as they keep self igniting. The batteries needed are about the same as about 50,000 phone batteries so just how easy is it to ensure that not one of these thousands of battery cells self ignites thus setting them all off? This even without any bus crashes? As dangerous or even more that hydrogen buses?

    1. Lifelogic
      May 1, 2022

      For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.

      Richard P. Feynman

      For public relations substitute the net zero/CO2 religion and politics driven by MPs and Civil servants with degrees in PPE, classics, law, languages, geography, history…who think they can pass laws to change reality & the laws of physics.

      1. Atlas
        May 1, 2022

        Agreed. I just read the various Net Zero pronouncements (usually marketing hype) and wonder in what world these Ministers live – the land of wishful thinking?

        Time and experience with them will tell us which Net Zero wheezes work and which don’t – not political spin.

      2. Nottingham Lad Himself
        May 1, 2022

        The thing is, that nature follows all the laws of physics, every single one, not just the ones that might support or not contradict your position.

        There’s the rub for you.

        Proper scientists understand this.

        1. Lifelogic
          May 1, 2022

          You seem rather confused in your argument here – the point is the laws of physics will not bend to the idiotic will & agenda of halfwitted CO2 hating politicians (almost always with virtually zero understanding of even the basics of science) Kwarteng, Boris, Carrie, Hands, Gummer, Gove types – do they even have a physics A level between them?

    2. Lifelogic
      May 1, 2022

      So who was the obnoxious and rather revolting female minister who caught & reported the porn watching MP I wonder? Is this known yet?

      I would have just have warned him to stop being such a damn fool as he could easily be overseen, reported and would then rather regret it.

      1. Lifelogic
        May 1, 2022

        So is this female Minister proud of her actions or ashamed of them?

        1. Nottingham Lad Himself
          May 1, 2022

          What a strange post.

          If a person in public life acts out of what they understand their duties to be then that is not really a matter for either.

      2. No logic
        May 1, 2022

        What’s the word, I’ve forgotten, where someone posts provocatively just to stir up a certain response ?
        This is such a post
        if not……….

        1. No Logic
          May 1, 2022

          That to LL not NLM

        2. Mickey Taking
          May 2, 2022

          do you mean ‘ships anchor’ or troll?

        3. hefner
          May 2, 2022

          ‘if not…….’, +1

        4. margaret brandreth-jones
          May 5, 2022

          He is always an agent provocateur and he thinks that his science knowledge is superior to any one else’s , he repeats the same things again and again, has no understanding of the finer points of language and how to use it, makes generalised statements, which are usually biased nonsense, But ,so what ,everyone is entitled to an opinion.. even me!

    3. Dave Andrews
      May 1, 2022

      I would have thought Paris was a good location for trolleybuses, with just a small, cheap lead-acid battery to get them round diversions.

    4. hefner
      May 1, 2022

      ‘Only elected MPs have any interest in trying to get them to consider the real interests of the tax payers who fund this all’.
      LL, check the calendar: today is the 1st of May, you are one month late with your joke.

    5. hefner
      May 1, 2022

      ‘Two Parisian EV buses in a month’ out of 149 of a particular type (Bollore BlueBus 5SE). The others 293 from the companies Irizar, Iveco, Man and Solaris have not (yet) burst into … smoke, after over 10 months of use.
      ratp.fr

      1. Peter2
        May 1, 2022

        It’s a worrying percentage hef.
        In production engineering and standard quality management, a recall of all the buses would be required.

        1. hefner
          May 1, 2022

          The 147 other buses of the same type have been recalled for further inspection. Happy?

          1. Peter2
            May 1, 2022

            As I would have expected heffy
            So I was correct yet again

          2. hefner
            May 2, 2022

            Yes, you were correct yet again, P2: Hallelujah!

          3. Peter2
            May 3, 2022

            Glad you agree heffy.
            Realise this must be a painful moment for you.

  21. Cynic
    May 1, 2022

    Most of our institutions have a globalist agenda and wish to replace the EU with other supranational rules and governance.

    1. Bryan Harris
      May 1, 2022

      @Cynic —- Exactly

      +1

    2. Nottingham Lad Himself
      May 1, 2022

      Yes, just like you want WTO trading terms eh?

      1. Peter2
        May 1, 2022

        The UK is entitled to trade using WTO rules.

      2. glen cullen
        May 1, 2022

        The majority in the leave corner weren’t enthralled by alignment with WTO but they most certainly didn’t want any trade deal with the EU

        1. Nottingham Lad Himself
          May 2, 2022

          Yes, the real full tonto types among them had a two-year-old’s tantrum and demanded an Absolutely Without Sock Bumps brexit, didn’t they?

          1. Peter2
            May 2, 2022

            Ridiculous post.
            Mind it gets you close to your 50 a day target NHL
            Do you get a bonus?

  22. Sir Joe Soap
    May 1, 2022

    Ministers decide, and they can decide to change the Civil servants should they wish to. Hence Ministers are to blame. The standard of Ministers is far lower than in earlier times.

    1. M.A.N.
      May 1, 2022

      According to Cummings ministers have NO power to appoint / dismiss civil servants. I just looked up price for telegraph / Ft subscription. £55 a month! All the best articles like Dan Hannans therefore are invisible to the public at large. The public have to make do with comic books like the mail. Great shame.

      1. Donna
        May 1, 2022

        I just took out a year’s subscription to the DT for £49 (special offer, which they offered me after I refused to renew my existing subscription when they tried to increase it by 48%).

  23. Mickey Taking
    May 1, 2022

    Yes we need change in the mindset of Senior Civil Servants, but we also need to change the Ministers…
    The former will be a problem, but the latter will likely change in 2 years time, whether the individuals will make any headway, or even want to, remains to be witnessed.

    1. Lifelogic
      May 1, 2022

      The ministers will change but their mindsets will not change much I suspect. They are all socialist pushers of high taxes, big government, net zero, endless waste and other appalling things. Tories almost as dire as the others.

  24. Brian Tomkinson
    May 1, 2022

    Apart from this being the worst government and House of Commons in my lifetime what has changed in the relationship between civil servants and ministers? Not much I suggest – just as depicted in all those episodes of the comedy tv series ‘Yes Minister’ and ‘Yes Prime Minister’.

  25. Sharon
    May 1, 2022

    Where we are with the CS is a long story. Ministers took us in to the EU , but over time, the CSs took their instructions from the EU. Gradually, they effectively told ministers what they could/could not do, according to EU ruling. Ministers became weaker, CSs stronger. Then came Blair, who laid in place organisations and people (CP) ready for when the time was right for the completion of globalisation to occur. Then came Brexit, closely followed by the pandemic. This has left us in a battle between the Ministers trying to enact the benefits of Brexit, Ministers and CSs trying to stop that and meanwhile we have been invaded by the culture smashing, BLM, XR, wokism on stilts, trans, pronouns etc. Hence the complete mess we are in.

    I see a bottom up push for things to change, and thankfully that helped us get out of the mad Covid restrictions, but there’s still much, much more to fight. I’m reading and listening to more and more people talking about the introduction of digital IDs, digital currency- from central banks- which can be linked and programmed- for it to not be true. China on Sea, is the destination.

    As the Civil Service was designed to ‘work as one’ within the EU, the likelihood is the staff chosen are on board (rejoiners) and as the EU is wholly on board with globalisation- as in world governance- we have a huge problem.

  26. Bryan Harris
    May 1, 2022

    This is a subject our host has raised before in different ways, that fundamentally the civil service(CS) has a mind of it’s own and makes minister dance to it’s tune. This all makes a mockery of this democracy we are apparently all so proud of, notwithstanding the failures of parliament.

    The CS is no doubt also guided by WEF and all the other international organisations, allowing their globalist views to be directly incorporated into UK law so easily, treaties signed and policies set.

    So how do we fix this dire situation where our votes mean nothing at the end of the day, for it is not just the Tories that dance to that CS tune. I fear it will not be resolved without a painful revolution!

  27. Lifelogic
    May 1, 2022

    Today in the Sunday Telegraph – surely both are correct:-

    The lazy, bloated civil service is dragging Britain down – and we are all paying for it
    Covid is still being used as an excuse by a zombie bureaucracy despite terrible service and an ever increasing cost to the public

    Daniel Hannan

    This Tory Party seems to stand for nothing
    Despite some Right-wing policies, the absence of a defining mission mean its successes are dwarfed by a Left-wing big-state agenda

    Mark Littlewood

    1. Bryan Haris
      May 1, 2022

      LL +99

  28. Bloke
    May 1, 2022

    Civil servants exist to serve. They are tantamount to Ministers’ employees.

    Ministers have authority supported by their constituents, constantly in check and renewed. Civil servants who oppose that authority without substantive better reasons oppose the will of the nation and should be disciplined. Those who act in favouring EU interests against those of the UK should be fined for obstruction, or fired.

    Replacing rogue operators with others who are loyal to the UK would raise the quality of the service the nation receives for its money.

  29. majorfrustration
    May 1, 2022

    Given that we have so many Government Departments that are not fit for purpose and Ministers not up to the job the likelihood of anybody knowing whats going on, either Civil Servants or Ministers is remote.

  30. Bob Dixon
    May 1, 2022

    A number of Ministers are clearly out of their depth.
    We need a reshuffle ASAP.
    Unfair of me to select Grant Shapps but his department caused huge disruption at Dover with their dealings with P and O.

  31. a-tracy
    May 1, 2022

    Are the Ministers and Spads working in office with their team of civil servants or are people staying at home?
    It seems to me that unionised workers are simply supporting the people that offer to pay them personally more money. Sickness Absence has come down because Absence is simply re-classed and allowed off for any reasons whatsoever. Working from home means people can just disappear for an hour to two each day sometimes at peak times which is why phones are no longer answered and everything is grinding so slow.

  32. acorn
    May 1, 2022

    “UK civil service tops global league table Latest Oxford University ranking sees Whitehall rise to global top spot from fourth-best”. https://www.civilserviceworld.com/professions/article/uk-civil-service-tops-global-league-table

    “Top-ranking Treasury official ‘set to join Barclays Bank’ Director general for financial services Katharine Braddick poised for private-sector move, according to report” (Now is Group Head of Strategic Policy, Barclays) https://www.civilserviceworld.com/news/article/topranking-treasury-official-set-to-join-barclays-bank

    1. a-tracy
      May 2, 2022

      Acorn, do they ever ask the customers of their services? Those we read are waiting for passports, those waiting for probate for over a year, those waiting endlessly for services? Or do they just judge and measure themselves without a full 360 degree appraisal?

  33. John Miller
    May 1, 2022

    The Conservative Party’s conversion to New New Labour is surely nearing completion.
    I read that half of Tory MPs are to be women.
    Please can I have a say in who my MP is? I know this may seem terribly revolutionary, but it seems that quotas are now back in fashion and I have never believed in them.
    I would like Liz Truss to be the leader of the Tory party and then perhaps Prime Minister as I much prefer someone who was a socialist, realised how appalling that was and became a Tory, rather than someone who said they were a Tory but was, in fact, a socialist like our current incumbent.

    1. awake in more ways than one
      May 2, 2022

      Ha ha Ha.
      Its 3.30am and I read that as half of Tory Mps are to BECOME women.

      1. Mickey Taking
        May 2, 2022

        well the requirement to lose their balls has been met.

  34. No Longer Anonymous
    May 1, 2022

    One or the other please. Not this charade whereby we have two governments – one for show and one hidden from view (and now hidden from each other, working from home.)

    I wouldn’t be averse to a Civil Service led dictatorship were it delivering a good version of socialism. I am all for paying high taxes for good services and fairness for all people of all colours and all sexualities but that is not what we get. What we get in the UK is the increasingly Orwellian version of it.

  35. Christine
    May 1, 2022

    Sir John, your party had an 80 seat majority but has blown the opportunities of taking back control. Voters didn’t elect you to force us into adopting this expensive green religion nonsense. We want less tax, less regulations and a government that looks after its citizens, not the rest of the world. Most people care about feeding their family, affording their bills and having enough left over for a bit of fun. The majority can’t afford electric cars and heat pumps. The problem with you politicians is that you don’t live in the real world. You get elected then try to impose your own views on the rest of us. It would be so easy to give the people what they want and for your party to remain in power. Why don’t you do this rather than commit political suicide? Blaming the Civil Service is just a cop out.

  36. Geoffrey Berg
    May 1, 2022

    In essence if you believe what Sir John Redwood is saying which I do, government needs to move to the American model whereby each new Administration, in our case Prime Minister, needs to appoint its own top civil servants to get its programme done. We should also massively reduce the numbers and thereby the costs of the civil service. Incidentally we also need to change the judiciary who in the main are similarly biased. They should either be government appointed for a set term or otherwise directly elected for set terms. The independence of the judiciary is a nice idea but it does not work in practice – anyhow why should the government be held accountable for street crime or illegal immigration levels when the unelected judiciary refuse to deter it or even properly implement legislation that is passed by the elected government?

  37. BOF
    May 1, 2022

    From your post Sir John, I would say that we have ministers of state too weak and too servile to stand up to these Sir Humphry’s. Without any ideas, let alone thought out policies of their own.

    Add to that a PM whose only ambition it seems was a desire to be PM and now his only ambition is to remain PM? Certainly no ‘action this day’ notes. And if he goes, no one of sufficient calibre to replace him. We are in deep poo.

  38. William Long
    May 1, 2022

    It is the Ministers who are to blame here. It is very clear that few, if any of them in this Governtment, have the character, determination and importantly, sufficient interest in and understanding of their department’s function, to see that their wishes and instructions are implemented.

  39. miami.mode
    May 1, 2022

    ……..clear evidence that many civil servants still seek to keep Ministers and government aligned with EU policy. ……

    In today’s Guardian/Observer it is reported that during a cabinet “brainstorming” meeting to discuss the current cost of living “Others around the table reportedly suggested unilaterally scrapping tariffs on food imports, which would weaken Britain’s hand in trade negotiations”.

    Does this mean we are still adhering to the EU policy of import duties on food from other parts of the world?

    1. Mark B
      May 2, 2022
      1. hefner
        May 2, 2022

        Thanks for that, Mark B.
        Thanks to the present Government (I guess) anybody can now easily find what level of tariff (if any) is to be applied for importing any type of products from anywhere in the world.

        I hope people here will be keen on using this convenient and practical Quick Reference-Guide before they go on commenting on ‘the EU policy of import duties’.

  40. mayday mayday
    May 1, 2022

    Conflation is rife with nere do wells.
    Two examples being
    1) Misandry with the raising of eyebrows at dirty old men.
    2) Employer sanctioned working from home with lazy employees..
    It’s hilarious how the d.o.m in 1) are self outing.

  41. X-Tory
    May 1, 2022

    The reason “Ministers struggle to run government” is because they are WEAK. I’m sure you wouldn’t have any such problems, would you? All a minister needs to do is make it very clear that he views the EU as the enemy of Britain and that he does not want to receive any briefing from any civil servant who supports the EU. This will cause shock waves which will make sure the message gets through. Sometimes to effect radical change you need a radical message. In the long term, the best solution is the one I have suggested previously: ministers need to have the power to sack and appoint civil servants, at all levels. But that would need a government that really wanted power and to govern the country, rather than just enjoy the prestige and the perks of being in office.

  42. Original Chris
    May 1, 2022

    In other words, your government has failed and full responsibility lies with Johnson.

  43. Bill brown
    May 1, 2022

    Sir JR
    Subject state sounds a bit over the top for me.
    Is the problem the civil servants or the quality of the politicians in the present government?
    Rees-Mogg as an example does not have a detailed understanding of some of the legislation he has to change (vets) and thereby contribute with some of the so-called Brexit benefits, we are still looking for.

  44. agricola
    May 1, 2022

    Time for a written contract for all CS. The purpose to point out that the government elected by the people govern the country and that the CS are there to facilitate and carry out government policy. Those for whom such a statement is found to be incompatible with their own political agenda should resign or if found wanting should be dismissed. Advice is always welcome but decisions are with the elected government.

    1. hefner
      May 1, 2022

      Oh, for contributors on this blog to know what they are talking about (or at least making sure they had read the relevant documents before sprouting new shouts of their ineptitude at commenting on a topic), what a dream:

      researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk ‘Civil servants: Employment rights’, 30/06/2005.
      gov.uk ‘Civil Service Management Code’ and ‘Statement of changes: November 2016’, 09/11/2016.
      ‘Civil Service Conduct and Guidance’, with 12 related additional documents.
      ‘Government’s Business Appointment Rules for Civil Servants – an accessible HTML version’, 27/04/2022.

      1. hefner
        May 1, 2022

        shoots !

      2. Peter2
        May 1, 2022

        Gosh what a pompous post heffy.
        All hail the guru Hefner.
        High priest of this site.
        Believe, or be abused and cast out as a heretic.
        Hilarious yet again.

        1. Bill brown
          May 1, 2022

          Peter 2

          Try and write something relevant that contribute to the debate just once

          1. Peter2
            May 2, 2022

            Yet again Billy you pen a one sentence post of no usefulness.
            Perhaps re read it and take your own advice.
            PS
            I really cannot understand why Hefner and you post on here.
            Like you he hates virtually everyone on here and their political opinions and shows zero respect for our host.
            Like you he just gets grumpy and personally abusive towards others.
            You both have a very strange hobby.

          2. Mickey Taking
            May 3, 2022

            Peter2 – could it be chip shoulder sour grapes envy imagined entitlement?

          3. hefner
            May 3, 2022

            Sorry P2, I have had JR as my MP since he entered Parliament in 1987. I happen to have made the effort to read four of his books since then. I would think I may be ‘entitled as a constituent’ to take some of his daily blogs with a huge pinch of salt.
            Is that a justification good enough?

            As for your ‘he hates virtually everyone on here’, do you consider yourself as ‘everyone’? I find you quite funny, asking for ‘decent debate’ (when you rarely initiate any and are adept at providing one-line comments very rarely introducing any new view), asking questions (when as often as not they are not relevant or are the fruit of your misunderstanding or of too quick a reading, but insisting to get an answer).

            From now on, I will ignore your ‘contributions’. Interaction with P2 will there be no more.

          4. Peter2
            May 4, 2022

            You can take Sir John’s posts with a pinch of salt if you wish heffy.
            But it is about tone.
            Nearly every post from you billy and NHL is contrary and often abusive in personal terms towards other posters.
            There is no need for it.
            You lefties are just rude towards others you disagree with.
            There is no need for it.

        2. glen cullen
          May 1, 2022

          +1

      3. Hope
        May 2, 2022

        Ah, Hef,

        Come on Hef give the full proper historical role of the crown servant not the recent social fad changes introduced by woke Tories.

        What about the crown servant original role and purpose before they became party to the Equality Act? Crown servants were not subject to the same laws or rules of employment. The role was unique and not the same as other employees. Military personnel and police were also different.

        I accept a little of the criticism but if you are going to criticise others in a mean spirited way……

        1. hefner
          May 3, 2022

          Hope, thank you for your comment. After 1979, the role of think tanks officially external to the government had been increasing. Since 1997, the successive governments have also relied more and more on special advisers. As far as I know the latest Civil Service Code was published in 2015. Whether these various developments have had a positive or negative impact on the neutrality and efficiency of the Whitehall Civil Service may be for present and future historians to decide.

          The fact is, I am afraid, that the Crown servants’ original role and purpose (or at least its perception by the public) might be something of the past, when the actual interactions between CS and Ministers (as well as between politicians and the public) were not part and parcel of the news cycle. Now this has changed and it is unlikely that it will go back to what it was 50-60 years ago.

  45. Donna
    May 1, 2022

    Now that Lord Frost has left Johnson’s Socialist-Green Government, there aren’t any genuine Brexiteers left in it (or genuine Conservatives, come to that).

    THAT’s where the problem starts. The Civil Service is only doing what it is doing because it is allowed to. Start some high profile and enforced “decisions to spend more time doing their gardens” amongst the Mandarins and the attitude would soon change. But it won’t happen under Johnson’s Not-a-Conservative-or-Brexiteer regime.

    1. glen cullen
      May 1, 2022

      Spot on Donna

  46. ChrisS
    May 1, 2022

    I am afraid that it will be almost impossible to wean the civil servants away from their believe that everything EU is wonderful and anything British is second rate, or just plain wrong.

    The sad fact is that they know that any alternative government, whether it is Labour governing alone ( unlikely ) or a coalition made up any combination of Labour, LibDem, Green, and SNP is going to be directly aligned with the collective civil service view. They simply have to wait, however long it takes, for a new government to change to their preferred policy direction.

    It is obvious that a change of government, if deferred long enough, will result in an attempt to take us back into the EU as that is the real preferrence for every opposition party including Starmer as Labour party leader. It won’t be in the Labour manifesto, of course, but we can bet it will be in those of the other parties.

    Starmer will be privately delighted to adopt it, claiming that “it is being forced upon us by negotiations for a coalition.”

    So there is no surprise that the Civil Service is playing a delaying game. Ministers need to be utterly ruthless in pushing through the changes that will both improve our situation and ensure that reversing back into the EU is an unattractive option.

  47. ChrisS
    May 1, 2022

    Anyone wanting to know why nothing much is changing in government, simply needs to buy a copy of the complete set of DVDs of “Yes Minister” and “Yes Prime Minister” available from Amazon for £14.99.

    This series of lectures on the working of modern British Government was accurate when it was written in the 1970s ( Margaret Thatcher said so) and it will be just as accurate today.

  48. The Prangwizard
    May 1, 2022

    If we had a PM and cabinet which believed in establishing our independent sovereignty and economic and trading decisions maybe there would be progress. But we don’t.

    Boris cares nothing about his promises. Promises are a device to him. He also delays and defers, hoping that as a result over time we will accept it worth rejoining. He can then go to meetings and play big. His cabinet dare not challenge him and members are either of the same mind or cowards.

    I believe only one minister spoke firmly on the subject of undemocratic behaviour but it doesn’t seem to have made any difference. No CS people are punished for subversion. The country will continue to decline under Boris.

  49. XY
    May 1, 2022

    Identifying the problem once again, but also, once again, no proposal for how it can be fixed.

    Perhaps you could write a piece detailing what you think ministers or the PM or Chancellor should do to make things better.

    1. formula57
      May 1, 2022

      @ XY – this diary often enough on other days tells those clowns what they should be doing.

  50. Mark
    May 1, 2022

    The problem seems to go rather wider than just the Civil Service, although I am inclined to agree that subcontracting lawmaking to the EU lies behind the infantalisation of our own capabilities. Those who joined Parliament when it still made law, rather than rubber stamping EU proposals seem to have a different approach. Most of the more recent MPs (thankfully not quite all) have simply become parrots for the position to take according to their party.

    The problem also extends into the advisors that the civil service rely on, as they often seem incapable of understanding policy analysis. These tend simply to produce justifications for the policy du jour, and are often of low quality. It remains far too easy to submit EU policy as if it were original homework, and not itself flawed. The EU is not structured to produce proper debate.

    Nowhere is this more evident than in climate and energy policy. It is interesting that the one newly recruited department for trade seems to be among the more successful, except in the areas it is barred from such as the NIP.

    1. Mark B
      May 2, 2022

      Great post

      +1

  51. mancunius
    May 1, 2022

    “There is a reluctance or inability to grasp the opportunity Brexit offers.”
    No, it is not ‘reluctance’ – it is a determined attempt to change the government to one that will re-entry the EU.
    The majority of senior civil servants who entered the civil and diplomatic services and the legal profession since the 1980s did so because of their europhilia, which was what got them promoted up the ladder by their pro-EU elders. You can always tell them apart, they are the ones who are so contemptuously patronising about Britain and any government of the day, and so unctuously pious about anything emanating from Brussels, Paris or Berlin. They infect most ministers with their complacent pessimism, and at its base is the sin of pride: the pride of those who believe they have the right to ignore democracy, and to enjoy agreeable and unchallenged working lives.

  52. mancunius
    May 1, 2022

    typo: ‘that will re-enter’

  53. APL
    May 1, 2022

    JR: “Why Ministers struggle to run government”

    If like Liz Truss, you don’t have an O Level student’s grasp of geography, or Ben Wallace you can’t stop blurting military secrets into the world through the medium of a couple of Russian Scammers, then it’ll be to do with your inherent incompetence.

    God knows what Boris Johnsons excuse is.

    1. formula57
      May 1, 2022

      @ APL – well said!

      The calibre of Cabinet minister is poor to worse. Sir John will never persuade me that if he were now in the Cabinet, he too would be as at sea as those now serving.

    2. Mickey Taking
      May 2, 2022

      ‘Boris Johnsons excuse is’ being schooled by the Eton bullshitters club of ‘old mates’ looking after one another.

  54. Lindsay McDougall
    May 1, 2022

    We need a purge, a cleansing of the Augean stables, in order to reassert our sovereignty. Institutions to be purged are the Supreme Court, the House of Lords, the Civil Service and Conservative Central Office (with a view to deleting Remoaners from the Candidates list). We also need a committee tasked specifically with deleting laws and directives issued by the European Commission since Maastricht. Sir John should urge this in a question of the kind “Does the Prime Minister agree with me that ……………………………?”

    reply We have a Minister charged with that task and likely legislation next session

  55. Sea_Warrior
    May 1, 2022

    I see that the Conference on the Future of Europe has concluded that the EU needs more powers – and its own armed forces. Such a surprise!

    1. glen cullen
      May 1, 2022

      ”The abolition of national vetos, granting the European Parliament the right to propose legislation, more investment in climate change mitigation, the launch of “joint armed forces” and transnational voting lists”
      Welcome to the United States of Europe

      1. Sea_Warrior
        May 2, 2022

        I don’t recall that government leaflet dropped through my letter-box before the referendum mentioning any of this.

  56. glen cullen
    May 1, 2022

    Number of civil servants 1939 (UK + Empire) 347,000
    Number of civil servants 2021 (UK) 473,000
    https://www.civilservant.org.uk/information-numbers.html
    ….and there’s the problem, nothing can get done because its so big !

    1. Mark B
      May 2, 2022

      +1

  57. Rhoddas
    May 1, 2022

    Standard Business Transformation, imho run from JRM Transformation Programme Office
    The main types of Business Transformation:
    Organizational Transformation
    Management Transformation
    Cultural Transformation
    Digital Transformation
    Information Systems Transformation
    Transformation of Business Processes

  58. Geoffrey Berg
    May 1, 2022

    I think many contributors here are being unreasonable in expecting Ministers to go into a government department and somehow match the expertise of civil servants who have probably spent decades accumulating specialist knowledge and special pleading techniques working within and to the top of that Ministry. I don’t blame Ministers for struggling if civil servants work to impose their own agenda rather than enact the elected government’s agenda. What Ministers then need to do is find other specialist experts in their field to replace those civil servants who are obstructing them.

    1. hefner
      May 2, 2022

      That’s what special advisors and all sorts of think tanks are for, isn’t it?

    2. Mickey Taking
      May 2, 2022

      Then political party HQ ought to be trying to recruit these experts into honest politics instead of the unsackable, handsome pensionable employment all the while acting as if a politician.

      1. hefner
        May 9, 2022

        MT, do you really expect, for example, the Adam Smith Institute, the Centre for Policy Studies, the Global Warming Policy Forum or the Institute of Economic Affairs to do harakiri to go into ‘honest politics’?
        To whom would the American Friends of the GWPF send their money?

  59. Pauline Baxter
    May 2, 2022

    You are broadly correct Sir John, in your analysis of how the Civil Service is so reluctant to implement MINISTER’S policies.
    As always, you are right about the Treasury’s shortcomings.
    However, admit it !!
    YOUR PRESENT LEADER the PRIME Minister
    IS THE CHIEF CULPRIT on CARBON NEUTRAL NONSENSE.

  60. Mickey Taking
    May 2, 2022

    Well done Martin, you have once again come top in the league table of comments being published on this topic.

    1. Peter2
      May 3, 2022

      Indeed MT
      I reckon it is far more than an obsessive hobby for NHL
      Perhaps he gets a bonus when he gets to 50 posts a day.

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