Dominic Cummings: A revolution coming to Whitehall?

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  • This is really good news. Long overdue.

    Yes. More to say once I've posted some links.

    Indeed he is.


    I believe that Sir Mark was the gentleman who leaked Cummings trip to Durham to the press in the hope it would strike the fatal blow.


    What goes around comes around.

    I believe that too, or at least it was some close to him.

    A desperation built out of fear, the left are frightened that Cummings is going to dismantle their power base in the civil service: That power base that does everything it can to frustrate a successful Brexit, that leaks documents timed to be most damaging to a Tory government and has secret briefings to further damage the government.


    Ousting Sir Mark Sedwill is just the start of stripping out the gainsayers in the echelons of the bureaucrats in Whitehall. Cummings is the architect and hatchet man they all fear.

    Double agree on all of that. And it already started before this, read the links I'm about to post.

    Nothing to do with left or right

    I simply object to this country currently being run by an unelected person who is accountable to nobody and who is hell bent on destroying our civil service which has served this country well in my lifetime

    It is symptomatic of the arrogance of this government, always a danger with a big majority, along with the dismissive "We've looked into Jenrick and found nothing wanting". Jenrick, another who used his judgement to rush off and visit mummy and daddy during the lockdown

    As you know bryan, I think Cummings broke the lockdown rules, so I'm with you on that one, but as this thread is about Whitehall reform, lets get back to that.


    On your second part about the civil service, having had many contacts with them, which is hard as they tend to start work at 10 and leave by 4, a hatchet man is needed here. And I say more in a minute, once I've posted these links updating the thread on what's been going on in government.

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  • On your second part about the civil service, having had many contacts with them, which is hard as they tend to start work at 10 and leave by 4, a hatchet man is needed here. And I say more in a minute, once I've posted these links updating the thread on what's been going on in government.

    Ok, it's a secure job with promising career prospects - the sort of career the old careers master at my old school would recommend along with accountancy, medicine,, and banking

    It may have it's faults but I believe it has served us well and protected us from the extremes of politicians which is why Cummings hates them

    To me,i f it ain't broke then leave it alone

  • Post by OLD BOY ().

    This post was deleted by Horizon: Off topic ().
  • Ok, quite a bit has actually been going on which I missed, or if I didn't, I've forgotten it, so here is a summary of the Whitehall overall so far:


    In February, this happened:



    Then, earlier this month, another axe fell:



    As discussed in the aid thread, we then had the anouncement of the Aid Department getting merged into the Foreign Office:



    And finally, Sedwill's departure.


    Here's a good BBC analysis article on that:



    I'm going to amend my first post of this thread and post a link to a lecture that Cummings gave in 2014, so if you want to know what's in store for Whitehall/government, I think it gives us good clues, which is now coming to fruition. And here's the link here too:



    Cummings made clear in that lecture that he wanted to get rid of all permanent secretaries of all the government departments. He has now well under way on that process with the three most senior ones already going. The Treasury head is the last one still standing of the most senior civil servants, but I'm sure he will go soon.


    More thoughts from me on what's ahead in the "revolution" later.

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  • Reminder: This thread is about Whitehall reform. Some posts removed.


    If you want to talk about the lockdown or black lives matter stuff, use other threads.

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  • To me,i f it ain't broke then leave it alone

    But it is broke as Heero pointed out. The civil service did everything in its power to stop Brexit and it almost succeeded.

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  • But it is broke as Heero pointed out. The civil service did everything in its power to stop Brexit and it almost succeeded.

    Yes, I rest my case

    Seriously, they advised but acceded to the will of the people. It's not as if they tries a putsch

    Don't forget the Patel battle with her top mam

  • Cummings made clear in that lecture that he wanted to get rid of all permanent secretaries of all the government departments. He has now well under way on that process with the three most senior ones already going. The Treasury head is the last one still standing of the most senior civil servants, but I'm sure he will go soon.


    More thoughts from me on what's ahead in the "revolution" later.

    Sooner or later the civil service will kick back, either with a no co-operation action or in extreme a strike

  • Yes, I actually saw the comments that May made. She is pissed off, because Boris is moving Brexiteers into prominent positions.


    For context, for those who are not following this, Boris appointed David Frost whose currently doing the EU negotiations as his next security adviser.


    Just after May's snipe to Gove in the Commons earlier, another conservative (brexit) MP asked Gove a interesting question and that was that if the PM is to have American style political appointments now, will there be American style confirmation hearings to go along with this new way of doing things? Gove made no real reply to that, but thought it was a interesting observation.

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  • Ok, it's a secure job with promising career prospects - the sort of career the old careers master at my old school would recommend along with accountancy, medicine,, and banking

    It may have it's faults but I believe it has served us well and protected us from the extremes of politicians which is why Cummings hates them

    To me,i f it ain't broke then leave it alone

    The effective partnership of the presiding elected government and the unelected civil service is broke. It's been broke for a longtime. The country is becoming increasingly broke, financially and socially . This country's version of democracy is broke. The intelligence of the electorate has been broke for a long time and it can only get worse as young people become stupider yet coddled by Government because, God help us, they are tomorrow's voters.


    But it's not just young people who have trouble thinking properly. Below is an example of the kind of lunacy that is part of public opinion, both among arrogant impressionable uncontrollaable youth and elderly feeble-minded reactionaries (who are so ignorant that most don't even know what reactionary means. Both factions are sending Britain down the toilet bowl.


    The problem:

    "I simply object to this country currently being run by an unelected person who is accountable to nobody and who is hell bent on destroying our civil service which has served this country well in my lifetime and protected us from the extremes of politicians, which is why Cummings hates them. To me, if it ain't broke then leave it alone"


    Analysis

    I simply object to this country currently being run by an unelected person who is accountable to nobody

    Cummings is unelected, is not running the country, indeed, is accountable to those who are elected


    who is hell bent on destroying our civil service

    Not destroying but changing its function, to become accountable (none too soon) to those who are elected


    which has served this country well

    This country is not doing at all well and hasn't for some time now


    and protected us from the extremes of politicians

    If true (which it is not) it would mean the unelected are protecting us from the elected.


    which is why Cummings hates them

    we are dealing with change for improvement, not annihilation


    If it ain't broke then leave it alone

    But it is broke. As is this country. So it can't be left alone


    Conclusion

    Hopefully what we will eventually have here is a modern-day re-enactment of how the homo sapiens eventually eclipsed the existence of the Neanderthals. It was an awfully slow process. But the world has now speeded up. Hopefully one can see signs of the re-enactment even in this small forum. For insta nce, how many people are there in this forum with the kind of Neanerthal brain that thinks along the lines shown in the example under the heading "The Problem"? Humankind needs this kind of under-developed lifeform on every forum - and in every neighbourhood - just to remind us, the increasing majority, how important it is not to sink back into A New of Disenlightenment.

  • Yes, I actually saw the comments that May made. She is pissed off, because Boris is moving Brexiteers into prominent positions.

    That may be true but she represents a lot of Tories who are unhappy with the Johnson clique, which includes a lot of her former Cabinet who backed her plans

  • Hopefully one can see signs of the re-enactment even in this small forum. For insta nce, how many people are there in this forum with the kind of Neanerthal brain that thinks along the lines shown in the example under the heading "The Problem"? Humankind needs this kind of under-developed lifeform on every forum - and in every neighbourhood - just to remind us, the increasing majority, how important it is not to sink back into A New of Disenlightenment.

    Classic example of an arrogant supremacist, or should that be fascist?

  • 1 Yes, I actually saw the comments that May made. She is pissed off, because Boris is moving Brexiteers into prominent positions. (For context, for those who are not following this, Boris appointed David Frost whose currently doing the EU negotiations as his next security adviser).


    2 Just after May's snipe to Gove in the Commons earlier, another conservative (brexit) MP asked Gove a interesting question and that was that if the PM is to have American style political appointments now, will there be American style confirmation hearings to go along with this new way of doing things? Gove made no real reply to that, but thought it was a interesting observation.

    1 Even out of office one cannot deny Theresa May's natural talent to make herself shine through as outstandingly ineffectual



    2 Gove "thought it was a interesting observation". Isn't that "Parliament-speak" for an observation that doesn't merit any reply? Of the 650 or so MP's in Parliament (actual or virtual) this MP's question is in itself a perfect example of the need to reduce the number of constituencies or districts areas that gain entry to Pariament from the current about 650 (approx), most of whom are deadbeats, to say 80, most of whom have shown themselves to have merit.

  • The effective partnership of the presiding elected government and the unelected civil service is broke. It's been broke for a longtime.

    I agree.


    Do you think we're heading towards the American system here?

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  • 2 Gove "thought it was a interesting observation". Isn't that "Parliament-speak" for an observation that doesn't merit any reply? Of the 650 or so MP's in Parliament (actual or virtual) this MP's question is in itself a perfect example of the need to reduce the number of constituencies or districts areas that gain entry to Pariament from the current about 650 (approx), most of whom are deadbeats, to say 80, most of whom have shown themselves to have merit.

    It was a good question. Why do you think differently?


    If we're heading towards an American style non-permanent civil service, then what is wrong with confirmation hearings for senior appointments?

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  • For insta nce, how many people are there in this forum with the kind of Neanerthal brain that thinks along the lines shown in the example under the heading "The Problem"?

    I have similar warm fuzzy feelings towards those, who, despite extensive efforts by myself, STILL don't know how to use the quote system here.:whistling::evil:


    (Reminder: highlight the person's text you want to quote with your mouse and a pop-up box will appear which gives you the option to either reply to the text immediately or save it for later).

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  • Classic example of an arrogant supremacist, or should that be fascist?

    Don't you know? When you look up these words, do you skip reading the meaning because your head start to ache?


    Certainly thesedays, thanks to an over-surplus of knuckleheads, both words are derogatory and indelibly linked to racism. In particular, supremacism has for the last 300-400 years almost always been interpreted as "white supremacism".


    Discrimination can also put on on shaky ground, even in spite of the fact that most humans may discriminate on the basis of such factors as sex, age, criminal record, weight, disability, genetic analysis, manners, manner of dress, etc etc – where these etceteras are bound include absolutely anything which is differentiate-able, which inevitably will include skin colour, country of origin religion and political allegiances or beliefs.


    Discrimination falls foul of the law and is morally questionable when it influences the observer’s decision or behaviour in a way which excludes privileges or services or favourable decisions in a way which is irrational, without foundation and hence unjust.


    Because skin colour discrimination is such a red hot topic, woe betide any white person who discriminates on the basis of any items on the list above, if it so happens that the person being discriminated against (eg refused a privilege) happens to be non-white.


    As for fascism that's far too subtle for you. It was first used to describe totalitarian right-wing nationalism (as exemplified by Mussolini, Franco, Hitler). But fascism also is about believing in the supremacy of a national group based on political or financial ideals rather than solely ethnic ideals. It also includes a contempt for pure democracy and a favouring of a powerful leader with an an above average degree of autocracy. The point I'm making is that only binary knuckleheads - or people like you - use these words as absolute labels rather than as opposites ends of a continuum.


    BTW: I enjoy replying to you at length. Your psuedonym avatar is appropriate here in that it's like the satisfaction one gets from training a dog except that with you the attempt is utterly futile. Actually, perhaps not so much futile as unnecessary, inasmuch that the dog in your avatar is probably superior to you. That's cannine supremacy for you!





  • Post by bryanluc ().

    This post was deleted by Horizon: off topic ().
  • Ok, more thoughts from me about these reforms.


    From that lecture of Cummings I posted earlier, he's already well on the way to getting rid of the permanent secretaries who are the current heads of all the government departments, so what's next?


    1. I think he will do as he said in that vid and replace all the heads with external people, presumably with expertise in the given field of the appropriate department.


    2. Government departments will continue to be reduced or merged with one another. I might be reading between the lines here, but is it unthinkable to believe that Cummings wants to be rid of the departments altogether? Let me expand on that:


    a. The political operations of Downing Street, the Cabinet Office and the Treasury have already been merged, I don't think it's beyond the pale to believe that a full merger of all three departments is on the cards.


    b. After that, could the operations of all the other departments be merged with Downing Street? I'm saying this based on Cumming's comments that he thinks the civil service could easily be reduced by 60%+.


    In practice, this would mean that all the policy decisions for ALL of government would be made by one central machine based at Downing St. There are thousands of civil servants in these London based buildings, who do little and could be "binned" as Cummings puts it. Then the implementation of the policies of this central department would be carried out by existing agencies, ie tax collection would still be handled by Revenue and Customs, environmental protection would still be carried out by the Environmental Agency.


    3. The next step could then be the outsourcing/privatisation of the various agencies. Is there any rule in the universe which says it has to be the Revenue and Customs that collects taxes? Anybody could do it.


    4. Cummings wants appropriate experts put in the Lords, which are then answerable to the Commons. Is possible House of Lords reform on the way here? Plus, joint committees questioning these people.


    5. I've said this before in this thread, but Cummings thinks the size of the Cabinet is ridiculous and believes there should be no more than six or seven members. How likely is this?


    I think that covers many of the main things that maybe in store for Whitehall. I wonder what Cummings thinks of the royal family...?;)

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  • Sooner or later the civil service will kick back, either with a no co-operation action or in extreme a strike

    No need. The new guys will be on-message.


    Seriously, you cannot expect the government to continue to tolerate a civil service that is leaking information all over the place and actively trying to work against government objectives. They are supposed to be politically neutral, for God's sake. Up with this behaviour we should not put!

    Protect the vulnerable and get back to work

  • I agree.


    Do you think we're heading towards the American system here?

    Aaaaaaah, what a relief, thank you, someone who agrees with me !!!


    Seriously, I'm not sure. I don't know how you define the difference.


    The short answer is that even prior the BLM riots there has been a lot more in recent years that I don't like about America (although so far I have refrained from sharing that view with my cousins in Boston and New York!)


    When I watch and compare US senate committee hearings with UK Parliamentary Select Committees I don't see much difference - both are pathetic and abhorrent and the political profile around the table makes the rhetorical questions almost 100% predictable and self-serving close to 0% relevant.


    I keep getting mixed up in the functions and powerplay betwen US House of Representatives and Senate but the differences in how they are each stacked in Republicans versus Democrats is, as I see it, used to override or abuse rather than uphold democracy. I see that same tendency - sometimes more subtly revealed - in our Parliament, never more disgracefully than during the Brexit debates discussion. I'm 100% sure that on both sides of the pond the public have never voted for those kind of games.


    On both sides of the pond I find it deeply saddening that governments can't control their citizens and that the system is so incompetent, flawed, bureacratic and heartless, regardless of where it originates from along the right-left continuum. One thing has come home to me in the last few weeks: neither the US nor UK government can take a toughline to control its protesting and law-breaking and out-of-control citizens when the numbers in that uprising have surged to such huge numbers, while the number of police and military defence remains so finite. Such is the consequence and lessons learned by government about the downside of permissiveness, free speech, societal freedom and paying so much heed to the feelings and ideologies of youth.


    Both sides of pond have governments that support capitalism rather than Marxism. To be fair to America, even with Bernie Sanders on the loose, Marxism was never the close escape in America as we thought at one time it might have been when Labour saw an opportunity to ride into number 10 on the back of the have-nots - and then in the nick of time Boris rode in to the rescue as the ultimate antidote to the vacuouness of Maybotism and the insubstantiality of Cameronism.


    Yet here we in the UK, just like in America, with people existing & expiring in the streets. I'm all for chasing a higher standard of living but I just cannot undertstand why neither government (UK or US) refuses to impose a minimum standard of poverty, just enough degrees above rock bottom to not abandon humanity standards in a first world nation. There is no need to go so far as to convert a street sleeping destitute into a social benefits scrounger. We must never provide a safety net or incentive for such characters; but if we were able to build in a matter of days or weeks some Cov 19 giant structures of beds and facilities to care for Cov 19 patients, we can do the same thing for people lying and dying on the streets. It woudn't hurt tax payers all that much and the super-rich would hardly object and nor would they accuse the government of a major redistribution of wealth. With global finance and differences in tax rates and laws from one country to another, any attempt at a significant redistribution of wealth would find the money and its owners lying somewhere else in the sun and potential foreign investors flying right past the UK to other more enlightened and smarter climates of opportunity.


    I think this difference in politics will be affected by the fact that, in the US, the have-nots tend to respect, admire, identify with and even aspire to extreme wealth, whereas in the UK an alarmingly high percentage of have-nots envy, resent, dissociate from and want to confiscate such wealth. I see that difference in attitude as one of the UK's biggest obstacles to success. I think if anyone can bridge that gap, it is probably Boris Johnson, who I think is moulding the Conservative party to a centrist policy somewhere between Biden/Clinton-ish Democrats and the less ugly Republicans - and in the context of the UK that still tilts a bit right of centre.


    Final thought: will the UK draw closer to the US under Trump or Biden? I think in either case we will draw closer if, post Brexit, we can get a good trade relationship with the US. Trading-wise both Biden and Trump can't give away much to the UK without losing Americaan votes. Personally, I think Trump will resolve that conflict more convincingly than Biden. But it may in the end depend on the Cov 19 death count on the one hand versus whether America shows real signs of turning the corner economically on the other hand, in which case I think American voters (the ones who can vote because they didn't die!) will side with prosperity under Trump.

    .

  • Aaaaaaah, what a relief, thank you, someone who agrees with me !!!

    Just skimming your post, you may have misunderstood me.


    I was specifically asking whether we were going to the American system where many many civil servants do not have permanent posts and change with each new president.

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  • Post by casablanca ().

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