Boris wields the sword-maybe!

HE117

LE
I don't actually think the realignment of the CC would be that difficult. In reality, you need to get rid of the upper echelons and in particular the Cabinet and Principle secretaries and replace them with individuals of independent mind and with a belief in the neutral model of Civil Service.

To actually achieve a change in the game, you need to make a change in the rules, and do it such a way that those in the pipeline can see the advantage and buy in. My way would be to break up the various blobs that have formed in Whitehall, and restore much more autonomy to the Departments of State. At present, the game is much too centred around the Cabinet Office and No10. This makes it much too easy for Mandarins to side step ministers and play games with the PM..

There is a need to break down and balance off power groups within Whitehall, and get departments at each others throats again. We also need to get rid of the Blairite Cabinet Office, which has turned into a nest of Vipers, and I am almost sure is the source of most of the "Boris the Idiot" briefings..

My final, and probably most difficult to implement suggestion is that they stop recruiting senior civil servants from outside and promote, even if it is for a short period, civil servants from a couple of layers down in their departments! Call it the "Chris Keeble" approach, and then appoint "as independent as you can possibly find" appointments committee to sort out the mess (and then sack them all in five years..)

... where do I send my consultancy bill?
 
So the UK moves closer to US-style government administration. I seem to remember the UK priding itself on the fact that the CS was apolitical and provided continuity and a 'steady hand' no matter the flavour or experience level of the government. Now it appears that a new government will instead put in its own political appointees who are aligned with the views and policies of the dear leader, and who will then be removed with their boss when he/she eventually goes.
But do you honestly still think your senior CS types really are apolitical?
 
Just read books that agree with your current train of thought. That’s sure to broaden your horizons and educate you.
I have no books by politicians on my bookshelves, apart from Winston Churchill. Usually these books are not worth pulping back to paper within 2 months of publication as they are full of fiction, in order to try to boost sales. Sedwill has made his money with a well paid (overpaid) career.
 

Le_addeur_noir

On ROPS
On ROPs
It looks like the story in the Torygraph is not without a basis in fact.

The Daily unmentionable and unpostable on here is running with the story.

I was just about to post a link, before I realised such action is verboten on here.

You all know where to look....
 

Le_addeur_noir

On ROPS
On ROPs
But do you honestly still think your senior CS types really are apolitical?
Not since Blair came to power 23 years ago. ( hell, was it really that long ago?....)
 
Not since Blair came to power 23 years ago. ( hell, was it really that long ago?....)
No clue, but having the ability to remove senior CS is not always a bad thing. One just has to exercise common sense when doing so. But the folks at the top should be at will employees, as they can use their powers against those they don't support.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
A member of the Blairite stay-behind forces then. This is where Tony Blair screwed up - he picked compliant but incompetent people to do his bidding.
It goes beyond compliance. Incompetence had the by-product of guaranteeing loyalty. If you know you're shít but you can carry on grabbing the wage or the pension for just another month... just another month... you'll do whatever it takes.

Shameful and shallow but you only have to look at Corbyn's shadow cabinet to know that the 'tradition' continued.
 
No we replace them with ones that once told what the governments plans are, make their objections and recommendations, then do what they have been told. Not as currently is the case, when the PM, is out sick, work to overturn government policy on Brexit.
How much evidence is there that that’s the case, as opposed to it being what most politicians of any colour would like us to think.
You don't think the policies of a previous government should be undone?
I don't think you have got the hang of this democracy lark.
By you measure, every incoming government will do the same so maybe I do.
 

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
It looks like the story in the Torygraph is not without a basis in fact.

The Daily unmentionable and unpostable on here is running with the story.

I was just about to post a link, before I realised such action is verboten on here.

You all know where to look....
An interesting comment from the Daily Unmentionable - captioning the Priti image:

Home Secretary Priti Patel stokes the fires this morning when, asked about Sir Mark's future, would not guarantee his gob was safe.​

Is somebody perhaps planning on giving Sedwill a little facial violence?
 
John Ward ran a good piece on Sedwill in his blog last month:


Sedwill has managed to gain control of far too many of the control levers in Whitehall. With each one he's appointed acolytes (Andy Pryce etc) opposed to current Govt policies (esp. Brexit) and with their toes firmly embedded in many EU committees. It's not enough to just get rid of Sedwill, Cummings has to pick apart his entire network. Apparently, this useful diagram comes from UK Column - and as Ward notes, full of Orwellian double-speak (the Integrity Institute, the Institute for Statecraft etc.).

sedwill-powerdiag.png
 
Sadly that disappeared a very long time ago. The plethora of SPADS, and carefully selected appointees to key jobs has been ongoing for some time. The change in climate I witnessed between 1993 and 2003 was astonishing. That said, huge swathes of the civil service are unmoved by the political direction of travel. In these cases, however the influences have been effectively neutered
SPADs work for their ministers not the civil service. Once again, loads of posts from many ill-informed people about how government works, and certainly from.people with no experience of the Whitehall village. I have worked across Government on a number of multi-agency issues before leaving the forces a year ago, and since then as a consultant and I have never (I mean never) seen any evidence of the SCS or senior grades (6,7) attempt to undermine their ministers or their policies. I have seen seniors exasperated by policy proposals, but always followed by 'right, let's see how we can make this work.'

Don't forget that until 6 months ministers were changing as often as the weather and each minister wants to be remembered for his or her initiatives. No sooner than a 'bright idea' emerges from the Private Office and is turned into a workable policy, (often a monumental task) the minister changes and new ideas are generated - but without cancelling the ones already in train! Or, the Minister gets rid of everything his predecessors have done, breaks up the teams and changes the policies, so many man-years of hard work are lost. Sir Philip Rutman was a difficult fellow and in defending his staf, he tried to point out this saw tooth policy process to the current (and previous) Home Secretary, who saw him as being obstructive.

(I should caution on further comment as this is subject to an employment tribunal hearing and is thus sub judice).

Dominic Cummings alleged proposal to get big business in to run departments is frought with problems.* Favoritism, patronage, nepotism, security clearances...all problems that will emerge with a cabal of business leaders involved. On that point, how the hell DC is (presumably) DVd is beyond me, given the extensive time he has spent in Russia...

* Some posters on this site have yet to get over Resource Account/Accrual Budgeting that was introduced into the MOD 30 years ago, and constantly complain that Defence shouldn't be run as a business. Careful what you wish for...
 
15933647634272019822842830092384.jpg
John Ward ran a good piece on Sedwill in his blog last month:


Sedwill has managed to gain control of far too many of the control levers in Whitehall. With each one he's appointed acolytes (Andy Pryce etc) opposed to current Govt policies (esp. Brexit) and with their toes firmly embedded in many EU committees. It's not enough to just get rid of Sedwill, Cummings has to pick apart his entire network. Apparently, this useful diagram comes from UK Column - and as Ward notes, full of Orwellian double-speak (the Integrity Institute, the Institute for Statecraft etc.).

View attachment 485649
Hardly new and hardly Orwellian. All of these initiatives started in a Ministerial Office. Here is the Integrated Review Stakeholder map produced earlier this year.
 
R4 news just now reporting that Sedwill is ‘reported to being ready to announce he’s standing down’ in the next few days.
Of course he’s going before he’s pushed !!!
 
R4 news just now reporting that Sedwill is ‘reported to being ready to announce he’s standing down’ in the next few days.
Of course he’s going before he’s pushed !!!
On BBC news - September... UK's top civil servant announces exit


The UK's top civil servant Sir Mark Sedwill has confirmed he plans to stand down from the role in September.​
In a letter to Boris Johnson, he said it was the right time to go as the government moved to the next phase of its coronavirus recovery plan.​
His other role as national security adviser will be taken by Mr Johnson's chief Brexit adviser David Frost.​
His exit follows reports of tensions between him and senior members of Boris Johnson's team.​
 

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