The rise of the Bluffocracy

#1
Oh God how much of this is has become so painfully obvious:

The bluffocracy: how Britain ended up being run by eloquent chancers | The Spectator

Not new but my particular identification with this over the past few years has come from being dragged into working groups on Industry bodies dealing with "Calls for Evidence" and "Consultations" which usually try to beat to death idiotic policy proposals based off grand theories or political constructs from such chancers that sound great but require vastly expensive and immensly complex changes.

And they never listen to the output because they can't or won't get to anywhere near a level of proper understanding.

IMHO this is where the Brexit negotiations have kept hitting the brick wall: for two years nobody on the UK negotiation side really got into the weeds whilst the EC Technocrats live there
 
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#3
Was that the sound of a pin being pulled from a grenade?

Yay.

Another Brexit thread.
Not JUST about BREXIT - the issue is far wider.

This is what you might call the British bluffocracy. We have become a nation run by people whose knowledge extends a mile wide but an inch deep; who know how to grasp the generalities of any topic in minutes, and how never to bother themselves with the specifics. Who place their confidence in their ability to talk themselves out of trouble, rather than learning how to run things carefully. And who were trained in this dubious art as teenagers: often together on the same university course.

This malaise is not confined to politics, but is present in a terrifyingly wide range of our institutions. The way we educate the people who will enter public life, the way our career structures work, and the institutions themselves that we have built — from parliament to the civil service to the political press gallery — all favour the bluffers. David Cameron was teased as the ‘essay-crisis’ prime minister, a governing style that worked for him until he failed his Brexit essay. But other consequences are deeper still: the short-termism of our institutions is, in no small part, due to bluffing. As the Brexit preparations (or lack thereof) are beginning to demonstrate.

The typical British bluffer is male, well-polished and the product of public school: the same sort of chap with the same sort of chat. It’s invariably a chap. Women make up two in five senior civil servants and one in three MPs. People of black and minority ethnic origin make up 15 per cent of the country but just 8 per cent of MPs, 7 per cent of senior civil servants, and 6 per cent of national journalists.

Being governed by a bluffocracy creates a skills gap that political bluffers like to bemoan: one recent study suggests just 9 per cent of candidates at last year’s election had degrees in science or technology. This is true of only one of Labour’s 258 MPs: Chi Onwurah, an engineer. The British system of government often sees ministers with no expertise being put in charge of — for example — the National Health Service, one of the largest organisations on the planet.


I seem to remember @jrwlynch commented on (or quoted someone who did) politicians being educated in the wrong things, with no idea how to form a hypothesis and test it, how to understand statistics, or how to accept advice from Subject Matter Experts.


 
#5
Great. Now my life is complete. More throbbery being spoken over more threads.
 
#6
Can you read? It bashes all the political parties, and civil servants, and journalists. Surely you would agree there is a huge problem with major decisions being made with very little attention being paid to details?
 
#7
Can you read? It bashes all the political parties, and civil servants, and journalists. Surely you would agree there is a huge problem with major decisions being made with very little attention being paid to details?
Spot on. Similar applies in business as well: have MBA, know SFA about the technicalities of your industry, but will advise people who know even less anyway.
 
#9
Applies to the armed forces too arguably, with the constant two year tours for 'breadth' being common for many officers.
 
#11
I did not write it. Would a female have a higher probability of being a STEM graduate? Is this a new problem though - traditionally politicians and senior civil servants were Oxbridge Classics graduates.
 
#12
one recent study suggests just 9 per cent of candidates at last year’s election had degrees in science or technology. This is true of only one of Labour’s 258 MPs: Chi Onwurah, an engineer.
Rosena Allin-Khan is the Labour MP for Tooting, is a qualified doctor who has worked in A&E in a London hospital and as a humanitarian aid doctor in Africa, Asia, and the ME, she has a degree in Medical Biochemistry from Brunel, studied Medicine at Cambridge, and also has a Masters Degree in Public Health. Surely at least one of those three degrees counts as a degree in science or technology. This suggests that whoever wrote that shite you have so kindly quoted for us is a bluffer.
 
#13
Applies to the armed forces too arguably, with the constant two year tours for 'breadth' being common for many officers.
As a officer rtd(v) do you ever go bashful, with the ladies, when asked about your wartime exploits
 
#14
Nowhere is that clearer than in the Department for Exiting the EU, where the National Audit Office found out that almost one in ten staff move on within three months — a churn rate around four times the civil service average.
Am I missing something here? Who are these particle people?
 
#15
I think this is a real matter for concern and am surprised at people writing this off as 'another brexit thread'. The decisions being made without reference to any real SME opinion are literally strategic or even grand strategic in their effects. The opposition meanwhile feels Diane Abbott would make a good Home Secretary. Basically our standard of government/governance - is dropping.

There is a balance to be met though - I understand it is the right of the government to listen to the advice from doctors/scientists who may say: "Ganja is better for you than Buckfast" and ignore it. Fine. To a degree, non-specialist decision makers is something we should be used to - a 1*/2* making an operational plan in Iraq was unlikely to be fully individually qualified in all the stuff supporting arms might be doing - air support, Sappers bridging and and and.

But at least there would be a general understanding not present in say, your Phillip Hammond technocrats, jumping from job to job with no depth of knowledge, trying to line up for the top slot.
 
#16
As a officer rtd(v) do you ever go bashful, with the ladies, when asked about your wartime exploits
No, because the ladies are so sufficiently impressed by my most significant exploit to be shocked into awe-stricken silence...
 
#17
Invariably a chap, other than the thirty-five to forty per cent who aren't.
Worse. It's all the fault of white blokes. Well spotted on the way the author massages the figures. Two in five appears a lot less than 40%.

Women make up two in five senior civil servants and one in three MPs. People of black and minority ethnic origin make up 15 per cent of the country but just 8 per cent of MPs, 7 per cent of senior civil servants, and 6 per cent of national journalists.
 

Baglock

On ROPS
On ROPs
#18
Our politicians are soundbite spouting demagogues.

Yet large swathes of the public respond like subservient pets to what's been described as dog whistle politics.

Boris's comments on the burka the other day were simply about maintaining his public profile and courting the right wing of his party for his own ambitions.

Mongs regularly swallow soundbites like brexit means brexit as if they actually mean anything.

In short the political figures we have today are shallow because much of the population is intellectually shallow.

Brexit and the contempt for informed opinion is testament to this
 
#20
Our politicians are soundbite spouting demagogues.

Yet large swathes of the public respond like subservient pets to what's been described as dog whistle politics.

Boris's comments on the burka the other day were simply about maintaining his public profile and courting the right wing of his party for his own ambitions.

Mongs regularly swallow soundbites like brexit means brexit as if they actually mean anything.

In short the political figures we have today are shallow because much of the population is intellectually shallow.

Brexit and the contempt for informed opinion is testament to this


YSC.
 

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