If politicians come to believe that the civil service is preoccupied with speaking truth to power at the expense of doing its job, Francis Maude-type solutions will be imposed, regardless of which party is in power.
Not only does focusing on such trivialities backfire, it also occludes proper scrutiny of the vast sums that government actually wastes.
“It’s simply a reality that all phones – including government ones – are easily hacked,” a Minister told me. “The difference with government phones is that they’re regularly tracked so we know about it sooner when it’s obvious – which it usually isn’t.”
Corrosive cynicism about politicians makes theirs an impossible task, but holding remuneration down carries its own costs.
Few people understand better than the Culture Secretary how the government machine works, or fails to work.
This new government seems to want to concentrate its energies on giving Britain a cutting edge. Will it succeed where others have failed?
The allegations are dreadful, and must be dealt with, but the grim truth is that few people will be surprised by them.
If politicians will create a big, interventionist state, then voters will expect them to manage it on a full-time basis.
It’s always tempting for politicians to outsource important decisions. But it doesn’t work.
Some voters are angry, but anger doesn’t define most people most of the time.
Also: Demands for probe into expenses of SNP MPs as costs soar; economist says Wales no longer ‘significantly underfunded’; and more.
Indiscriminate attacks on Parliament, the judiciary, the civil service, the media and business are anti-meritocratic and nihilistic, which should trouble those on the Right.
The Prime Minister’s decision to publish his tax return has big knock-on implications for his colleagues, and perhaps for himself too.
When it comes to the Commons, who watches the watchmen? An independent regulator is impossible: it has to be us.