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3 hours ago, Non-Believer said:

Largely because the MHKs and the MLCs aren't running the shop.

Thank goodness.

Politicians are invariably rubbish at running things. And it's not their job anyhow.

We're really lucky here to have a handful of rather good MHKs (mostly people with a professional and / or University background). That's a great average. The rest are just there to pad out the numbers.

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I suspect it might be more like the Father Ted episode where they are trying to rescue Dougal off the milk float?

It’s an interesting one, and I’m a bit torn on this. I took a second job within Government for a short time on top of my Police pension. I was acutely aware of really needing to offer real value for m

Just one - Don't make waves - I thank you

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2 minutes ago, pongo said:

Thank goodness.

Politicians are invariably rubbish at running things. And it's not their job anyhow.

We're really lucky here to have a handful of rather good MHKs (mostly people with a professional and / or University background). That's a great average. The rest are just there to pad out the numbers.

That's all very well if those non-politicians running the shop are good at running that shop.

Unfortunately, in far too many respects we don't appear to have either good shop-runners or elected overseers of those shop-runners with any potency.

And University education and/or professional backgrounds in the elected, whilst certainly welcome, is currently, provenly no measure of their control of a runaway juggernaut of unelected Civil Service.

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1 minute ago, Non-Believer said:

runaway juggernaut of unelected Civil Service.

Would you prefer an elected Civil Service? How would that work in practice?

Don't you want to live in a society?

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4 minutes ago, pongo said:

Would you prefer an elected Civil Service? How would that work in practice?

Don't you want to live in a society?

Second question first. I/we already do, with all its shortcomings and advantages. However, a progressive society concentrates on minimizing and rectifying those shortcomings, as its priority. Not sweeping them under the carpet and trying to mask them with unstinting, blanket praise of the advantages and successes.

First question. No. I would prefer a Civil Service that does the bidding of our democratically elected and observes the standards, practices and codes that it is expected and should be obliged to observe. Rather than a self-serving, self generating monster hell bent on its own existence, expansion and gain with little regard to where the funding of those aims is garnered from.

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The root of the problem lies in the small pool of talent from which the higher levels of the CS are drawn and the stagnant nature of the waters of this pool - in terms of population the Island is smaller than any of the several authorities that form say Greater Manchester with its elected mayor who is delegated some powers from Central government who can (+ do) exercise power over him. There is no oversight over the Island's CS other than the bunch of individuals, some excellent many mediocre with a leader none of the electorate voted for and elected with policies nowhere set down for the approval of the electorate. Given the deliberate corruptible nature of the governing clique it is easy for the long serving CS who have no obvious promotion path and thus generally have risen to just above their level of incompetence to run rings round these neophytes who have little experience other than a parish council.

The only solution I can see is to give up a bit of independence and arrange a regular exchange of CS with a larger body so that the pool is regularly stirred by people not selected by those already in the pool.

Edited by Frances
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The hiccup I can see with the above is that we've already imported enough of these people of our own volition and it hasn't worked...how could we be assured that UK wouldn't just offload their own rejects onto us in order to "get rid"?

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I agree it requires some mechanism of trust but of course they go back after a fixed period - but the only option I can see is to remove the ability of the existing CS and the politicians to select the new entrants - remember a certain MHK whose basis of selection was on riding a Harley Davidson.

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19 minutes ago, Non-Believer said:

 it hasn't worked..

Most things work pretty well. We're lucky to be living here. And it's a lot easier here than in many places to find out who you need to talk to if you've got an issue.

Moaners moan. Almost invariably ultimately because they are looking to explain their own dissatisfactions. Most people who are doing ok don't have time to worry about what the govt or Civil Service is doing.

Things are pretty good here. It's not perfect but it could be a lot worse.

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1 minute ago, Frances said:

I agree it requires some mechanism of trust - but the only option I can see is to remove the ability of the existing CS and the politicians to select the new entrants 

What problem are you actually trying to fix? Are you sure that you aren't just sinking into a rather Blimpish perception of things?

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10 minutes ago, pongo said:

1) Most things work pretty well.

2) We're lucky to be living here.

3) Most people who are doing ok don't have time to worry about what the govt or Civil Service is doing.

4) Things are pretty good here.

1) And some could be a lot better. That's what we should be seeking to achieve. Not blind contentment with what's good.

2) True

3) Which is how the CS like it. The less scrutiny, the better. Saves wasting time on coming up with excuses for failings if they're not asked about.

4) See 1) above. Throw the plebs a few crumbs and they'll be happy. And keep them in the pubs rather than the libraries.

Many traps to be fallen into. By those wearing rose-tinted glasses, frequently.

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18 hours ago, Non-Believer said:

Largely because the MHKs and the MLCs aren't running the shop.

The entire show is being run by the unelected for their own benefit. And has been increasingly so for a good two decades.

How can they be held to account to the taxpayer?

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14 hours ago, pongo said:

Most things work pretty well. We're lucky to be living here. And it's a lot easier here than in many places to find out who you need to talk to if you've got an issue.

Moaners moan. Almost invariably ultimately because they are looking to explain their own dissatisfactions. Most people who are doing ok don't have time to worry about what the govt or Civil Service is doing.

Things are pretty good here. It's not perfect but it could be a lot worse.

I tend to agree Pongo, but as Frances has pointed out, we are stuck with some pretty mediocre levels of talent for obvious reasons. No high flying civil servant worth their salt is going to see the island as a good career move, so we will always attract those who are on their way down rather than up. We have to learn to live with that and manage the situation accordingly. Ideally this would be done by our elected representatives who are multi talented! Unfortunately, we elect mainly those who like the sound of their own voice and those who, whilst intelligent, have no guts! 

Perhaps in place of COMIN, there should be a council of 'ministers' (pathetic name for such low ranking people) and chief executives, (COMINEX) to help eliminate the silo mentality and bring people into line by performance management?  

Events over the past week or so have proven to me conclusively that senior PS staff (I won't name the department as they are basking in their management of COVID) are running things for themselves first and the taxpayer secondly. This should be stamped on but never will be, unions see to that.

Edited by Max Power
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43 minutes ago, Max Power said:

........we will always attract those who are on their way down rather than up. We have to learn to live with that and manage the situation accordingly. Ideally this would be done by our elected representatives who are multi talented! Unfortunately, we elect mainly those who like the sound of their own voice and those who, whilst intelligent, have no guts! 

........Events over the past week or so have proven to me conclusively that senior PS staff (I won't name the department as they are basking in their management of COVID) are running things for themselves first and the taxpayer secondly. This should be stamped on but never will be, unions see to that.

Nail on head, especially the reference to electing those with a lack courage - is that part of integrity too?

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There's a UK Institute of Government paper here on 'Accountability In The  Civil Service':

https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/sites/default/files/publications/IfG accountability discussion paper april 2018.pdf

Doesn't tell you much!

My view each department should have a daily updated blog of it's actions open to public view

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1 hour ago, Max Power said:

Events over the past week or so have proven to me conclusively that senior PS staff (I won't name the department as they are basking in their management of COVID) are running things for themselves first and the taxpayer secondly.

You can apply that to any Dept you like and down through the LAs as well.

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