This morning, The Sun has apologised. (PDF)
I’m not sure if Liam Fox has done his homework with this story, that the Tories may privatise the Met Office. From memory, I think that the Met office makes a surplus. It’s a Trading Fund with the MoD being the lead department in government. Sure, they could privatise it and make some money but it wouldn’t cut costs at the MoD. It might arguably increase spending given that our Defence personnel consume a lot of weather information. To purchase the stuff from a commercially focussed, privatised Met Office may cost them more than they currently pay. I’m sure his colleague General Dannatt would tell him that.
This story “Conservatives plan to give ministers more power over the civil service” is fascinating. For all the bluster about NuLab centralisation of power, it shows the the British Conservative Party has no intention of letting go of the reins. In fact, if the article is true, it suggests that in the unlikely event of the Conservatives winning the next election, ministers will be given more power to run their departments, with greater hiring and firing powers and executive control of delivery.
And my response is to say good on Francis Maude for having the courage to say it.
Out of respect for the former civil servants I used to work with, I will not highlight the examples of where my “maverick ideas” were held-up, delayed and ultimately ignored. But there were enough for me to know that the civil service was a seething mass of small “p” politics that needed stamping on. One day, I might tell the whole story.
Given the accusations of cronyism that were leveled at Ken Livingstone, the letters from Liz Forgan, Chair of the Arts Council to an officicial at the Department of Culture Media and Sport and, Boris Johnson to Ben Bradshaw, are pretty damning for the Mayor of London.