Dominic Cummings – what an absolute, utter, dunderheaded nincompoop.
After months in which the Tory government under his puppet Boris Johnson has been doling out cash hand over fist to expensive private consultants for help on Covid-19 – and getting nothing in return…
… and years in which the Tories have been disparaging the expertise of the civil service, pushing leading public servants to quit forever…
Cummings has decided that private consultants are just too expensive and the government should consider creating an in-house organisation for service provision instead.
He has given it a snazzy new name: the Crown Consultancy. The concept will be more familiar to you as the Civil Service.
The plan was presented to the public via the Financial Times – which is behind a paywall, so I’ve been referring to a report in The London Economic instead:
“There’s a lot of reliance on consultancies,” one source close to the plan told the paper. “It would be sensible to look at what we can do internally, rather than externally.”
Isn’t that a description of what the Civil Service does?
This is a story about government spin.
The real headline is that the Conservatives have wasted billions – perhaps hundreds of billions – on private rip-off merchants since they came back into office in 2010, because of their well-professed distrust of so-called “experts”.
Between 2016 and 2020, Britain spent £2.6 billion on just eight consultancies – including KPMG, McKinsey, Deloitte and EY.
The coronavirus crisis has seen the government’s reliance on private-sector consultancies spiral, with at least £56 million spent for help with issues as wide-ranging as data analysis and supplying PPE.
Only £56 million? I make it £100 million – and all because neither Boris Johnson nor Dominic Cummings could be bothered to think for themselves.
But of course these figures do not include the sums spent on private companies recommended to provide services by these consultants.
Look at the privatisation of the probation service: £2.5 billion went down the drain in that disaster.
Related to that, what about the scandal of privately-run prisons, in which G4S was fined £2.7 million for more than 100 breaches of its contract with the government. Considering the size of the fines, how much was that contract worth?
Or we could consider the fiasco that is Universal Credit. How many billions has that cost by now? I reported on this in 2013 and costs have spiralled upwards exponentially since then.
My report on Universal Credit also mentions that “Michael Gove’s Education Department is now in a terrible mess because he brought in a gang of “advisors” to operate “above” his officials – who have meanwhile faced huge cuts in their workforce and a disastrous fall in morale” and refers to a report on This Site in June of that year.
Who took the blame for the private enterprise failures in the DWP and Education? The Civil Service.
In my June 2013 report, I described the policy as: “Blame the Civil Service for everything, cut it back, and leave the actual mechanics of government unusable by anybody who follows them.”
Well, it seems I was right.
And now the Tories are reaping what they have sowed. Their scorched-earth civil service policy has cost them billions and they are still in office to take the blame for it.
Except, of course, that their client journalists in papers like the FT are happy to spin it into a story about a shiny new organisation to save the day, rather than admit it’s just an attempt to revive an old service they ran into the ground.
Well, we’ve all seen through it:
Britain alteady has a Crown Consultancy, it's called the civil service.
It has vast expertise but Brexshit Tories don't like experts, unless they charge taxpayers £6k per day for useless "advice". https://t.co/l0b0KUhhvr
— John Fitzgerald 🇪🇺 #FBPE Activist do-gooder 3.5% (@j_g_fitzgerald) November 6, 2020
I might be missing something here but it seems the new world-beating idea to save money spent on the private sector is the…er….civil service? https://t.co/VvFHlvBFIK
— Krishnan Guru-Murthy (@krishgm) November 6, 2020
Definitely a BIG NEW IDEA. Definitely not just saying we should have a civil service (and specifically definitely not just reinventing the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit). https://t.co/ohxmTpZm1U
— Torsten Bell (@TorstenBell) November 7, 2020
Ha ha ha ha. The Tories think Cummings is a strategic genius because he’s looking at creating….the civil service. They’re such mugs aren’t they? Emperors New Clothes doesn’t even come close. pic.twitter.com/9sxFBlbVtg
— kevinchesters (@hairychesters) November 7, 2020
It would appear that Dominic Cummings who came in with the intention of ripping up the civil service and wasted billions on private consultants …
… wants to create the civil service to save billions on private consultants!!!
You couldn't make this shit up. https://t.co/lPL1E17cxt
— John Spiers (@squeezyjohn) November 7, 2020
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
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