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Retsdon

Cummings? . . .and the media?

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10 hours ago, Retsdon said:

Happy days. Just have the courage to own the consequences.

Do you know what's going to happen? The vulture capitalists are going to take the country off where nobody can hear it squeaking and rip the money making enterprises away at a discount price and repatriate them back to America / China/ Hong Kong/ or wherever.

And the people who helped facilitate this  - think all those odd surnames in the cabinet for a start - will be amply rewarded with directorships. In other words,  Britain is about to be worked over  - and it's a crying shame. But hey that was democracy in action.......the democratic right to shoot yourself between the legs.....

Do you live here or in Saudi ? if in Saudi what difference does it make to you ? Britain was worked over when Labour was in charge many business allowed to leave to go to the EU or asia ,maybe you should have been Corbyns spin doctor

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8 hours ago, TIGHTCHOKE said:

DOOMSAYERS abound, let us get on with it!

The Brexit "Remoaners" are just moaners.

Always glass half empty people. What a dismal life they must lead.

So, (unashamedly lifted from YouTube video about Glass Half Empty or Glass Half Full).....

Dear optimist and pessimist- While you guys were arguing over the glass, I drank it. Sincerely, the opportunist"

 

Edited by Eyefor
Spill Chuck

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3 minutes ago, sam triple said:

if in Saudi what difference does it make to you ?

I'm British, my children are British, and I have paid in for a pension that at this rate will likely be a fraction of what I was expecting. And while I 'live' in Saudi for 9 months a year, my residency is tied to my work and when that finishes I'll have 2 weeks to get out. Britain is the only country in the world where I have a right of permanent residence.  So, what is currently happening in the UK most certainly makes a difference to me.

But while I appreciate your personal interest, neither I nor Corbyn are in government and not really germane to the topic of Boris Johnson and his special adviser. 

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An interesting article from Chris White;

Chris White is Managing Director of Newington Communications. He was Special Adviser to Patrick McLoughlin, when the latter served as Chief Whip, as well as to Andrew Lansley and William Hague when each served as Leader of the House.

 

Evolution

It has been interesting to watch the reshuffle evolve during the weeks after the election.

Initially, it was about machinery of government changes – there was to be a new super-department where Business would be folded in with Trade, with Energy and Climate Change splitting off, and International Development combined with the Foreign Office.  Of these, only a mild version of the last has materialised, with four DfID Ministers double-hatting with the FCO.

Why the change? It’s difficult to say, but the Prime Minister is most powerful when he uses his patronage. Cutting the number of Cabinet positions, and departments, loses seats at the table. Combining departments also distracts from delivery – when Energy and Climate Change was folded into the Business Department back in 2016, it took several months for civil servants to stop working in separate buildings and work out the reporting structure, seriously affecting efficiency.

Performance…and loyalty

Despite attempts to stop leaks, this administration is just as prone to them as those which have come before it. There have been briefings from the centre, and counter-briefings from Ministers and advisers, each trying to set the agenda and highlight those who have been performing, or not.

How you measure performance is an art form rather than a science. The Whips will assess the performance of MPs and Ministers in the Chamber, get feedback from constituencies and colleagues, and feed this into the centre.

Those close to the Prime Minister will then assess this information, and place their own judgements on this.  Whilst he ultimately makes the decision, the Chief Whip and a number of senior advisers all have their input.

But it is not just ministerial performance, or perhaps competence, that’s an issue. Take Julian Smith, who only weeks ago got the Northern Ireland Assembly restarted in what was a surprise to all, and who has received tributes from across the political spectrum in Belfast and in Dublin.

Arguably, this performance should have saved him, but it was his perceived disloyalty that confirmed his demise. Smith purportedly threated to resign over Brexit in the autumn of last year, and this is a sin that has not been forgiven.

Others have been loyal, but not necessarily particularly competent at their job, and it’s clearly been the view that it’s time to put some new faces around the table in an attempt to inject some dynamism into these first, crucial months of the new Government.

The Conservatives have a once in a generation opportunity to solidify support in constituencies that only 15 years ago had Labour majorities well north of 10,000: this time cannot be wasted.

Who’s in control?

One of the surprises of the day was the unplanned (or planned?) sacking of the Chancellor. Ordered to fire his six special advisors, Sajid Javid honourably refused, instead falling on his sword.

Prime Ministers have long suffered challenging relationships with the occupants of No.11, with honourable exceptions such as David Cameron and George Osborne. Javid certainly had his run-ins with Dominic Cummings and others in Number 10, holding the traditionally tighter Treasury line on public spending, while Number Ten now wants to loosen the purse strings.

Ultimately, though, this is about control, and Number 10 wants much greater control over the levers of Government. There will now be a joint special adviser unit between it and Number 11 overseeing economic policy – arguably a good idea which should overcome the traditional tensions, especially when the new Chancellor and the Prime Minister trust each other.

Other advisors have also found themselves in the firing line – Peter Cardwell, the Justice Secretary’s media SpAd has been sacked, even though Robert Buckland stayed. Last week, Cummings jokingly told the Friday SpAds meeting that he would ‘see half of you next week’. This week we see advisers being removed from post, a third of them losing their jobs, and Number Ten tightening its grip.

Control can be seized, but can it be sustained? Government produces huge quantities of paperwork, Bills and advice. Number Ten simply cannot be everywhere at once, however much it tries. Too tight a grip removes initiative and the ability for departmental ministers to get on with the job, with everything having to go through the centre, which then becomes a log-jam.  Such a setup is not sustainable in the long-run.

Continuity

Reshuffles happen to provide a sense of renewal, to bring in new talent and boot out the underperforming. Yet they have their downsides as well. There will be some bruised personalities on the backbenches who will need careful managing by the whips over the next few months, and I hear Mark Spencer is already on the job.

One final point worth mentioning is regarding continuity. Sometimes, it works well – George Eustice has been a DEFRA Minister for nearly seven years on and off, and is now promoted to Secretary of State. He knows his brief inside out, and will be effective from day one.

Yet with the sacking of Esther McVey, there have now been ten Housing Ministers in ten years. Equally with Julian Smith going, there have now been four Northern Ireland Secretaries in five years.

We’ve yet to see what happens in the junior ranks, but there must be a greater balance between Ministers becoming effective through time served and understanding the brief, and the need to bring in new talent.

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27 minutes ago, Retsdon said:

I'm British, my children are British, and I have paid in for a pension that at this rate will likely be a fraction of what I was expecting. And while I 'live' in Saudi for 9 months a year, my residency is tied to my work and when that finishes I'll have 2 weeks to get out. Britain is the only country in the world where I have a right of permanent residence.  So, what is currently happening in the UK most certainly makes a difference to me.

But while I appreciate your personal interest, neither I nor Corbyn are in government and not really germane to the topic of Boris Johnson and his special adviser. 

I seem to to detect a theme in your posts, so correct me if I am wrong. Was it your intention to reside in somewhere in euro land once your time is up and now this option has been taken from you. 

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11 hours ago, Retsdon said:

Happy days. Just have the courage to own the consequences.

Do you know what's going to happen? The vulture capitalists are going to take the country off where nobody can hear it squeaking and rip the money making enterprises away at a discount price and repatriate them back to America / China/ Hong Kong/ or wherever.

And the people who helped facilitate this  - think all those odd surnames in the cabinet for a start - will be amply rewarded with directorships. In other words,  Britain is about to be worked over  - and it's a crying shame. But hey that was democracy in action.......the democratic right to shoot yourself between the legs.....

Yes we voted in the current government........the rest is up to them.........I take no responsibility for the consequences of what they do, because I have no influence over it, as to the future, I don’t know what’s going to happen any more than you do! But I suspect the politicians of whatever flavour, as they always have, will milk the system and look after their own futures and interests!

But that is the case whoever we voted in, Labour, Conservative, Lib Dem, Greens etc etc!

 

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2 minutes ago, panoma1 said:

Yes we voted in the current government........the rest is up to them.........I take no responsibility for the consequences of what they do, because I have no influence over it, as to the future, I don’t know what’s going to happen any more than you do! But I suspect the politicians of whatever flavour, as they always have, will milk the system and look after their own futures and interests!

But that is the case whoever we voted in, Labour, Conservative, Lib Dem, Greens etc etc!

 

I agree, but it's the way of the world and as far as I am aware no one has ever come up with a better workable system. On the upside at least we have one less group of self centered politicians milking us now we have got rid of that bunch of clowns in Brussels.

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1 hour ago, Eyefor said:

The Brexit "Remoaners" are just moaners.

Always glass half empty people. What a dismal life they must lead.

 

Oh you are so right

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If Boris is putting the bean counters in the back room from now on then I say, good. For way too long businesses and the country have been hamstrung by the treasury and their team of accountants and petty penny pinchers. Nothing of worth was ever created by a team of accountants.

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1 hour ago, mick miller said:

Nothing of worth was ever created by a team of accountants.

That is true, but we must not spend above what we can afford and borrow what we can't reasonably sensibly pay back.  That has always been the Labour way and the following (and it happens so far always to have been Tory) government are left with a massive debt pile to solve before they can do anything constructive.  At least the recent Tory governments have decreased the rate at which our debt is growing.  The so called 'austerity' we have been experiencing hasn't reduced what we owe, only reduced the rate at which the debt is growing.

Edited by JohnfromUK

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Countries economies should not be run in the same way as a domestic or business account. The lies about that simple fact have been enormous. But, broadly, spaffing billions on vanity projects or vote buying seldom ends well either.

37mins in for DC's views on breaking the control of the Treasury.
 

 

Edited by mick miller

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2 hours ago, mick miller said:

If Boris is putting the bean counters in the back room from now on then I say, good. For way too long businesses and the country have been hamstrung by the treasury and their team of accountants and petty penny pinchers. Nothing of worth was ever created by a team of accountants.

You seem to have a down on accountants. Why? Did your wife run off with one?

As to "team of accountants" , do your research properly. The Treasury is the home of civil service career economists who advise on the economic aspects of policy i.e the "let's assume" brigade, where their assumptions are invariably wrong or subsequently revised to fit the outcome. The accountants merely bring to book the expenditure incurred on those policies.

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A bean counter is a bean counter, best kept in a back room and let out into the daylight occasionally. Certainly not someone to consult if you're looking for vision, entrepreneurial acumen or a review of anything remotely 'risky'.

The wife can't stand them either. Frankly, a simplification of our outdated and convoluted tax system, that favours wealthy tax avoidance, would put pay to endless armies of bean counters, they could perhaps use their collective experience and intellect to do something worthwhile with their short period on Earth instead.

"The UK has about 50,000 family doctors, but nearly 280,000 professionally qualified accountants, often earning exorbitant salaries. That is almost the highest number per capita in the world and more than the rest of the European Union put together. "

 

Edited by mick miller

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1 hour ago, mick miller said:

Countries economies should not be run in the same way as a domestic or business account.

The common factor is that what you borrow - you will have to pay back eventually - however you 'dress it up'.

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I have no problem with cummings having an influence over government policy. Its standard practice for MPs to have advisors who keep them abreast of public opinion. There's also nothing I as a voter can do about it until 2024.

I also couldn't do anything about Peter mandelson or Alistair Campbell being unelected, unaccountable policy makers and they did far more harm to the UK, and around the world (in my opinion) than anything cummings can do. Maybe you should stop worrying about things you can't control and concentrate on the things you can. 

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2 minutes ago, adzyvilla said:

I also couldn't do anything about Peter mandelson or Alistair Campbell being unelected

Peter Mandelson (much as I dislike him) was in fact an MP - for Hartlepool for 12 years.  Granted he has done things both before and after his time as an MP.

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Just now, JohnfromUK said:

Peter Mandelson (much as I dislike him) was in fact an MP - for Hartlepool for 12 years.  Granted he has done things both before and after his time as an MP.

True, but he's still pulling strings even now. 

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