Monday, 10 February 2014
Bloody Quangos, eh?
Nobody bats an eye lid when Bloggs Builders becomes Bloggs and Son Ltd. After all this is how small businesses have always run; father passing on the tricks of the trade- and the customer base – on to the next generation. Even in larger companies nobody expects the management to exclude offspring in favour of unknowns when jobs are available. Let’s face it, what’s a half-hour interview when you have a lifetime’s knowledge of the applicant and can exercise a higher level of authority than you can over somebody else’s kid? Nepotism is natural - after all even the royal family do it.
Why would you think it any different in a quango? Chris Smith at the Environment Agency has highlighted that fact that the quangos are like unaudited little family firms, but in a position to convey favour and generosity that most of us would be astounded by. As for ‘autonomous’ this nasty little outfit appears to be anything but – taking its direction from the Nazi wing of the Euro-Greens and seeking to rid the land of inconvenient humans to fulfil some sort of enviro-mental final solution. Did I say like family firms? The one I had in mind was The Mafia.
On the face of it, quangos make a certain amount of sense; continuity, free from politically driven change and the cycle of government. They should be correctly purposed and work with their ‘constituents’ in a way that maintains or improves their lot. But all too often these under-regulated outfits are an end in themselves. Free from real oversight they ride roughshod over the little people and misreport their activities and their intentions. Like state enterprise everywhere they think their true purpose is to redistribute wealth – from the nation’s coffers to their own pockets and those of their friends.
If you want an example of the contempt in which any questioning of their activities is rejected, just listen to Smith’s bellyaching about suggestions he resign. In his eyes he is entitled to ride in the first class carriages of the gravy train for the rest of his days. Sod the £billions his department has cost the nation, sod the £millions they have cost ordinary people and bollocks to the ancient landscape they have wilfully drowned. What about HIS £millions? That’s the important thing.
Cronyism in government is frowned upon, highly visible and political dynamite when it hits the news. The extent of cronyism in ‘non-government’ is only just beginning to be realised
Just another way in which our rulers have little but their own interests at heart. A private company has to make a living in return for which it provides a service to paying customers. A PLC has to make profits in a competitive market to pay its shareholders. Even a government has to seek approval to carry on every so often. But many quangos appear to have adopted the Oxfam model, whereby the bulk of its funding no longer goes to the cause it is supposed to serve, but to its own internal structures. Smith is paid £110,000 a year for a job he spends two days a week doing.
Central state-funded organisations, autonomous or not, are voracious, inefficient money pits. The leaky culverts along which the funding flows act as cashpoints for the greedy self-interests of these latter day robber barons. How many times do we have to see it before we get it? Big state, in whatever guise, is inherently corrupt. They say the prolonged submerging of the Somerset Levels is a natural disaster. Well it couldn’t stop the rain, but the flooding is an entirely unnatural catastrophe of the Environment Agency’s making. Of course Chris Smith should fall on his sword. Time to start that much-vaunted Bonfire of the Quangos. Has anybody got a match?