Monday, June 05, 2006

Cameron backs the Civil Servants

Tories coming out in favour of civil service bureaucrats is a rare thing but David Cameron has done it, and rightly so.

You will recall that some weeks ago John Reid described his home office and lacking leadership, being not fit for purpose and so on. Blaming the civil servants for every fault from escaping immigrants to the Iraq War.

Well listen up Reid, the issues here have all been about the implementation of policy, and policy is your fault not the fault of the civil services. I know a great many civil servants and the biggest criticism they have of their work is that they have all these policies and rule that make no sense but they have to deal with the complaints.

When, for example, they are asked why a Job Seeker’s Allowance claim takes 8 weeks to process the only answer they can give is “that’s the system”, they can’t change the system, they can’t make the rules. That’s the job of the ministers.

Cameron is right to stand up for these people because they are just going to be made into scapegoats for New Labour’s failures.

Hardliners may have an anti civil-service stance and I can agree with this, some civil servants will have to go. Not because they are doing a bad job but because they are doing jobs that we don’t need doing. You can’t blame the civil servants for doing jobs we don’t need. They didn’t recruit themselves.

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