Posts Tagged ‘enemies’

Cameron would be lucky to get out of the pub alive

09/03/2011, 07:52:16 AM

by Tom Watson

It’s a poor workman that blames his tools. And this week the government has written the case study that scholars of public administration will follow for years to come in their lesson on how not to make reforms.

It’s a complete shambles behind that famous black metal door. Authorised and less-authorised briefings attacking huge sections of the population are spewing out of the government at such a rate that it’s hard to keep count.

I remember being told as a teenager living in Kidderminster that you should never pick a fight with the whole pub. Think about what David Cameron has been up to in the last couple of weeks. With his current record, he’d never have got out of the Market Tavern alive.

The list of people and groups he has officially offended is remarkable.

The civil service. They’re the enemies of enterprise, apparently. I promise Mr Cameron that he will regret those comments and the briefing that went with them. The survival instincts of Mr Gus O’Donnell and his team of mandarins are legendary. Cam’s team will pay in a hundred ways he hasn’t begun to imagine. Sure, the civil service needs reform, but insulting the entire institution won’t work. Trust me on this. I’ve tried it that way and failed. The only way to get lasting reforms in Whitehall will be a “Northcote Trevelyan Two” and a consensus between the parties. There are plenty of frustrated ex-ministers who, I am sure, would suspend their axe-grinding in order to work with our opponents to get the civil service in better shape. (more…)

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