Francis Maude’s ‘clampdown’ on Quangos is not what it seems

Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, has today claimed that the Government has reduced the number of quangos, or non-government public bodies.

Responding to the claims, Jon Trickett MP, Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Office Minister, said:

“This so-called clampdown is not what it seems. The true picture of David Cameron’s government is of a failed economic plan which has delivered a double-dip recession and £150 billion more borrowing than they planned.

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The Tory-led Government’s failures are costing this country dear

Jon Trickett MP, Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Office Minister, responding to the Government’s claim to be cutting the cost of government said:

“For all their talk of savings, this Tory-led Government’s failures are costing this country dear. David Cameron and George Osborne have delivered a double-dip recession made in Downing Street, and they are already having to borrow £150 billion more than they planned over the Parliament – the cost of their failed economic plan.

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The Tories sink deeper into the mire

Arrogance, incompetence and now infighting; this is what has defined the Conservative-led government.

Brutally honest debates on the ConservativeHome blog give fascinating insights into just how badly things are going for the Tories.   David Cameron is battling for the survival of his administration as a purposeful government with a clear political agenda. But more importantly it is increasingly apparent that – as I have previously written – the Conservative Party is facing an existential crisis (available here)

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The Tories know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Below is a copy of my speech at ResPublica’s event on the importance of social mobility in public service procurement.


“I want to start by thanking both ResPublica and Chris White MP not only for hosting the event here but also inviting me to speak on such an important matter. If I may so, it is typical of the socially responsible ethic promoted by ResPublica and Philip Blond to raise these valuable issues.

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Government continues civil service blame game

The British civil service is widely admired and rightly so for its core values of honesty, impartiality, and professionalism. However, in terms of accountability, management culture, and increased flexibility there is always much more to do.

Labour will support and indeed welcome sensible reforms such as improving management culture, information systems and skills development, but the point of reform after all is to make something better than it was before and until we see more detail it is not clear how far these reforms will move us forward.

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The Conservatives are facing an existential crisis

Deprived of their social and ideological anchor, the Tories may never win again.

The great British middle class has changed. Its characteristics, outlook, values and relationships with the rest of society are very different to how they were. Take just one measure: the educational background of people in middle class occupations.  In 1945, only 17,000 people graduated from university. Last year, there were 330,000 graduates

The sociology of this change is not yet fully understood, and the political consequences even less so. But we can already see the broad political ramifications of this development. For the Conservative Party, it’s clear that the old traditional true blue values simply don’t have traction any more.

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The Conservative Dilemma

Beneath the blue silk ties, Savile Row suits and faux bonhomie, tribal hatreds threaten to consume sections of the leadership of the Conservative party. Flashes of the venom occasionally spill over into the public domain.

Francis Maude allowed his frustration to show for an instant when he said: “The Conservative party will always suffer if it is seen as trying to turn the clock back to an imagined golden era.” Who else could he have been turning his fire on but Thatcherites such as Liam Fox and Norman Tebbit?

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