The key aim of my discussion on change in politics is to talk about Brexit and the possibilities that it opens up to us more openly, and how a good Government can go about putting the ideas underpinning A New Politics into practical and meaningful form.
In the first instance, it is easy for us to assume that these changes can come about just by changing the way that Politicians think, or replacing the Politicians themselves. But the reality of changing the way that Government and the Public Sector works is so very much more.
One of the reasons it has become so important that we get the right Politicians in place, is because the Public Sector itself has as a result of EU influence and poor political management over many years, become rotten to the core.
The Public Sector has become for many senior officers one big gravy chain with tentacles that reach outwards and far beyond. There is a protectionist culture in place from top to bottom that shies away from responsibility and passes the buck onwards an upwards – usually to consultants who actually add nothing new, rather than simply getting the job done, which is after all exactly what all Government Officers and Civil Servants are employed to do.
Rather than the priority of Public Services being to serve the Public, the focus has become all about the people who are employed within its jobs. The employment rules and regulations and bottomless pits such as the Local Government Pension Scheme are a gargantuan drain on just about every resource.
And it is because it has become so very expensive to employ staff directly and to keep up with the legal obligations to those staff that once were, that significant incomes generated by Council Tax and Business Rates go nowhere near as far as they should.
Poor Management, management based on self-interest and management which is incompetent whilst selling itself as knowing better than elected decision makers is at the core of this rich malaise.
Any original thinking that could find solutions to the problems is restricted by all the rules that being tied to the EU has put in play.
And the rich mix of key positions of influence in the Public Sector being filled by people who really shouldn’t be there, entwined with the incompetence of politicians who are in it for themselves as simply assume that the executive is there to decide what work to do, rather than being there to do as they are told, means that the whole Public Sector System is failing us. Is too expensive to run. And is at the mercy of idiots who have concluded that getting more money from Central Government is the only way to get anything done.
A Good Government will immediately embark upon top to bottom Public Sector Reform.
To begin with it could:
- Create a new code of ethics and protocol that requires all public employees to fulfill both the obligations and live up to the responsibilities of their jobs.
- Ban the use of outside consultants, agencies or temporary staff to carry out work that a public sector employee could do.
- Ensure that Employees and the expectations placed upon them are realistic and where extra is required from them, that they are happy to undertake additional work voluntarily if that is the most sensible way to get things done.
- Stop councils and other public sector bodies contracting out services to profit making contractors and agencies.
- Reform and remove the guarantee of the gold-plated pension schemes and put them on a par with those in the commercial world.
- Reverse the reforms that Gordon Brown enacted to Pension Schemes in 1997.
- Remove the Working Time Directive and any Employment Rules that mean the employer has to prioritise the rights of the Employee above the execution of the job and the responsibilities that they were employed to do.
- Put a fixed, realistic and mandatory pay scale in place for each and every level, role or position, placing the emphasis back on jobs in the public sector including the benefit of putting something back, rather than being all about what the employee can gain from being in the job that they do.
- Take appropriate steps to stop ambulance chasers and everything that contributes to the culture of blame. Public employees need to know that they are trusted to do their jobs and to adapt to circumstances rather than having to do everything based on a risk assessment first in case they should be accused of intending to hurt others in some way, or do something that could otherwise be interpreted as being wrong