The politicians are, once again, taking shots at each other over the spiralling cost of government and how they are going to reduce it.
The Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition, David Cameron, said yesterday he would cut back on the expensive and unelected quangos should his party win the next election.
What is needed, though, is much more than that; it is an understanding of how the system works in the first place and that is something that no-one seems to be able to get their head around.
The best illustration of the way our government is run was printed in the letters page of The Kent on Sunday at the weekend. It read thus:
Once upon a time, the government had a vast scrapyard in the middle of a deserted industrial estate.
A civil servant said: “Someone may steal from it at night.” So they created a night watchman position and hired a person for the job.
Then the Prime Minster said:
“How does the watchman do his job without instruction?”
So, they created a planning department and hired two people – one to write the instructions and one to do time studies.
Then, the Minister for The Department of Work and Pensions said:
“How will we know the night watchman will be doing the tasks correctly?”
So, they created a quality control department and hired two people – one to do the studies and one to write the reports.
Then the Chancellor said: “How are these people going to get paid?”
So they created the positions of time-keeper and payroll officer, and hired two more people.
Then the Treasury said: “Who will be accountable for all these people?”
So, they created an admin section and hired and administrative officer, assistant administrative officer and a legal secretary.
Then the Chief Secretary to the Treasury said: “We have had this command in operation for a year and are £18,000 over budget. We must cut back overall costs.”
So, they made the night watchman redundant!
Seems to be a pretty fair summary to me….!