Civil service, consultants and politicians – who is running what?

I see the government is blowing a huge amount of money on consultants on everything from Test and Trace to Brexit. My own experience of consultants does not fill me full of confidence. I should know, because I was one for a while.

The business of leadership is to look after the present, foresee the future and plan accordingly. Then deliver, to sustain growth and wellbeing. Whether it be a political party, or a commercial enterprise (indeed anything in between) then these criteria are self evident. If however, something interrupts these steps, such as corona virus – then certainly the planning for future activity becomes infinitely more difficult.

Should we expect Government to augment its own thinking capacity with a host of outside consultants. By so doing I believe they are confessing that they (the Government) are not very good at planning in a more difficult scenario. Their permanent administrative support comes from the civil service which surely must include planners for this very purpose.

However it seems that the present Government has drafted in hordes of consultants at huge costs. Can the consultants know more about the logistics of International trade than our export logistic contractors combined with our civil service? Yet £88 millions on consultants has already been spent and much more is to follow. I understand that external support is being sought to plan contingency for health product requirements in light of a no deal. Doesn’t the health service and ministry know?

I vividly remember expensive consultants telling my bosses that which the lower echelons already knew. We suspected then and I suspect now that the bosses (Boris and Co) need advice not because they need it but because they are afraid to make decisions that they know will end in difficult dilemmas.

Consultants I believe have been heavily involved in Corvid track and trace in England, it has proved to be shambolic and very expensive, it has been a complete Hancock. But still the Government does not learn.

They are either afraid or incompetent. Take your pick.


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