The cost of ‘tittle-tattle’

The political class are currently animated with aspects of the Leveson Inquiry into the affairs of one Jeremy Hunt and that of his Special Advisor, Adam Smith, in relation to their dealings with News Corporation.

The Leveson Inquiry is not the first that has taken place during the premiership of David Cameron – the actual number of which I have, understandably, lost count. What seems to have escaped the notice of the general public is the question of who foots the bill for these inquiries.

Reverting to the subject of Special Advisors, we learn from Wikipedia:

“A special adviser works in a supporting role to the British government. With media, political or policy expertise, their duty is to assist and advise government ministers. Special advisers are paid by central government and are styled as so-called “temporary civil servants” appointed under Article 3 of the Civil Service Order in Council 1995  They contrast with “permanent” civil servants in the respect that they are political appointees whose loyalties are claimed by the governing party and often particular ministers with whom they have a close relationship.”

This begs the question of how they can be styled as civil servants, temporary or otherwise, when civil servants are supposed to be apolitical (yes, alright – save the comments….) yet their loyalties lie with a political party and that particular party’s member? A further question arises, which is why would a politician need a special advisor with – leaving aside the aspect of media and political expertise – policy expertise? Are not politicians holding ministerial positions supposed to have some knowledge of the subject for which they are responsible? If not, then why the hell are they in post? Yet a further question is what knowledge do they, special advisors, possess of the subject for which they act on behalf of their minister? It would appear that the answer is none; and that they are purely employed to ensure that any news in relation to the minister, to whom they are responsible, is presented in the best possible light – in other words they are no more than what is commonly referred to as ‘spin doctors’; an art in which truth matters not. 

It will not have escaped the notice of readers that special advisors are paid by central government, yet we all know – or should know – that central government has no money of it’s own, only that which they extract from the people by means of some form of taxation – in other words special advisors are paid by taxpayers. Yet where in any party’s manifesto was there mention of payment for special advisors or inquiries and the need for the funding of either? This would of course be part of any budget, one which Richard North, EU Referendum, quite correctly states should receive the agreement of those who will be providing the money. Of course, were those appointed to ministerial office to hold any experience for the subject for which they are responsible, then the need for special advisors would be negated; likewise errors of judgement would be negated and the requirement for inquiries would be negated.

That our political class are animated with matters ‘tittle-tattle’ can come as no surprise as ‘tittle-tattle’ is all they have left to occupy their time, having ceded governance of this nation abroad. That they conveniently overlook the cost of their indulgence in ‘tittle-tattle’ is but to be expected – when have they ever considered the cost of that which they impose on the electorate?

Don’t you just love representative democracy democratised dictatorship an elective dictatorship?

Just a few thoughts whilst, as I believe the French say, Je suis être seul………..


13 Responses

  1. Woodsy42 says:

    “who foots the bill for these inquiries.”
    I think it comes from the magic money tree in No 11’s back garden. I know the MPs and the government don’t actually admit they have one but I’m sure they must have. I mean they are all clever grown ups aren’t they, and if they didn’t have such a tree they would surely know to stop spending so much. I am right aren’t I?

  2. john in cheshire says:

    Isn’t this another case of unintended consequencies? I suggest that the original aim of spads was to overcome the inherent obstructionism of the permanent civil service. Ministers being fed biased opinions and not having someone on their side who could verify or otherwise the advice? Which is, I think, a sensible approach. Unfortunately, once this situation pertains, then as is the wont of the political class, they push the boundaries to see how far they can go before someone cries too far. Should they be paid by the taxpayer? No.

    • david says:

      I do not believe it is ‘unintended consequences’ – it has been a deliberate ploy by the political elite to ensure they are presented to the public in the best light. What do Spads know about the subjects that their ministers deal in? More importantly, what do ministers know about the subject for which they are responsible?

  3. BernieInPipewell says:

    Lurk here most days

    That our political class are animated with matters ‘tittle-tattle’ can come as no surprise as ‘tittle-tattle’ is all they have left to occupy their time,

    Could not agree more. 😉

  4. TomTom says:

    I still recall a Special Adviser to Geoffrey Howe who had been recruited by Norman Blackwell to McKinsey and was then inserted into Howe’s office paid by McKinsey before McKinsey paid for him to go to INSEAD. When Brittan resigned as MP for Richmond this SpAd got a safe seat and even became Conservative Leader…..

    How many such Advisers are paid by KPMG, Goldman, PwC in Government today….who paid Shriti Vadera to advise as the Treasury and bail out banks ?

  5. Andy Baxter says:

    Can we currently control the largesse of the political class here or in the EU…. non!

    But why? is the most important question and we are attempting to formulate demands to address such…..however it goes deeper than just a referism type ‘aye’ or ‘naye’ once a year on what they want to tax and spend….we have a very deep constitutinal crisis in this country…

    I won’t take up pages of prose in attempting to discus it all but for me the main issues are (as well as controlling the money):

    Reclamation of Sovereignty

    Rigid written constitutional controls and checks and balances on the seperation of powers between Legislative, Executive and Judiciary to control themand make them truly servants of the people.

    Effective devolution of REAL power to locales

    Addressing and controlling possibly even abolishing the Privy Council(The REAL Executive within the Executive!)

    Capping the number or even abolishing Statutory Instruments (controlling the ability of the Real Executive who run things to legislate and regulate without adequate scrutiny via The Privy Council)

    To name but a few!

    We shall see…but I live in hope…

    • TomTom says:

      Of 100,000 -400,000 people gather in a place and protest they will take note…it is not hard….they will send in police and use media to attack….but like all regimes they will crack…….the problem then is usually that people do not have a plan to move forward

    • david says:

      All of which you get with direct democracy…….

  6. david says:

    In other words: Direct Democracy!

Hosted By PDPS Internet Hosting

© Witterings from Witney 2012