Two cheers for bureaucracy

No. Three cheers.

I don’t know if anyone else noticed, but while everyone in the political press was huddling around scraps of gossip from the United States, or pouring abuse on Harriet Harman, the civil service has had a great couple of weeks.

Yeah, this blog snarls at Whitehall every time the bell strikes. Its self-interest, its unspoken ideology, its authoritarianism, its managerialism – we hate it like we hate sin. But I’m quite sure that Dsquared is plotting some dread coup against opponents of scientific management. And here’s something for you.

We’ve just seen half Yorkshire and the Severn Valley under water, with all kinds of funky logistics problems, like arranging for the Royal Engineers to boat over the right folk to look after a marooned supergrid substation and not have a real Wexelblat fuckup, or shifting super-hefty pumps from London to Doncaster when the railway and the M1 are shut for a possible dam burst. At the same time – as if some horrid bugger chucked it in a scenario-planning exercise – a terrorist wave.

And all in and among a prime-ministerial transition, while departments are dying, multiplying by mitosis, merging, and generally carrying out all the sexual manoeuvres bureaucratic entities can do.

Damn, it’s good to have a real civil service.


  1. dd

    this is always a good point to remind the Worstall tendency about when they bang on about central planning and the efficiency of the market – when shite comes to bust and you’re really in danger of not having any food or water, whose trucks do you expect to see coming over the horizon – Tesco, or the army?

  2. Neil

    Heh. The Worstall tendency would complain that the Army is crowding out the market for Tesco’s rescue services.

    (I wish I was joking)

  3. Anonymous

    Damn, it’s good to have a real civil service.

    I’ve had this sentence stuck in my head for two days, to the same rhythm as the Geto Boys’ “Damn, it feels good to be a gangsta”. And I’ve HAD ENOUGH OF IT.




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