The box tickers

This sounds about right:

In "The Audit Explosion", a prophetic pamphlet written in 1994, Michael Power, an academic authority on accounting, anticipated the Cynthia Bowers of our day. He predicted that the new craze for targets and reviews would "spread a distinct mentality of administrative control" which would undermine trust and encourage the proliferation of empty gestures. The embrace by government of targets and supervisors would bring a "major shift in power from the public to the professional and from teachers, engineers and managers to overseers," he wrote. Although the form-fillers claimed to deliver transparency and accountability, they were in fact engaged in a "peculiar form of alchemy" that turned workers into "auditees" who did what they had to do to meet a target.

But this doesn\’t:

Power\’s predictions were mistaken in two respects only: he did not guess – for how could he? – that the one institution Labour would fail to regulate would be the one all its centre-left history told it had to be regulated – the banking industry.

The move from regulation by hte Bank of England to regulation by the FSA was exactly that, a move from regulation by professionals to regulation by the box tickers.

Banking wasn\’t the exception, rather just the same problem writ large.

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