Hamish McRae: Do fewer things but do them better
That clearly is how to deal with the deficit, government spending, taxation rates and all the rest. However Hamish doesn\’t really go far enough.
It isn\’t that we should simply be looking at what we already do and vow to do perhaps a little less of it or do it a little better.
We should be looking at what government does and deciding whether these things should be done at all.
Should we be spending £500 million a year subsidising the luvvies through the Arts Council? Nah, abolish it.
Should we be sending £14 billion a year to be wasted by that damp rag in Brussels? Nah, get out of the EU.
Should we be paying the Food Standards Agency to advise on the size of potatoe wedges at chippies in Cambridgeshire, Greater Manchester and Northern Ireland? Should we even be paying them to insist that carrots are, for the purposes of jam making (and, please note, extra jams, jellies and extra jellies but not, importantly, marmalades) fruit? Naaaah….
Should each and every department be running a PR operation larger than the staffing of a local newspaper (even a regional one in some cases)? Should we perhaps decide that the bringing to us of the news might be better done by people paid to do so privately? You know, journalists?
We can all make our own little lists of things which currently are done by government which in a sensible world would not be done by anyone. Or at least should be done by those contributing voluntarily, not by the use of force.
The real task of whoever gets the poisoned chalice at the next election is exactly that: to work out which things the government shouldn\’t be doing and then stop doing them.
Sadly, no one likely to gain power seems to have any intention at all of doing that.