How to reduce red tape

A new Groceries Code Adjudicator Bill. An adjudicator will be given legal powers to ensure that supermarkets give their suppliers a fair deal. Supermarkets bullying or treating farmers and other suppliers badly will be “named and shamed” and may be fined.

Is St. Vince an idiot or a fool?

20 thoughts on “How to reduce red tape”

  1. Neither.

    He is a professional liar (ie a politician) and a committed statist illiberal. He is bound to some degree to follow the Coalition agreement – which does nominally appease, in minimal ways, some of the EU-skepticism of the Tory back-bench – but is after the modern “Liberal Democrat” ideal of state mandate for all human interaction.

    You might even accuse him of deliberate irony – especially sneaking in something that increases red tape and undermines freedom in an unpopular market (probably our current penultimate, after banking) and is going to have massive superficial appeal to the shire vote (hence the Tories will have difficulty objecting.)

  2. Politicians wouldn’t recognise red tape even if it were tied round their neck as a noose.

    Most of our modern MPs went straight from “education” to Parliament without taking any part in normal life and thus have absolutely no idea of how a business is run.

  3. “ idiot or a fool?”
    Are the two mutually exclusive?

    Incidentally, talking of idiots & fools, has Murphy stopped blogging or has our host lost the will to confront his inanities? One can sympathise.

  4. Murphy is still there. Attacking the ICAEW for maliciously refusing to agree with him and the Church Times for not giving him and his mates an open platform (his hypocrisy still knows no bounds) for debate on the evils of tax avoidance etc, etc.

  5. Arthur, which politicians are they please? The ones I’ve looked up on wikipedia were a solicitor, a council worker, a teacher(later a lecturer) and a nurse. That was just me randomly clicking on 4 MP names.

  6. Frances Coppola

    Murphy is most definitely still there. He’s all over the BBC, he’s writing ten blogs a day and he’s crowing about his belief that the European Union is taking on board his ideas.

    The Great Man has even deigned to admit that I have “something to contribute to debate”, which is apparently why he has allowed my last few comments through on his blog. However, he couldn’t resist having a dig at me (well, several, actually):

    “As for Frances – I think she does have something to offer to debate. I blocked her at one time because I could not move at one time without her commenting. I felt suffocated by comment – and needed the rest of my life back. When I asked her to make the engagement reasonable she became abusive, joining with others in doing so on Twitter. The ad hominems all flowed that way. You will note she does comment here again now – and I have no problem with her doing so. The balance, I hope, has been restored. She may still be abusive on Twitter – I don’t know. I do not follow her. I make it a simple rule there to block those who seek to waste my time. If she isn’t any more I’m pleased, but I think you need to be careful about the evidence you accept from those who say I’ve blocked them or any such thing. There may be reason for my actions.”

    Those who were party to the exchanges on Twitter and on RM’s blog – and on my blog too – will know that this is, shall we say, somewhat selective with the facts. I suppose I should be grateful that I’ve been unblocked, though…..

  7. Martin Davies,

    Try the leaders of the main parties.

    Intern Christopher Hitchins.
    Trainee in the G24 co-ordination unit, Brussels.
    Journalist at the FT.
    European Union policy adviser and speech writer.

    Intern for Tony Benn
    “Brief career in television journalism.”
    Speechwriter and researcher for Harriet Harman.
    Special adviser to Gordon Brown.

    Researcher for Tim Rathbone, MP.
    Conservative Research Department.
    Special Advisor to Norman Lamont.
    Special Advisor to Michael Howard.
    Director of Corporate Affairs at Carlton Communications.

    It’s all what Zoe Williams considers the job’s people want. Working for politicians or reporting on politicians.

  8. @Martin Davies: ‘Arthur, which politicians are they please? The ones I’ve looked up on wikipedia were a solicitor, a council worker, a teacher(later a lecturer) and a nurse. That was just me randomly clicking on 4 MP names.’

    Not one of those people is likely, from those descriptions, to have the slightest idea of how to start a business, employ people, win contracts and make a profit. (Possibly the lawyer might, I guess.)

  9. Interested (10) and mr potarto – Churchill worked in the public sector (army) and as a journalist. Mrs T was a barrister and (in her days) prohibited from pitching for a contract . Were they so bad?

  10. Luke, the problem is not that some of the current crop of politicians has worked in the service or public sectors. It’s that practically none of them has worked in anything else.

  11. David, I’ll go for a bit more of a wind up. Ministers’ job is (a) public sector and (b) government. Is working in the public sector such bad preparation? And is being on the fringes of govt (ie being a spad/political researcher like Cam/Clegg/Mill) such bad preparation? Would you want your doctor to have extensive non-medical experience?

    I do actually share your instinctive concern about the “professionalisation” of politics. But is it (a) inevitable (b) necessarily bad?

  12. You doctor practices medicine so you would want him to have extensive medical experience, yes.

    But politicians attempt to control people’s lives, so you would want them to have experience of living and trying to survive in the real world. Not being completely cut off from it.

    So working in the public sector isn’t bad preparation – it’s no preparation at all.

    They need to have worked in an environment where the money has to come from voluntary trade, not through the threat of force.

  13. But politicians attempt to control people’s lives, so you would want them to have experience of living and trying to survive in the real world. Not being completely cut off from it.

    I’d have no objection to a Health Minister with NHS experience (unless it is Nadine, of course, but she’s just Dagenham) or a MoD Minister with military experience. Or a Treasury Minister with finance experience. The problem is when you have the perpetually privileged classes exercising general authority over those aspects of real peoples’ lives that they do not experience.

    A nurse (lost-nurse, calling here) is unlikely to have experience of commercial reality. Vince Cable, to take a currently egregious example, has never worked for a commercial organisation smaller than Shell. Reality and business red tape certainly affect companies of that size, but rarely at the individual employee level.

    MPs live, now, in a London / South East bubble. It is actually more acute up here, where MSPs treat every bit of Scotland as if it has the problems of Glasgow. Most of us have our own, thanks.

  14. Sorry, the original point having been intended to be that there is nothing in my experience, and having working in the MoD and finance and with the NHS, more likely to make you cynical about the organisation than simply working there.

  15. Andrew , they are going into a job that involves extracting money by force. Why is having experience of that so bad? Do you want charity fund raisers?

    (it would be fun to work out all those whose public sector experience disqualifies them from office – commie pinkos like Eisenhower, Wellington. And of course Churchill and macmillan’s military service should count against them, whereas journalism and publishing count in their favour – but as I’m having a wind-up I can’t complain if you post nonsense in reply)

  16. Andrew, I forgot to mention mr t Blair’s impeccable private sector credentials – self-employed to boot.

  17. They don’t have experience of that, that’s a small part of the point.

    They only have the experience of benefiting from that money, they don’t really know where it cam from or how it was generated – and that’s the problem.

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