Well, obviously

What’s a quango for, after all?

A quango has awarded millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money to companies with directors and owners who are closely linked to it, an investigation by The Times has found.

The purpose of a quango is to slice a bit off the body politic for the members of the quango. What else does anyone think they’re for?

The answer to which is, of course, to abolish quangos.

15 thoughts on “Well, obviously”

  1. Bloke in North Dorset

    Every election we get a promise that there will be a bonfire of the quangos but they continue to multiply and grow like topsy. Government is out of control.

    The real problem here is that we have a government agency funding private business research in the first place. If ever there was a call to snouts in the trough award this has to be a contender.

  2. From a public-choice perspective, why hasn’t the Bonfire of the Quangos happened? Is it because politicians like having a slush fund to employ their nephews? Because it’s nice to have an office full of sycophants who can provide friendly photo-ops? Because nobody likes firing people (hence the appeal of Donald “You’re Fired” Trump)?

  3. Last thing I heard on this was that the Conservatives had indeed got rid of a few Quangos. Part of the problem is knowing where to start as there are so many, part is finding a Civil Servant who really wants to reduce government interference.

  4. Taking a somewhat more friendly attitude towards quangos, the article is still, as so often in journalism, ridiculous. If a quango is to mean anything, to be effective, it must include people who know what they are talking about. Surprise, surprise, this includes those who are engaged professionally in the area the quango covers. Are the journos really suggesting that the best option for government contracts is to exclude any company linked to leading professionals engaged in the right areas?

  5. @Nautical Nick

    Short answer is no. On the other hand, they might declare an interest before shoving their nose as far into the trough as they can get it.

  6. Dear Mr Worstall

    The prime purpose of government is to monopolise power and extort as much treasure from the plebs as possible. Quangos, B2G, fake charities and other non-government organisations, along with various other hangers-on and their best mates, exist only to help government squander it.

    Come retirement, politicians and bureaucrats then get cushy, overpaid jobs to repay the largess government has sprayed their way.

    Repeat endlessly down the decades. The only difference is that as we get richer, so the percentage government can cream off without crippling the economy increases. However, there are some politicians who take pride in promising to do just that. For some reason they look forward to watching people starve to death or die of hypothermia.

    DP

  7. Part of the problem is knowing where to start …

    Alphabetical will be fine. Keep going until you reach Z. Either way, defund all of them and all of the so-called charities.

  8. Conservatives may have closed a few, but they’ve created a few too.

    Gov’t could make closing quangos a reality TV show

    Every week you vote for which quango to close
    Text 63350 or Phone 0777 63350 for DfID

    Calls/Texts cost 60p, 50p of which will fund their redundancy payments

  9. @ Longrider
    If you want alphabetical start at W for “workers”; get rid of those most blatantly funding the Labour Party and/or adding to unnecessary regulations (there are more than enough of those for the job to last out a Parliamentary term), given the limited number of Civil Servants able and willing to think of abolishing bureaucracies.

  10. @Mr Lud

    Fair point

    Is this better?

    Every week you vote for which quango to save or close

    Save DfID – Text 63350 or Phone 0777 63350
    Calls/Texts cost £1 — 95p of which will fund them

    Close DfID – Text 63351 or Phone 0777 63351
    Calls/Texts cost 5p

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