Government’s not very good, is it?

Matt Hancock failed to tell Boris Johnson about a major Public Health England (PHE) study showing the effectiveness of vaccines against the Indian or delta variant during a key meeting to decide whether to extend Covid restrictions, The Telegraph can disclose.

The Telegraph understands that the Health Secretary had known about the PHE data three days before the “quad” of four senior ministers, led by the Prime Minister, met last Sunday to decide whether to postpone the planned June 21 reopening until July 19.

However, multiple sources familiar with the meeting said it was not raised by Mr Hancock or discussed at all during the course of the talks.

As I’ve pointed out before, Hayek had much to say on this point. The impossibility of the centre gaining the necessary information to be able to plan matters in any detail.

The point being this isn’t one specific time, one mishap or action. It’s a fundamental problem with any centre trying to gain access to enough information…..buggers that Curajus State right up.

18 thoughts on “Government’s not very good, is it?”

  1. Sounds to me as though they wanted the restrictions to be extended and he didn’t want to throw a spanner in the works by pointing out that it wasn’t needed.

  2. From previous behaviour, I think Hancock did this deliberately to, in his mind, ‘Protect The NHS’. Personally, I think Hancock should be sacked, subject to recall in his constituency and be up before the beak for assorted crimes in public office. The man has turned into the worst kind of petty tyrant throughout this whole episode, and Boris seems to be far too distracted and removed from events to see it and do something about it. Cummings had it right.

  3. Robert Buckland now saying that the PM had the most up to date information provided to him “in the normal way”. The phrase “in the normal way” being repeated several times. I smell lawyerese. Does “in the normal way” mean “buried in so much other crap that we can be sure the PM won’t bother to reeadi it”?

  4. Firstly, recognise that everything these people ever say is a lie or distortion of the facts. Then, that they have, somewhere or somehow, personally or not, something to gain by whatever they propose.

  5. After watching Jon Snow “interview” Handcock some months ago I came away with the distinct impression that he’d been prematurely allowed to wear long trousers and lacked any natural confidence expected in a Minister. I’d expect petulance and sneakiness …

    Oh well, things will change once Bercow steps into Starmer’s shoes?

  6. Given that the government chose its advisors entirely from the “lockdown today, lockdown tomorrow, lockdown forever” camp it is reasonable to assume that they do actually want to lockdown, regardless of what they may say to the public.

  7. I’d say there’s a much more fundamental problem. It’s starts with a presumption I’m a firm believer in. Everybody but everybody acts in what they perceive as their own personal interests. And the better you are recognising what are your personal interests the more likely you are to get to the top in whatever field you’re operating in.
    So what information is available is tainted by the personal interests of the people collecting it. And further tainted by those in the chain as it’s passed up to the decision makers. Who decide based on their own interests. The chances of those subject to the decisions benefiting is more a matter of luck than anything else. That would depend on all those interests stacking up in the same direction. And some decisions are obviously impossible. They’d never be in the interests of those making them

  8. Bloke in North Dorset

    “ Does “in the normal way” mean “buried in so much other crap that we can be sure the PM won’t bother to reeadi it”?”

    It does with Boris as he is notoriously lazy when it comes to detail. They wouldn’t have got away with it with Maggie (pbuh).

  9. The Meissen Bison

    Could the Chinese be responsible for someone as mediocre as Matt Hancock becoming health secretary? A flagrant case of Gain of Function if ever there was one.

  10. @decnine – June 20, 2021 at 7:58 am

    Does “in the normal way” mean “buried in so much other crap that we can be sure the PM won’t bother to reeadi it”?

    Well, it certainly did in the days of the late “Sir Humphrey”… I doubt that things have changed much.

  11. When seeking permission, take the first ‘yes’ and stop asking, because one ‘no’ negates all the yeses.

    Although why the PM needs to ask anyone except Carrie for permission is beyond me.

  12. I suspect the delta variant is repurposed hayfever, the wuflu being a seasonal virus transmitted in the usual winter season for respiratory viruses and that the decline in cases ties to better weather not vaccination.

  13. I did something rather childish yesterday.

    I found an unwanted face nappy, and – following the advice of JHB – posted it to the buffoon at No 10 along with some suggestions as to what he might do with it.

    Yes, I know, but it did feel good as I dropped it in the post box.

  14. “the government chose its advisors”: I suspect that our Rolls Royce civil service chose the advisors. After all if the govt had chosen them the Guardian and Beeb would have been telling us that they were all Boris’s cronies and that the whole thing was deeply corrupt.

  15. bloke in spain,

    “I’d say there’s a much more fundamental problem. It’s starts with a presumption I’m a firm believer in. Everybody but everybody acts in what they perceive as their own personal interests. And the better you are recognising what are your personal interests the more likely you are to get to the top in whatever field you’re operating in.
    So what information is available is tainted by the personal interests of the people collecting it. And further tainted by those in the chain as it’s passed up to the decision makers. Who decide based on their own interests. The chances of those subject to the decisions benefiting is more a matter of luck than anything else. That would depend on all those interests stacking up in the same direction. And some decisions are obviously impossible. They’d never be in the interests of those making them”

    Stacking up in the same direction almost never happens. Not in private organisations and especially not in public ones. The mindset of “good government” is only in our culture because of World War 2. When nazi thugs are planning to invade, people have very much the same direction.

    I think organisations are like a game of Chinese Whispers, but with incentives. Everyone down the stack from the CEO to the cleaner throws in a bit of self-interest. Sometimes, they even compound. Manager gets people to do a dumb thing because he’s lazy, person working for him spots a way to follow the rules so that he travels first class. It’s why giants eventually die, I think. Management in giant companies just don’t know what the people at the bottom are doing.

    And government is even worse. Because no-one cares much. The public and media are fixated on £10K duck houses, or who a minister is shagging rather than £10bn of their money getting blown on some dumb government project. So the primary incentives are about moral codes rather than delivery.

  16. “person working for him spots a way to follow the rules so that he travels first class.” I’ll tell you how I did it when I was a young shaver.

    My boss qualified for First Class: I didn’t unless I was travelling with someone who did. So I dragged the poor bugger all over the country with “You really must come to this meeting, Jeff, if we are to have the clout to get our way.” Worked a charm.

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