The Civil Service

For some reason, earlier today, my interest turned to the SIZE of Government in terms of how many people it employed. I found a site which was pretty good. It did not include the NHS or similar:

https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/explainers/civil-service-staff-numbers

The staff numbers are either directly employed by Gov Depts or by directly controlled agencies. EG, Prison staff are included because they are directly control by the Ministry for Justice.

I found it interesting to note that the number of Civil Servants has fallen quite considerably in the last several years from around 500,000 to 400,000. Those figures are very wide estimates to make things simple. It seems that, when Thatcher became PM, the Civil Service numbered around 700,000, and she reduced that number to around 600,000. Again, very wide numbers to make it easy to compare.

The above figures seem strange to me. The Gov makes more and more work but the number of employees seems to have dropped quite significantly over the years.

But that is not really the point. Variations in the numbers can be accounted for in all sorts of ways, such as devolution of various activities to Local Authorities, and devolution to the EU ‘competences’. What is important is that our Gov employs around 500,000 people purely to administer Central Government.

WHAT DO THOSE PEOPLE DO??

There is a chart in my link which shows that about 300,000 civil servants work for Works and Pensions, Justice, Revenue, Defence, Home Office. The rest, about 100,000, or possibly less, work for ‘lesser’ depts, such as Brexit.

But, no matter how you look at it numerically, you have to ask what all those employees ARE DOING.

But there is also another angle. What are they NOT doing! EG, how did so many MPs get away with exaggerating their expenses so easily for so long?

We seem to be approaching a ‘melt-down’ in the major political parties, mostly over Brexit. Who do you vote for, assuming that you are a Tory, or Labour or Liberal supporter when the distinctions between parties are ephemeral?

I think that the differences between political parties in the UK are based upon very simple ideas. Labour represents employees and Tory represents employers. Libdems are confused. Greens are ‘single issue’ and UKIP wants to get rid of corruption.

I have been voting UKIP for a few years now. I wish that they would voice their central idea – anti-corruption.

Corruption exists everywhere where jobsworths deny you fairness. Usually, it takes the form of ‘the computer says’, which means that an outcome is preordained and cannot be changed, no matter how simple that change might be.

I have just experienced it. I booked a holiday which departed near midnight and arrived in the early hours of the next day. But the room booking at the hotel included the period when I was in the aircraft flying to the resort and did not have use of the room. The time lapse was not trivial – it was something like 17 hours of lost occupancy and a lost main meal. But the real problem was at the other end of the week – having to check out of the hotel room some 15 hours before the flight home. I admit that I miscalculated, but the holiday provider should also have understood the implications.

Try as I might, I have not been able to have the holiday adjusted so that the first night is not the night which I will spend in the departure airport and the aircraft. I asked to have the first night on the next day, and was quite prepared to hang about for a few hours before my room became available.

But ‘the computer says’ ruled. I got nowhere. The ‘Package’ cannot be overridden.

Politicians are becoming more and more like ‘Artificial Intelligences’. They are gradually losing humanity.

 

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