13 September 2011

Thinking Paper #93: How many inquiries does it take to make a government?

By Ron Ford Golightly

Abstract

Sir John Vickers' recommendations on Banking reform were published today. The report is really long and contains things like details. The one I liked the most was that nothing has to be implemented until 2019. I smell the scent of the long grass.



Inquiries - a background

Gordon Brown was famous for a lot of things: selling gold, throwing Nokias at Tony Blair and his love of rocking horses. He was also quite a big fan of announcing inquiries and commissions and such. David Cameron, Gordon's step son, has followed in his foot steps, having announced 23 (or thereabouts) inquiries since May 2010.

The Details

What does this actually mean? Well, it doesn’t really mean much. It’s just that when something serious comes up that the government doesn’t know what to do with, they tend to pick it up, throw it in the air, and then kick it really hard into the distance until everyone forgets what the issue was in the first place. This is known as an inquiry. By the time the ex-civil servant "Sir" who heads the inquiry reports back, the government have forgotten what they employed him to do in the first place and accept all the recommendations or none of them. It doesn’t really matter. When the recommendations don't have to be implemented for another 8 years, the process of ignoring them is made a little easier.

Recommendations for you the reader

When someone in a suit with a shiny face says that they have ordered an inquiry or a commission, immediately write to your MP to demand that they do something about it instead.

 

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