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Our ship of state in a lamentable condition

On October 7, 2020, in Media, by PeterSilverman
Daniel Hannan

Here are a few snippets from Daniel Hannan‘s brilliant article in the Telegraph – A blueprint to free Britain from the grip of the quangocracy followed by examples of bureaucratic incompetence I have come across.

The trouble is that all bureaucracies, left to themselves, prefer easy tasks to hard ones.

..… an administrative machine beyond the reach of our elected representative.

Before the coronavirus arrived, the desire to overhaul the government machine struck most people as slightly wonkish. Now we can see that it is an urgent national priority.

The solution is to ensure that people on the government payroll work for the rest of us rather than for themselves.

The coronavirus squall showed that our ship of state was in a lamentable condition, leaky and dilapidated.

These points are aptly illustrated by the manner in which the bureaucrats at DEFRA, the DfT, Highways England, the ORR and the Environment Agency deal with “litter”.

They see the issue not as a real world problem to be dealt with in a practical manner but in terms of work avoidance and covering their past mistakes. Their tactic is to kick the can further down the road with vacuous strategy documents, re-cycled excuses and misinformation. For example:

They have doggedly perpetuated the system on many of our rural roads whereby one body cuts the verge and another picks the litter. Details

Instead of getting Highways England and councils to comply with their statutory duty to keep land and highways clear of litter they choose dumb it down to take the pressure off HE . Details

Highways England never apply financial penalties to contractors who fail to clean the motorways. Details

The Environment Agency has virtually given up prosecuting large scale fly-tippers (which is their specific responsibility). To cover their tracks their figures have been excluded from DEFRA’s Fly-tipping statistics for England. And can you believe it? – the government’s web site tells people who want to report large scale fly tipping not to ring the Environment Agency hotline but to contact CrimeStoppers!

Highways England refuse to prosecute waste transport companies who spill refuse onto the motorways – wrongly claiming that they do not have the necessary powers. Details

The DfT excluded offences committed on the motorways from the Littering from Vehicles Regulations – without informing Parliament. Details


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