I've lost count of the number of times a retired military bigwig has let loose with both barrels after they are retired, but don't have the same courage of their convictions while they're in the job.
And today, via the Speccie, I see the Labour greengrocer is making some interesting comments:
Ministers and civil servants are, he believes, too locked into their departments. 'Government isn’t joined up because it’s no one’s job to join it up,' he says. 'If you want to have a policy on low-carbon cars, that involves four departments and you end up with 100 people in a room. In business you would appoint a production director to run a project.'
In his view senior civil servants should be blamed for departmental failures. 'It’s an absurdity that a minister who’s been in the department for three months is held responsible if the department loses all the high-security files. He’s probably never run any big organisation,' he says. 'I would give more power to the head of the Civil Service he then becomes accountable in a much clearer way to Parliament for running things properly.'
It is, he thinks, 'very unproductive' to keep changing departmental names and responsibilities. The Prime Minister 'puts things together in a new department on the basis that that will solve the co-ordination problem, the trouble is you open up new ones'.
There are, he adds, 'far too many reshuffles. The average length of time ministers stay in post is about 18 months. In my experience it takes about a year before you really understand all the issues, whose advice to listen to. One of the real bonuses for me was that I did my job for eight years. But I went through five secretaries of state'.
There's not a lot there that I disagree with. But why the fuck are you only saying this NOW, you flatulent cuntwaft?