Wednesday, 16 December 2009

New poll - government activity

I skimmed an A-Z list of government departments and quangoes, pretty much everything here is provided by government monopoly. This isn't a complete list, either, it's only about a third or quarter of government activity. There isn't a lot there that I think needs to be provided by government at all, but I wondered how my reader felt about which services should be provided by the state and only the state.


Anonymous said...

Where's the list?

Billy Blofeld said...

Defence - and I mean defence. Not Iraq style invasions or policing of the world. Just defence.

If the Argies invade the Falklands again or Spain has a pop at Gibraltar - then I'd be quite happy to see the state defend itself.

P.S. If we limited ourselves to defence only, the state would have more money to spend on the expensive toys which when not being used are deployed to make Top Gear more interesting.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

The poll is on the right of the screen and the source list is here.

Angry Exile said...

Is there a clue in the question? Which services should only the government provide? Through gritted teeth (I have more than six days worth of grit for this) I'd say there's a few on the list that might be best provided by the government, but 'only provided by the government'? None of them.

Now if the question was what are the only services government should provide I'd tick a few boxes, though I wouldn't say government should be completely free from any private competition for those services. Policing? Well, maybe the investigative bit should generally be on the state but policing is supposed to be about the prevention of crime and you can hire security guards for that, and even some investigation can be done by private detective agencies. And justice? Crime might have to stay with the state but for civil cases two parties could agree to be bound by arbitration that's completely independent of the state and the state need never even know about the dispute.. Borders wouldn't matter if thrown open and the benefits that draw every scrounger for ten thousand miles scrapped. Coastguard? HMCG is barely funded in the UK as it is (I've heard of Coastguards having a whip round to fuel the rescue vehicle because the fuel budget didn't cover it) but there's no reason private local volunteer coastguard services couldn't spring up as well or instead of. Not even defence should be for government and government alone. If invaded should the whole population stand meekly by and let the army get on with it, or can they take whatever they've got for weapons - which is next to bugger all in Britain of course - and lend a hand by defending their garden or allotment shed or whatever they care about from the invaders?

Ironically WV is 'fight'.

Weekend Yachtsman said...


Law and Order/The Justice System.

Foreign Policy.

End of list.

Anonymous said...

You forgot to include "none of the above".

Dominic Allkins said...

I'm with the weekend yachtsman on this:


Law and Order/The Justice System.

Foreign Policy

They should get the fuck out of everything else.

Kingbingo said...

Elections and oversight of elections should be in government’s hands. Parliament itself and the record of laws. That’s it.

Everything else can have an elected head and a budget voted for.

Examples of National elections:

The public elect a Field Marshall who will campaign on his merits and simultaneously a budget. If elected. The amount of budget will be passed to the contractors charged to collect taxes and deducted from our payroll. The field Marshall will use his budget to procure defence contracts from private military companies as our needs arise. The field Marshall will have the power to set terms of engagement for these companies.

If the public want to vote for overseas wars feel free. If you need to contract a French firm to do mine clearing, why no,t if they are cheaper. If the public want a large standing army of British born personnel, the Marshall can make it a part of his Manifesto. If pubic want to pay for a missile shield they can.

The public elect a Spy Chief and a budget.

Examples of regional elections:

The public elect a high Sheriff for a region and a budget. The Sheriff will use his budget to contract in jails and contract in policing, setting the rules under which they operate.

If the public want convicts to live in private cells with a window and plasma screen TV’s they can vote for a man and a budget to do that. If they want more police on the streets they can vote for a man and a budget who will do that.
The public elect a Judges for a region and a budget.
If the public want judges who spend all day hearing cases of people who overfilled their bin, they can have that. If the public want to elect judges who spend all their time going after career criminals they can have that instead.

The public elect a welfare Chief for a region and a welfare budget.

If the public want every teen slut and lay about to get their own flat on taxpayers money, they can have it. If the public want them in a workhouse, they can have that.

The public elect a transport Chief for a region and a transport budget.
If the public want great roads they vote for a guy who will give them that, if the public want speed cameras, they vote for a guy who will give them that.

Under my system you get what you want. Importantly, only Military and Military Intelligence are nationally voted on. Everything else is done at regional level. So if the South East want a low tax libertarian economy they can have it. If the Scots want a high tax totalitarian system with sky high welfare payments they can have it. Everybody gets what they want and then they pay for it.

Importantly every major function of what we currently think off as government would be voted on separately by the people. The people would also have the option for none of the above, if they were asked to vote on a function that they did not believe needs to exist.

Can you possibly imagine the state or the functions of the state as we have them today would even remotely resemble what we would have under this system?

Kingbingo said...

@Weekend Yachtsman

Your list is too long.

Ray said...

I agree with anon above, there is no 'none of them' option sadly :(

Anonymous said...


Joe Public said...

I do like the "Want to change your mind?" reset button.

Perhaps one should be added opposite every Labour Candidate's name on the forthcoming election Voting Paper.