They're busy with lightbulbs

December 18, 2007 9:57 AM

The bureaucratic procedure attached to the simple act of clearing up a broken lightbulb is more important than it might seem.  It is important because it demonstrates just how unwieldy the procedures are becoming in too much of the public sector for even the most basic of task.  All this, as the Times is quite right to note, means far less time to do the vitally important real work they are supposed to be doing:

"So how many government ministers does it take to unmask the identity of a lavish donor, or to rescue Northern Rock, or sign an EU treaty at the same time as other EU leaders, or to ensure discs containing confidential details of millions of Britons don't get lost? Answer: Are you crazy? Do you imagine that MPs have time for all that when so many lightbulbs need changing?"

The bureaucratic procedure attached to the simple act of clearing up a broken lightbulb is more important than it might seem.  It is important because it demonstrates just how unwieldy the procedures are becoming in too much of the public sector for even the most basic of task.  All this, as the Times is quite right to note, means far less time to do the vitally important real work they are supposed to be doing:

"So how many government ministers does it take to unmask the identity of a lavish donor, or to rescue Northern Rock, or sign an EU treaty at the same time as other EU leaders, or to ensure discs containing confidential details of millions of Britons don't get lost? Answer: Are you crazy? Do you imagine that MPs have time for all that when so many lightbulbs need changing?"

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