What do the public think of politicians as managers?

March 17, 2008 10:43 AM

Last summer the TaxPayers' Alliance polled (PPT) a number of questions surrounding political management.  We found that 63 per cent of the public agreed with the statement that "few, if any, senior politicians have the necessary experience, competence and knowledge to run public services"; just 12 per cent thought that most senior politicians had those qualities.  73 per cent thought that politicians shouldn't manage the day-to-day delivery of education and health services; just 17 thought they should.


As a result of all this people were quite enthusiastic about any possibility to get people from outside politics in to help run services.  69 per cent thought that bringing in outsiders was a good idea.  Now, a new poll (PDF) for the Sunday Times provides further evidence that the public think politicians are poorly prepared to run political departments.


47 per cent of people agree with the statement that Alistair Darling is not up to the job of Chancellor of the Exchequer against just 22 per cent who disagree.  If he is replaced 44 per cent of people aren't sure who they would like instead.  However, of those expressing a preference the top two candidates are Sir Alan Sugar and Sir Philip Green (the billionaire retailer) with 21 per cent and 11 per cent support respectively.


This is more evidence that the public are fed up with politicians failing to deliver value for money.  Politicians should listen to their electorate.  The solution isn't to make Sir Alan Sugar or Sir Philip Green Chancellor of the Exchequer but to hand control of public services back to Civil Society and professionals responsible directly to their customers.  Topshop, part of Sir Philip Green's empire, is a world-beater - our public services can be too if we set them free of political management.

Last summer the TaxPayers' Alliance polled (PPT) a number of questions surrounding political management.  We found that 63 per cent of the public agreed with the statement that "few, if any, senior politicians have the necessary experience, competence and knowledge to run public services"; just 12 per cent thought that most senior politicians had those qualities.  73 per cent thought that politicians shouldn't manage the day-to-day delivery of education and health services; just 17 thought they should.


As a result of all this people were quite enthusiastic about any possibility to get people from outside politics in to help run services.  69 per cent thought that bringing in outsiders was a good idea.  Now, a new poll (PDF) for the Sunday Times provides further evidence that the public think politicians are poorly prepared to run political departments.


47 per cent of people agree with the statement that Alistair Darling is not up to the job of Chancellor of the Exchequer against just 22 per cent who disagree.  If he is replaced 44 per cent of people aren't sure who they would like instead.  However, of those expressing a preference the top two candidates are Sir Alan Sugar and Sir Philip Green (the billionaire retailer) with 21 per cent and 11 per cent support respectively.


This is more evidence that the public are fed up with politicians failing to deliver value for money.  Politicians should listen to their electorate.  The solution isn't to make Sir Alan Sugar or Sir Philip Green Chancellor of the Exchequer but to hand control of public services back to Civil Society and professionals responsible directly to their customers.  Topshop, part of Sir Philip Green's empire, is a world-beater - our public services can be too if we set them free of political management.

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