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Weekly Waste Round-Up 69

In the news this week:EU water directives blow £65bn- "Water bills have already been soaring in recent years. But by far the greater part of that money has been spent, not on repairing pipes and drains, to avoid floods and provide us with extra water, but on complying with three... Read more...

PFI Debt- Slightly Uncooking The Books

The Financial Times reports today (here and here) that up to £30bn of PFI debt may shortly be reclassified back to where it belongs- on the government's balance sheet. As BOM readers will know, up until now Mr Brown's Enron style fiscal accounting has massaged most of it away (see... Read more...

Thousands of patients dying thanks to poor management in the NHS

The Times reported yesterday that the National Patient Safety Agency has found that thousands are dying every year thanks to poor communication between hospital staff, faulty equipment and a lack of skills.Politicians managing from Whitehall without proper management experience and subject knowledge cannot understand what is really going on in... Read more...

Public service reform to stall - what public service reform?

An interesting article by Nicholas Timmins in the Financial Times today looks at whether public service reform will stall under Gordon Brown:"The odd straw in the wind has been spotted, captured and analysed to death for any sign of a repudiation of the previous administration's approach.Does Alan Johnson's declaration that... Read more...

ID Cards: Already Burning Money

The memory- and the cost- linger on... You may have thought that the £19bn ID cards project (see BOM's cost primer here) was safely asleep in the long stinging nettles, but it isn't. It's alive and well and already costing us plenty.Computing reports:"The government has spent £53m on consultants for... Read more...

Teaching To The Test

Teaching to the test: getting better all the time Before you read this blog, you need to click here and watch the video.ResultsPlus. Glossy? Certainly. Slick? Yup. Blood boiling? Arrrrgggghhhh.We're all surely aware by now that the government's regime of school management via tests and tables has some serious shortcomings.In... Read more...

Splish Splash Splosh!

Does anyone have a clue where we're heading? Halfway across a severely swollen river is not a good time to let the tiller go. But that of course is precisely what Cap'n Alan Johnson is doing on the good ship NHS. Whereas Commissar Hewitt had it hard about, Cap'n Al... Read more...

Red Tape Industry

Production is booming Quite apart from taxes, government imposes a further huge burden on us in the form of regulation.One part of this- although only one part- is red tape. Successive governments routinely promise to slash it, but somehow the slashing never seems to inflict much more than a mild... Read more...

Non-job of the week

This week we turn our gaze away from Tower Shamlets and the other one party states of East London and cast our watchful eye on the South West for our non-job of the week.  Gloucestershire County Council has applied for a spin doctor for their waste department.  Yes, rubbish needs... Read more...

Encouraging words from Cameron on trade

For far too long the language and rhetoric of international tradeagreements has been depressingly mercantilist.  If one country agrees toreduce its protectionist measures it is talked of as a "concession" anda "sell-out", whilst politicians and diplomats who dogmatically clingonto their ridiculous trade policies are saluted and commended fordefending their country's... Read more...

Worthless government pledges to cut red tape

Last year, Gordon Brown committed the Government to reduce the total cost to businesses and charities of regulation from £20 billion a year to £16 billion a year by 2010. In response, Whitehall departments have drawn up plans to abolish unnecessary regulations and reform others.But a National Audit Office survey... Read more...

Whitehall paying over the odds for outsiders

An interesting piece by Sue Cameron in today's Financial Times reveals how outsiders recruited into the top ranks of the civil service are being paid up to £100,000 more than the advertised top rate for the job, and that £6 million a year is being spent on commercial headhunters whose... Read more...