Sunday, July 12, 2009
Is Malloch Brown Right About 'Chaos' in No 10?
Lord Malloch-Brown, who quits his ministerial post this month, told colleagues he had seen better “strategic thinking” in Latin America and southeast Asia than at No 10.
He went on to describe conditions as 'chaos'.
One colleague explained it as:
“Mark had never worked in Whitehall before, and it is fair to say he was shocked at how everything was cobbled together at the last minute and no one took the time to plan ahead. It was not uniquely a problem with Brown, but a feature of the British political culture.”
Accurate assessment of spiteful swipe at a job of which he had tired? More than a dash of both, I'm sure but I tend to think Malloch Brown was judging No 10 just a little too harshly. Most work in Whitehall is done by the departments and, allowing for mistakes and poor judgement, forward planning is a strong characteristic in health, education and defence. Moving on to Numder 10, surely this the place to which all the really urgent and intractable matters get referred. It would seem quite understandable that such matters are fraught and generate 'last minute' panics.
It would be interesting if the departing minister could provide more chapter ad verse and no doubt long term planning could be hugely improved throughout Whitehall. But whatever is put in place in the very nerve centre of government it must frequently be absorbed by the culture of acute time constraints and anxiety about negative outcomes.
Brown looks to be a mess just listening to him and you think my god does he know what the hell he is doing.
I'm sorry he looks sounds and acts like somebody who makes a decision within seconds and everyone else runs around making it happen, then he drops it.
I've not seen Labour in this mess for a very long time, in fact lets be honest I've never seen this mess before.
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