I was struck by a piece in HM Telegraph this morning about the turnover of senior civil servants:
There must be something rotten in the Coalition, when so many of our top civil servants are on a veritable stampede for the exit. Right across government the mandarins are shaking the dust of Whitehall from their feet and moving on to bigger, better jobs elsewhere. They include senior officials at Education, the Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Justice, International Development, Energy, and the Home Office. Surely they can’t all be leaving because they are brassed off with David Cameron’s Government?
“No,” said one insider. “Not all of them.” The emphasis was telling. Some undoubtedly feel that Mr Cameron’s Whitehall no longer offers them a rosy future. Cuts and more cuts stretch ahead; staff are demoralised. Ministers with unrealistic political timetables display growing impatience.
“Being a perm sec isn’t fun any more,” was one comment.
Fun? Fun!?!? Fun??!?!?!? Did somebody say it wasn't "fun" to be a civil servant?
Listen buddy, we don't pay you to have "fun". If you really think that the vastly overpaid (in my book anyone earning more than the prime mininister or 7 times average earnings without actually taking any "business risk" is by definition overpaid) senior civil servants in this country have job descriptions that contain the word "fun", then you must be living in cloud cuckoo land, err... make that Disneyland.
It was the public sector that grew under the last government, that spent £700 billion a year while collecting only £530 billion in taxes. It was the public sector that has burdened the tax payer with ridiculously expensive PFI schemes in order to overcome departmental accounting and budgeting issues rather than considering the broader national interest. It was the public sector that managed to double health spending with very little extra output, just letting the extra money flow through to the highest paid clinicians in Europe. It was public sector departments that wasted money by spending their full budgets when economies could have been made, out of fear that economies would lead to lower future budgets, and loss of status or power.
And now they complain that they aren't having fun any more.