Where to start? I’ve always considered what’s outlined below as one of the ways in which incompetents have been allowed into senior management positions. Their presence I feel, has significantly damaged the capability of both the Civil and Crown Services.
In the late 1980 early 1990’s government policy towards internal promotions across all departments changed. It used to be that an individual was recommended for promotion because they demonstrated skills that helped their section become more efficient and capable. Their dedication, expertise and forward thinking was rewarded with a promotion.
Today, promotions are offered to those who can sell themselves in front of a board. Apply for a promotion and if you’re a good enough salesperson you have a chance of being promoted. Whether you have been particularly useful to the section can be camouflaged, particularly if you are the sort of individual who understands the system. Making a pal out of their line manager is a priority for them to suggest that they were useful, (if only to them).
Hence the promotion ladder has over many years likely missed many individuals who I refer to as golden nuggets because not everyone is a salesperson. Some dedicated worthy staff would be embarrassed by the accolade of being referred to as a ‘golden nugget’ while their usefulness makes them precisely that. For too long expertise gained through time, that provides more than just a very basic of understanding has been ignored in government as has loyalty and an individual’s willingness to continue at what is commonly a low wage to manage and do a good job. Some of these individuals will be deserving of promotion but will not get it because the system won’t let them be included.
Many academics will argue that education will hold them back, but what they can still learn from education while in a post the academics will never be able to learn because they were not born with it. That is common sense. That which prevents an individual from being incompetent. Unfortunately, no matter how many degrees an individual may have attained, if they are without common sense they are not going to be of much use in any theatre of work barring one that requires studying information. Even then putting that information to the most efficient use will still require common sense.
Too many times have I over the past thirty years witnessed incompetents wasting public money without a care. The worst did so and wasted ten of thousands by repeating the same mistake again and again, even though I tried to dissuade them to do so with common sense. Had we been a commercial rather than government organisation this individual would have been sacked, demoted or moved. But the system protected them, they received a slapped wrist but continued in the same role receiving the same fat public pay cheque.
Incompetents need to be replaced. Those complicit in keeping them safe, in some arenas because of their influential family ties, are as bad. They too should be replaced.
Is running the country viewed as a ‘game’ by those who do it?
There were often times while David Cameron was Prime Minister that I felt he looked at managing the country as a game like Monopoly. The problem for those of us spectating was that he did not see us as people but pieces of the game to be sacrifice at any moment simply to add to his cash-flow.
What were the tell-tale signs? On the 19 October 2013 Cameron’s answer to the high-cost of energy and staying alive in the winter was to put on another jumper!
The Public Relations Specialist (PR)
Cameron is a PR man through and through and like many salesmen they’re fine for a limited time because their knowledge possesses a surface gloss that makes them appear qualified on any subject. However, in truth when it comes to substance, the bit in which leadership, innovation and sound understanding merge, he tended to trip over his own feet.
The High Cost of Deceit
It’s not as if Cameron has been the only Prime Minister to deceive the public in living memory, but he did make it a focal point of his premiership. How many times he provided convincing rhetoric that ultimately misrepresented his government’s actions are too many to list here or even spend the time researching, but here are just ten memorable ones:
- March 2010/CAMERON: In a leadership
broadcast Cameron stated, “Will not cut Pensioners Winter Fuel Allowance.”
Addition he added, “You know you are getting letters from Labour Party that
say the Conservatives would cut winter fuel allowance, would cut the free bus
travel… These statements by Labour are quite simply lies. I don’t use the word ‘lie’
very often, but I am using it today because they are lies,”
- TRUTH: In 2011 pensioners aged 60-79 had their winter fuel payments cut by £50 and pensioners aged 80 plus had their winter fuel allowance cut by £100.
- September 2010/CAMERON: “The Royal
College of General Practitioners and Nursing all support our health reforms.”
- TRUTH: All three opposed the reforms.
- March 2011/CAMERON: “We are not
reorganising the bureaucracy of the NHS we are abolishing bureaucracy.”
- TRUTH: The NHS has been burdened with increased bureaucracy by the introduction of numerous new bodies to replace terminated managers
- June 2011/CAMERON: “We will not
endanger universal coverage – we will make sure it remains a National Health
- TRUTH: The health service had already begun to be broken up into local GP commissioning groups.
- June 2011/CAMERON: “Reforms are
needed as there were 5,000-10,000 needless cancer deaths a year compared to
other EU countries.”
- TRUTH: Through the NHS the biggest drop in cancer deaths among 10 leading countries was achieved.
- January 2012/ CAMERON: “There are
more people in work now than at the last election”
- TRUTH: The Independent Office for National Statistics (IONS) recorded that the workforce had reduced by 26,000 since May 2010
- January 2012/ CAMERON: “The real
shame …that there are so many millions of children who live in households where
nobody works and indeed that number doubled under the previous government”.
- TRUTH: The IONS recorded that the number of children living in workless households fell by 372,000 between April-June 1997 and April-June 2010
- July 2015/ CAMERON: “We will always
protect the green belt and make sure planning decisions are made by local
- TRUTH: The Council for the Protection of Rural England has since then reported that more than 55,000 new homes have been built in green belt land.
- February 2016 /CAMERON: In the House of
Commons Cameron stated, “it is relevant to the issue of the standards set in
Europe and our being a rule maker not a rule taker, which is very important for
our auto industry.”
- TRUTH: Standards are not set by the EU, they are in fact set by UN bodies and where the automotive industry is concerned standards are set by WP.29, part of United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).
CAMERON: Cameron repeatedly denied –
by judicious use of words – his father’s investment vehicle in Panama set up by
Mossack Fonseca using secretive (bearer) shares
- TRUTH: Eventually Cameron admitted the truth. The investment firm which handled millions of secretive funds as a client of Mossack (father a Nazi) Fonseca.
Oddly on the one occasion that Cameron did not lie occurred when he declared his intention to offer the public a referendum on remaining in the European Union (EU). However, maybe he couldn’t help himself, but he had to put a lie in somewhere and it arrived in the form of him saying that whatever the outcome of the EU Referendum he would see it through. In 2016, the day after the EU referendum and the vote to leave Cameron resigned. Oh well, I suppose he gave it almost 24 hours of biting his tongue!
In employment arenas in which no staff representation either by a union or federation is present absolute reliance on the fairness and willingness to review complaints against line managers neutrally by senior management.
In my experience senior management not only ignore genuine complaints by subordinate staff. They are willing to blacken the characters of subordinate complainants to suppress discovery of the truth. In addition, where an employee has no access to any form of staff representation senior management can behave in a malicious manner towards them. In my case the malice took the form of my being denied medical retirement even though colleagues witnessed my mental and physical breakdown while the doctors treating me repeatedly certificated that I was unfit-to-work. None of this was considered by the doctors 400 miles away who never examined me, did not talk to me and did not know me. With just two years before retirement my breakdown meant that I lost two years pension while remaining unfit-to-work, something that has plagued me for the past ten years. My financial losses are staggering to me.
In addition, the question that no one in authority including the Prime Ministers David Cameron and Theresa May have answered is this: “Whose medical opinion should I follow? The doctors 400 miles away who say I am fit to work or the doctors still treating me who state that I am unfit-to-work?”
Should I go to work and have an accident I would be acting against my doctor’s medical advice and therefore not be eligible for any compensation or injury benefit. My fear is that my legs would fail me which they do regularly because of my spinal injury. However, by not working I do not receive sufficient income and rely each month on support from my family. Is this the kind of society that I spent 41 years in full-time employment helping to create? Not as far as I’m concerned it isn’t!
I need an answer, but over ten years have never received one even though my MP has also asked the question on my behalf and received a fobbed response that still leaves the question to be answered.
How a malicious senior government management can be allowed to hurt a subordinate employee with a good long record covering four decades cannot be in the public interest or national interest.
Here are just a few of the consequences for subordinate staff of an abusive line management when senior management adopts a blinkered attitude towards wrongdoing by their front-line team of managers?
- Subordinate staff will quickly realise they are isolated and without support. They must allow line management to behave in whatever fashion they wish if they are to avoid a futile confrontation;
- Line managers can steal from the public without fear of redress, (in my experience I prevented the theft of IT equipment but was unsupported by senior management);
- Line managers can abuse their positions by taking advantage of young staff for their own purposes;
- Line managers can act incompetently and waste tens of thousands of pounds of public money without demotion or removal and be allowed to continue in post unscathed.