Commenting on the previous posting, RAB says:
Being very non technical, I don’t know how to start a thread, but there is a good leader in the Telegraph today on the 800 million quids worth of government non jobs Bliar and co have created. If someone would like to start one, I’m sure Verity, for one, would have a field day!
It is not technology you lack, RAB; it is the right to do postings on Samizdata. But your point is a good one, I think, even though personally I loathe the word “Bliar”, because name-calling is the language of loser propagandists, I think.
But getting back to that 800 million quid’s worth of government jobbery (as this kind of thing used actually to be called), I think RAB is right to ask us to post about this, and presumably he is referring to this:
There you will see page after page of vacancies on the state payroll: outreach workers, diversity co-ordinators, policy advisers, liaison officers. Some of them come with six-figure salaries. Indeed, the average annual pay for the posts advertised in Guardian Society this year is £10,000 higher than the mean private sector wage.
I seem to recall Richard Littlejohn writing about this years ago, in a book. But that was then (i.e. 1995). This is now.
All governments start out reasonably honest (I speak comparatively), but get more corrupt as they persist, and as the army of camp followers finds its way around and finds out where all the treasure is to be found and how to dig it out and take possession of it. Well, I reckon a big clear out of this lot may now be due any general election now. If not at the next, then pretty soon. Much has been written, here and elsewhere, about David Cameron, but I believe the vital quality that Cameron has which his Tory predecessors and leadership rivals did not possess was that he is not one of that tainted generation of Tories who did well out of Thatcherism, or who thought that they were going to. Cameron got serious about being a Tory when that had stopped being the smart move, the clever thing to do, the good bet, or so he has managed or been lucky enough to suggest. The David Davis generation all had their fingers in the pie of government, whether they actually got their spoons out and ate or not, and the voters came to hate the entire lot of them. The voters came to believe that these Tories were costing too much, and that they were all too bloody smug by half, not admitting that they got as far as they had merely by climbing aboard the Thatcher bandwagon. Too many dodgy privatisations, and cushy city directorships – I seem to recall Lawson, fresh from wrecking the British economy, getting paid colossal sums by some bank – in exchange not for old fashioned work but for the inside track and the inside dope. In a word, the voters came to think that the Tories were corrupt – “sleaze” was the word, I seem to recall, and they wanted that whole generation punished, for as long as they continued to put themselves forward for high office. Hence the succession of Tory electoral humiliations. It was not that the voters disliked what the Tories said. They just did not want to hear it, thank you. Not from those evil twats. But now, it would appear, the voters are ready to listen to the Tories again.
Which means that they will at least be willing to think about Labour corruptions, and about the unearned income and undeserved careers that the Tony Blair bandwagon has made possible. Such as all these non jobs. The Labour Party has for the last decade lived the life of a protected species, in terms of the media coverage of what Labour people actually do all day, and what they get paid for it, and above all how damned numerous these people now are.
As I heard a Tory sympathiser say on the telly a few weeks back, it is not at all impossible that the Tories will win the next election. That mountainous Labour majority was created in one fell swoop, and it would not need nearly such a big further fell swoop to wipe it out and put the Tories back in. The British electorate is more unified than it used to be. It is less loyal to Party, and more concerned about its own finances. It now stampedes this way and that in one big herd. If it now decides that its finances are now being eaten away at by a generation of Labour parasites, it will vote these people into the long grass until they are all deep into their declining years. This kind of thing doesn’t help either.
I stopped being confident about my ability to predict election results since the day I accurately predicted, on the afternoon of the voting itself, the John Major victory against Neil Kinnock. Ever since then I have been electorally confused, so do not take my word for all this. I merely speculate.
I also agree with what has been said here that “Cameronism”, if it materialises at all soon, may not make much difference. There will be very similar policies. It will merely be that the snouts in the trough will be different, and somewhat different minorities will be victimised, and more so as time goes by.