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Death To Industry

The British Conservative Party has today announced that it would (if elected to office) cut 4,000 of the 5,000 civil servants in Department of Trade and Industry and would not expand other government departments to take up these posts – i.e. this would be a real cut (although the cut would take several years to bring into effect).

Of course there is no point in having a Department of Trade and Industry at all (the nickname for the DTI… ‘Death To Industry’… about sums up the department), but this annoucement should still be welcomed.

The Conservatives might rat on the promise if elected – but at least the promise has been made.

24 comments to Death To Industry

  • GCooper

    It would be a good start – but that’s all.

    Following which, the absurdly named ‘Office of the Deputy Prime Minister’ could go, as could most of DEFRA, the Environment Agency, The Ministry of (ill)Health, whoever is responsible for the health & safety stranglehold that threatens to paralyse the nation, almost every quango in the land, all regional mayors (starting with the newt fancier)… the list is endless.

    And lest anyone object that we’d have to find alternative jobs for the buggers – keeping them on the dole would be cheaper. A great deal cheaper.

  • David Gillies

    Why would we have to keep them on the dole? The burst of growth that eliminating 75-80% of government would engender would have us at full employment within a year. When the UK ruled a third of the planet, it was spending 7.8% of GDP. Now there’s more people in the Works and Pensions section of the DSS than in the RAF.

    I often think wistfully of Sean Gabb’s prescription for the destruction of the Enemy Class. Getting rid of the DTI would be nice, but I’d put Education, the CRE and DEFRA higher up the list of priorities. Abolishing LEAs would be even better. I think there’s scope for perhaps two million job losses in the civil service and local government. Of course, it will never happen, more’s the pity.

  • Listen guys,

    About two thirds of all Big Government here in the UK could go AND we would never miss it. Under Blair it has blossomed and it needs to be cut to shreds. I agree that Howard’s way on this is a small start – and it is perhaps futile to expect politicians as a breed to take the axe to the bureaucracy with which they love to surround themselves.

  • Verity

    G Cooper is right. It’s a start. Along with the Ministry of (Ill) Health, the entire NHS could also go. This alone would get rid of around 1m parasites. And, yes, the risible Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. Anyone to do with health and safety. And education. And anyone with ‘liaison’ in their job title.

    I think there’s scope for around 3m to be made unemployed. But, David Gillies, these individuals are singularly unqualified to take part in the dynamic new economy that their vacating their posts will create. Far better to keep them on the dole and at home or in the pub than giving them jobs where their interfering, shortsighted natures would prove counterproductive.

    Also to go would be the hordes of Bangladeshi, Urdu and other crapass translators and interpreters, ‘diversity’ enforcers and racial sensitivity police currently sucking the lifeblood out of town council ratepayers. None of these people must be offered alternative employment.

    At the same time, as the water level rose, there would be plenty of jobs for the currently unemployed. So this would just leave the 3m ex bossy twerps who are dangerous to free enterprise on the dole. That seems quite reasonable to me.

  • Government departments are generaly named after whatever it is they are trying to put a stop to, so cutting the DTI down a few pegs would definitely help trade & industry.

    However David Gillies is right when he points to the Education, Race and Health apparatus as the real wellspring of the Enemy Class. Hence they are too strong and well-entrenched for anyone to tackle at the moment.

    And bear in mind that, even if the Tories are determined to keep their promise, they are light years from having the necessary power to execute it.

  • Nick Timms

    “The Conservatives might rat on the promise?!!!”

    Of course they will rat on the promise. Every politician, Labour, Conservative and idiot Liberal rats on their promises – its the only thing they are consistent in.

    They tell the lies to get elected and immediately dissemble once in power. In fact most of the politicians don’t even bother to pretend any more because they know so few people are really listening to what they say. An example is the Tory proclamations over speed cameras. They say they will have a review of every camera’s position. What does this mean? Are they against the tyranny of these revenue generators? Of course not. Its just another meaningless soundbite that actually means they will pretend to do something whilst actually doing nothing because they also want to take advantage of all the sneaky additions to the revenue generating (Theft) from the electorate practiced in ever increasing amounts, one step at a time, by all governments.

    They are all thieving bastards living off the toil of others.

    A little intemperate of me – had a few drinks this evening – apologies for the rant.

  • GCooper

    Nick Timms writes:

    “They are all thieving bastards living off the toil of others.

    A little intemperate of me – had a few drinks this evening – apologies for the rant.”

    That’s a bit scary, actually.

    I sound like that sober.

  • Richard

    This is possibly one of the bolder moves of the conservative opposition and perhaps could be welcomed. I’m a little concerned about the prospects for the OST. Science and R&D policy is important and considering the increasingly active role of the treasury in this area it could easily be moved there. Whether this would be desirable or not is another issue though. UK Trade & Investment also play an important role in shaping perceptions of UK and generating FDI attraction. Could these happen by market forces alone? Well, I quite doubt this but again UKTI could be moved wholly to the FCO.

    An interesting proposal. Would like to read more.

  • Joseph

    I’ve worked in local government, and so used to be one of the enemy. I am sure that many (or all) of you share the view that public sectors workers (especially admin) are lazy, incompetent, economically parasitic and socially worthless.

    You’re right.

    Add to this corruption in many forms and absolutely no incentive to improve inefficient working practices (taxes can always go up.

    Even doing the very same work, the department I worked in could be cut in half if the right improvements were made. But the real (and only) way of shrinking the state permanently is simple: give it less to do.

    Only Thatcher has understood this in the past few decades. Probably why people of a certain ilk spit on her name…

  • Of course, this begs he question: what is an ex-civil servant useful for? What they can do when released into the wild? Are they ever re-trainable?

  • “What they can do when released into the wild? Are they ever re-trainable? ” No, probably not. They will have to turn to their own kind for breeding purposes, though, and the resultant inbreeding should lead to their extinction within a relatively short period of time. Food will also be problematic as they are unused to doing their own hunting and gathering.

    Probably the best thing for them would be a painless cull.

  • Can only be a good thing. A friend of mine (a student) temped in a civil servanty office and the stories he told of downright incompetance and high pay where scary. (Even to him and he votes labour!)

    A painless cull does sound tempting but maybe retraining – using force if nessasary 🙂 is the only solution.

  • Guy Herbert

    The Daily Telegraph has a leader today “Abolish the DTI”. If they could only bring themselves to oppose the law-and-order mania, we might have a borderline libertarian national newspaper on our hands.

  • Jonathan L

    Uses for former civil servants:

    We could transform them all into law enforcement workers. Any time they see someone committing a crime they could descend in a gang and force them to fill in forms for the rest of the day. They could visit the homes of known criminals for lengthy statistics gathering exercises, giving them less time to rob and plunder the law abiding.

    Perhaps they could be employed to warn motorists of the existence of speed cameras.

    Estate agents to sell all the unnecessary office buildings in Whitehall.

    Subjects of a new Really Big Brother series where the only way to win is to be the last one alive.

    Hospital cleaners, get rid of two lots of parasites at once.

    Back to Work coordinators, facilitators and conciliators for other unemployed civil servants.

    Salemen for Guardian Newspapers Advertising Department, now that the huge weekly subsidy is no longer available.

    But most suitably of all, weapons inspectors in Iraq, to show once and for all who was right. As a bonus, with so many foreigners to chosse from, Businessman would have little to worry from kidnappers and the sight of beheading would no longer be able to shock anyone.

  • Verity

    Andrew Ian Dodge – I addressed that question above. It will be better for the health of the nation if they are never allowed in a place of employment again. They’re destructive and stupid, which makes them dangerous to free enterprise.

    And no, we don’t want them as hospital cleaners because there would need to be a vast layer of ‘managers’ to administer them. These people are self-perpetuating.

    I would rather see them on the dole forevermore, and let’s get the unemployed (in the private sector; anyone who has worked in the public sector is tainted) who want to be productive into productivity.

  • Matt

    Abolishing the DTI is Liberal Democrat policy, I believe.

  • Cydonia


    “I’m a little concerned about the prospects for the OST. Science and R&D policy is important”

    A myth.

    See Terence Kealey’s excellent book on the subject, “The Economic Laws of Scientific Research”; which sets the record straight.

  • I’m a little bit concerned that Richard is happy to thieve from taxpayers for the bit of government waste he thinks is important…

  • David Gillies

    I don’t think they’re completely unemployable. With the vast increase in personal wealth that would accompany the destruction of Big Government, there would be plenty of opportunities in the more menial walks of life. I, for one, would like to have a bevy of attractive former DoE typists dressed in abbreviated tunics to carry my sedan chair around, as I dispensed largesse to the grateful, forelock-tugging throng.

  • Julian Taylor

    Whatever happened to the “Department of Temerity and Indecision”? I rather preferred that one to “Death To Industry.

  • Verity

    Equally good as sacking the entire DTI would be sacking the police. Root and branch. They don’t keep the peace. They don’t prevent crime. They don’t investigate crime (I exclude, of course, race and thought crimes). And they seldom, if ever, arrest people.

    I have long thought that abolishing the police, who are no longer contributors to the civil society would a) not be noticed and b) would get rid of one segment of overlords.

    If we must have a police force – and I’m not convinced, as Britain has been operating without one for at least 10 years – then let individual communities hire private companies to police them.

    Once we get rid of the police, citizens should simply arm themselves. With no police chiefs to go on TV hectoring the public not to “take the law into their own hands” and “We can’t have vigilanteism in Britain” and no one to enforce the law except ourselves, who is going to disarm us?

  • Richard

    Looks like I’ve deviated from the orthodoxy on this one.

    Cydonia, thanks for the reference. I’ll check it out. As I’m not familiar with the arguments in the book I’ll just mention that the main premise for government funding for scientific research is the market failure one. That industry has no inclination to fund research where results and possible returns are tentative or distant; government steps in to provide funds for the opportunity. Of course, there may not always be a financial return on the investment (but Mansfield has documented the importance of scientific research for product innovation) but instead something that enhances quality of life and wider society.

    You could question whether the OST is the best mechanism to deliver funds and whether the money would be best distributed to Research Councils UK or HEFCE, but, to avoid duplication and set strategy, prioritise fields and plan future scenarios, monitor and compare what competitor countries are doing then it may be better to have some overarching organisational unit.

  • Guy Herbert

    “[…]the main premise for government funding for scientific research is the market failure one.”

    When people talk about “market failure”, usually all they really mean is the market is failing to do what they want.

  • Cydonia


    “Cydonia, thanks for the reference. I’ll check it out. As I’m not familiar with the arguments in the book I’ll just mention that the main premise for government funding for scientific research is the market failure one. “

    Pleased to hear you’ll look at the book. FYI the Amazon link is


    To quote one reviewer:

    “Kealey’s “The Economic Laws of Scientific Research” is one of those great libertarian books that proves a difficult and counterintuitive thesis. Kealey’s thesis: that science is best left to the private sector and that government funding of science is a curse in disguise.”

    I might add that it is also wonderfully written and is not at all a dry or turgid tome. Happy reading and please email me to let me know what you think of it.