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The Pickles Terror

The Audit Commission became a politicised, bloated parody of itself. After thirteen years of Labour rule, and marinated in the arrogance of the mission, they decided to employ lobbyists to combat the Pickles Terror.

If you are part of the problem, you are part of the dissolution.

12 comments to The Pickles Terror

  • Sounds like the erstwhile vampire hunters long became victims of their prey, and are quite rightly being staked through the heart by a Pickle.

  • Miv Tucker

    If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the precipitate.
    Henry J. Tillman

  • The Audit Commission was formed in 1982. My recollection is that this was part of the drive of the Thatcher Government to exercise more control over local government. In balance with the exceptionally good things done by the Thatcher government, this was one of the not so good ones.

    If one level of government (national) sets up process to overrule the decisions of another and lower level of government (local), it is highly likely that such process will be used, eventually, by the political opponents of those who set the thing up in the first place. Then it all gets very messy.

    We need multiple levels of government, and we need to ensure each level exercises as much government function as is possible at its own low level; hence subsidiarity. The lowest level of all government is, of course, that of the private citizen; just above that is the household.

    Let us hope that this government speaks truth when it states its belief in personal freedom and subsidiarity within government. Many past ones (including the whole of the EU political infrastructure and political parties) have not.

    Best regards

  • Good for Pickles. I liked the way that it’s been abolished, not reformed. Akin to what Nigel Sedgwick said above, because of the structure and position of such a body it tends to be very good at twisting “reforms” to its own purposes.

    This may sound a very superficial thing to say, but it’s unfortunate Pickles is a fat man. It makes a better story if someone cutting a body that had indeed become “a politicised, bloated parody of itself” is thin.

  • JohnRS

    “the drive of the Thatcher Government to exercise more control over local government”

    Right problem (remember people like Derek Hatton?) but wrong solution. The answer to bad government at any level isnt more government.

    Localism, the real kind not CallMeDave’s statist version, is what’s needed. Directly elected police and mayors; local taxes funding most local expenditure; all spending published monthly (well done Eric); local hospitals controlled by locally elected people; Gove’s free schools (well done Michael) etc.

    Citizens will hold their politicians to account if allowed to. Centralising anything is basically wrong if you want to be able to exercise control and good governance over it. Currently we know it makes no difference what we do, the government does too much, taxes too much and controls too much from Whitehall.

  • I hope they don’t abolish them too quickly, I’ve just started the ball rolling of ripping my local council a new arsehole after they redacted the closing balance in the statement of accounts in the annual report.

  • the other rob

    I fear that the key words in the article may be “With a senior echelon of officials dominated by Labour sympathisers”.

    I would be delighted to find that this wasn’t just another example of “out with their cronies, in with ours”. But I’m not optimistic on the matter.

  • guy herbert

    I have already heard a conspiracy theory on the left that this is “revenge” for its treatment of Dame Shirley Porter.

    What interests me is what will happen to the egregious data-mining powers that the Audit Commission has been given and its role as dataminer-general under the Serious Crime Act. I want them snuffed out too.

  • guy herbert


    Citizens will hold their politicians to account if allowed to.

    I think you are working on the mistaken assumption that local government is run by politicians. It isn’t. Much more than Whitehall, it is dominated by permanent officials, who mostly cannot be directed by the elected councillors, because what they do is determined by themselves interpreting their statutory duties. Some mechanism is needed to stop them lying to citizens about that process, concealing information under a tendentious definition of confidentiality, and bring them under some kind of scrutiny. But a new class of officials is clearly not the way to do it.

  • Somebody over there needs to post more stuff, so this scrolls down from the top of the RSS feed. So far I’ve come back to SD a few times since it went up, and ended up heading for the fridge for a Kosher Dill just about every time.

  • Paul Marks

    Philip Chaston is correct, the defence of the Audit Commission is absurd.

    We are told that local councils will have to pay private accountancy firms – local councils ALREADY DO THIS.

    We are also told the Audic Commision is all about reducing the burden on local taxpayers – FALSE.

    In reality the Audit Commission (at the national level) has (for years) been pushing a big government agenda of local councils having to provide X, Y, Z “services” and provide them in certain ways – even if most people did not want some of these “services” and the supposedly “correct” way of providing them was widely more expensive than other ways.

    Full disclosure – I am a member of Kettering Council.

  • Nigel Hatchett

    What happens to the young graduates who just had there careers/training terminated a month before they were due to start (they have just dumped back where they started 15 months ago)?

    Who picks up the human cost of such short sighted squabbling among the public servants we pay to administer our society?