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Is tax collection is now considered more important than defending the realm or fighting crime?

Yes...and by every Government since James Callaghan's

Thank you William. Another great piece of work from you.

Good article. The answer though is not to just cut things but look fundamentally at how we enable the things we want to see in society. Much of the appartus of Govt is command and control orientated. Over time the social responsibility agenda could use mechanisms to create the right enviornment for people to want to have healthier, safer communities. I think this should include fiscal mechanisms that reward those who contribute to the quality of communities.


anyone know where i can get up to date figures on the electoral/register? Is it true it has showna massive increase recently??

Steve: you might be able to track down what you want via www.statistics.gov.uk

British Army strength 167.000 (1975)
107.000 (1996)
96.000 (2006)

So much for the Gershon Review and NuLab's committment to it.
Indeed, with these figures NuLab's committment to the elimination or reduction of red tape is just so much clap trap and empty posturing for headlines.
One trusts that DC will make capital of these figures. The future pension liabilites of these pen pushers is going to be humungous and a massive drain on financial resources, where will the money come, the taxpayers.

Nice piece. This is exactly what you get when the head of government is uninterested in detail, and prefers vague sweeping ideals rather than the hard work of making the machine run efficiently - you can see why Bush and Blair get on so well, they're the same mould of politician......

The empty half of the glass is always at the top.

Speed Limit

I'm assuming that doesn't include the near million extra jobs created in local government?

What on earth is Matt Wright talking about?This sort of speak is endemic within the Cameroons.There is no committment to tangible action,no actual policy just a form of totally meaningless words.What does Matt mean by "creating mechanisms"

For me we can spell out a Tory agenda in simple straightforward language.We should:

Reduce State Spending as a proportion of GDP by totally reforming the public services.This should be done by looking at broader options of social insurance within the health service and the introduction of more market driven educational options for parents.Power needs to move towards those who run hospitals and schools and away from the state.

A total reform of local government should be pursued.The quality and accountability of those delivering local services must be driven up.Only this week we have seem some of the outrageous salaries paid within the local government sector ,and for what value exactly?

It is a duty to ensure value.Only by reducing the size and scope of the state and freeing the voluntary and charitable sectors will we return to a true tory vision. A axe should be taken to the quabnos which now proliferate bringing an end to the notion that power should reside with so called experts.Conservatives should trust people more.Let us al have the oppourtunity to excersise our own judgement.Let the state step back.

Ian: correct, local government is excluded from this survey, although it does include "near to government" bodies which the Cabinet Office claim are nothing to do with them but which in practice are now subsidiary branches of central govmt carrying on their policies and under their control. There's more detail on that point in the wider report and the original document from last year.

Matt Wright/Martin Bristow: I didn't read Matt's comment as "totally meaningless Cameroonism", but actually as making the perfectly fair comment that it's no good simply moaning about the problem, we need a plan for reform. Which is actually the same point Martin is making, although in somewhat different language. Politics, how confusing, eh? So tricky to work out where to point the rifle before shooting.

Neither of you need worry, however, since I have looked at this issue already. The Editor has only supplied the 2006 appendix listing the detailed findings of which quango has gained how many staff over the year, so you don't have any discussion on this point in the document linked here. But if you go to the original report from September last year you will find -
in possibly more detail than you ever really wanted to know - how to go about it. "Mechanisms" included for no extra charge.

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