« David Cameron meets Mrs Newlove | Main | "A kick in the Balls"! »


It is a longstanding Whitehall convention that the Civil Service enters into discussions with the opposition party in the period approaching a general election to discuss the implementation of their plans should they win. It would be interesting to know if this is already happening, or planned to happen.

Hear, hear to both your article and to Iain Dale's. One minor comment: the media operation should be more focused. There should be fewer announcements, so that when a policy is announced we know that it is important rather than just spin.

The Implementation Office is a good idea but Francis Maude and Nick Boles are the wrong people to run it. Francis Maude is, by reputation in the party and Whitehall, notoriously lazy. John Redwood and David Willetts have experience as Ministers, civil servants and in policy development.

Nick Boles is an experienced wonk but has no experience in Whitehall or change management. After the election, he will have a lot of work merely from becoming a new MP and adjusting to life in the Commons. David James, the company doctor and a Conservative peer and who turned the Millennium Dome around, would have been a better choice.

One thing that won't maximise effective implementation is the Maude-Cameron "aspiration" for a third of all ministers to be women regardless of their readiness and quality.

johnC, I recall an open letter being sent to the Civil Service before the bottled election suggesting that those discussions start taking place.

Alan S,

How many Tory MPs are there with serious cabinet experience (and what's the gender ratio!)?

I doubt that we have many. Any new Tory gov't will have very few experienced ministers. There's probably going to be some steep learning curves for well over 66% of Tory ministers. For half of them to be women seems pretty realistic to me.

I'd prefer it if there wasn't any figure attached to it though. 'More female ministers' is much more easily defensible on grounds of meritocracy than a quota.

Can I make a plea for the party to focus its attention on what laws it is going to repeal in government rather than what new ones it wants.

I think the party should focus first and fore-most on winning the next GE.
To read comments on this blog-site one could be forgiven for thinking the Conseravtive party had won the election by a land-slide.
The electorate in this Country do not take too kindly to any party taking them for granted.
I too think this Country is ready for a change.
I just wish I could share the optimism of those who think the party is home and dry.
2 years is one hell of a long time in politics and the last Party leader who thought he had won before the election took place ended up with egg on his chin.
That person was Neil Kinnock.
Mr Cameron may be riding on the crest of the wave at the moment but a lot can and will happen before we arrive at the election date.
Do not count chickens the electorate hate to be taken for granted.

Your points are fair Jim but many voters will be impressed by a party that prepares seriously for government. Persuading people that we have a plan to deliver better government is very important after the chaotic incompetence of Brown and Blair.

Well said sceptic.

I can’t believe that we have put the Party’s own version of Johny ‘Two Jags’ Prescott into such an important position. Why do I compare FM and Prescott as the two share little in terms of physical appearance, but do in terms of competence and their amazing ability to rubbish everything their own party has stood for over the years without even blushing.

Perhaps worse than that they rubbish the things they have said only a coupe of years ago.

I was absolutely incensed by the article in the Telegraph where FM ruled out completely the possibility of tax cuts in fact he hints at an increase – this from the man who only a couple of years ago was giving us the Tax Promise to sell on the door steps of the Country.

Let’s not also forget the A-list as well with the express idea of getting more women in Parliament and preventing quite so many white, middle aged, middle class men making it on to the green benches. Well apart from the fact that there is quite a lot to say for white, middle aged, middle class men he did nothing to so resolve the real issue that all political parties are struggling with – nepotism.

That’s right the easiest way to become an MP is be related to one, preferably by having them as a parent, hey Mr Maude

Perhaps Shadow Minister Maude (junior) could do us all a favour, practice what he preaches and step aside, making way for a woman in his own constituency, much to the rejoicing of the vast majority of party members and activists.

Funny but I can't see this happening!

Why is this man Maude trusted with such an important role? He was a disaster as Chairman. He is weak and has no leadership qualities. Surely those very qualities required by would be Cabinet Ministers etc?

I agree with the above post that suggested John Redwood.I would also suggest John Whittingdale. WHY Cameron uses such weak people when he has good reliable strong ones available to do a really good job is beyond me.I note that he is not using any women! why not for heavens sake. They have - in the Lords two jolly good examples of excellent former women cabinet ministers. They must be involved!

Perhaps Cameron is like Blair and wants to be the shining star with dim ones around him?

The idea of Francis "running" an "Implementation Office," or anything else is very funny.

I don't think that preparing the tories for government is a hostage to fortune. It should not receive undue publicity but it should be carried out, as Blair admitted that he really didn't know what to do at first when he took over.

I think that Malcolm Rifkind should also be asked to help, apart from John Redwood and, indeed, I hope that both will serve in DC's government.

The state of the civil service is a problem because it appears to be lacking in morale and there is clearly a lot of dross there now.

I also wonder why, with so many civil servants, this government requires the services of so many consultants at huge cost to the taxpayer. Surely the administrators could take over much of the consultant's work? After all, the main thing we need is a bit more effciency.

There is already a sensible commitment to reduce the number of spin-doctors from David Cameron but that mustn't become a commitment to shun political appointments of an executive nature

May I mildly disagree? I think the over-politicisation of the civil service is one of the worst acts of civic vandalism of the current administration. I don't want to live in a country where the public sector is a taxpayer-funded arm of the current Executive, staffed by people who are there neither on Civil Service merit nor with a personal political mandate.

I'm not (completely) stupid (oh alright then) and I understand the motivation of your wish. Most organisations revert to stasis if not constantly prodded into action. I had thought that fighting against this was the job of the ministerial team in the departments concerned? Please - and I'm not counting chickens, in London (where the example of the Livingstone-Jasper axis should be a warning of the dangers of political appointments to the civil service) or elsewhere - if we do manage to get another Tory majority at Westminster, let us have no more Alistair Campbell types spewing their vile nature over what should be an apolitical service.

Sometimes when I'm lying awake and asking myself "what do you want most in a Tory government", I think "I want an end to the Total War". Labour have governed us as a Total War Party, with ideology more important than anything. Belief systems do matter of course but I so fervently wish that we could live under a less constantly-throbbing political machine.

The comments to this entry are closed.



ConHome on Twitter

    follow me on Twitter

    Conservative blogs

    Today's public spending saving

    New on other blogs

    • Receive our daily email
      Enter your details below:

    • Tracker 2
    • Extreme Tracker