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The left have completed a long march through the institutions. Even when we are in political office their place people are still in bureaucratic power. The trouble with us is that we play too fair.

Another article, you're not trying to get your defence of 42 days off the front page are you? You are dead right that its not popular with ordinary Tory voters. I am one of them.

Livingstone's mayoralty wasn't a Labour one, it was a Socialist Action one. The sooner BJ can purge City Hall of these loons the better!

Ken and his fellow travellers are of course following in the well trodden path of the far left in assuming administrative and mundane roles and to acquire the levers of power. After-all Stalin was the Secretary of the Communist Party from which position he was able to install his supporters across the country.
Surely the way forward with these parasites is to give them very specific work tasks and monitor the progress or lack thereof and then fire them for gross incompetence/maladministration.
Quite clearly the process of politicising the civil administration needs to be stopped, and contracts made for the life of a mayorality, or a non-political clause inserted into employment contracts. Londoners and tax-payers across the UK should not have to pay the price for this policy of placemen in key jobs to drive propaganda.
As for Ken's lackey's and running lickspittles perhaps a permanent accident involving a butt of wine could be engineered.

Whilst I am sure this is a real problem at the highly politicised GLA, I think you are wrong to assume that the issues that an incoming Government would have with Whitehall civil servants are of the same nature. Indeed I think there is a danger of you stirring up paranoia against neutral public servants by suggesting it.

The designated Whitehall political advisers depart automatically with their bosses. The top level career civil servants are professionals of an entirely different ilk to Livingstone's lot. Most of the ones at a senior level will have started their Whitehall careers under a Conservative Government. There will the usual officials' natural inertia and scepticism about change, but no separate over-arching political agenda. There will be some who have been overpromoted because they were seen as particularly amenable to New Lab, and some whose careers might have been held back partly because they weren't. The incoming Government will need to find out which is which, but, at the least, there will be plenty of senior civil servants who will be well cheesed off with the Treasury control-freakery, ironically now combined with the chronic lack of direction, of the present Government. A fair proportion will probably have voted Tory, and a clear minority will have voted Labour. In contrast to the GLA, you will not find any superannuated Trots who were recruited for their political background rather than their capabilities.

Civil servants also have much stronger views on whether they like particular Ministers than they do about one party's Ministers rather than another. From my pillow talk with "one who knows", the good civil servants like Ministers who have a sense of direction; know what they are trying to achieve in the policy areas for which they are responsible; listen to, and when they disagree, debate rather than ignore civil service advice on how to get there (i.e. don't turn up to meetings with officials without having read their papers); and are courteous and respectful to the individuals who work for them. Labour has not been particularly well endowed with Ministers of such virtues. So long as we have lots of Ministers capable of this, the senior civil service will respond positively. If our Ministers go in in a mental state of war with every civil servant who has worked with the previous Government, they will not find many friends.

Also, remember that by the likely change of Govt Whitehall will have been mentally attuned to the potential change for over two years - it is already preparing itself. In contrast one gets the impression that it was only about two weeks before election day that anyone at the GLA, including the incumbant Mayor himself, took the possibility of a change of administration seriously.

So, sorry Tim, but what with this and the 42 days, I really don't think you are having a very good day today!

How about the Police "Service" which has become hopelessly politicised in the upper echelons? And in London at last, all too often just plain corrupt in the lower ranks.

What are we going to do about them?

A fair point well made Londoner. Whitehall is clearly a different by nature to the GLA but, ten years into a Labour administration, the various depts and quangos are hardly immune to this kind of problem. For what it's worth, I hear our

Isn't the Londoner's Diary written by Harry Phibbs? And isn't that the same Harry Phibbs who used to be a member of the Federation of Conservative Students, of "Hang Nelson Mandela" notoriety? The FCS that Norman Tebitt had to close down because it, and Phibbs in particular, were bringing the Conservative Party into disrepute.

All in all, I wouldn't have thought that Harry Phibbs was the most obvious person to be expressing indignation at someone's past association with an extremist organisation.

Classic entryism by the hard left. They know they cannot win the debate through the democratic process so they seek to exert influence by worming their way into the civil service. One has to question the judgement of these people, who on earth could justify being a Trot in this day and age?

Dep Ed @ 16.46: thanks for the compliment but you seem to have been cut off in your prime...

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