(Yes, that is from Wikipedia, but its as good a source as any for a definition of this job).
Look, your average minister is in place for 18 months, tops. He or she barely has time to get to know the ropes before there's an election or a reshuffle. Whereas your mandarin - he's had 30+ years of learning the system. He knows how everything works and how to get what he wants.
A chancellor is often in place for longer. Clever chancellors, like Kenneth Clarke or Geoffrey Howe, bend the civil service to their will. Other chancellors - such as Gordon Brown - stuff the civil service with their cronies, which achieves a similar thing but also means that the Treasury is currently full of Labour staffers doing their damndest to shaft the Tories.
Ministers sign what's put in front of them. They either have to be very forthright, devious or intelligent to get around doing what the civil service thinks is in the best interest of the country. A few manage it - Gove is a rare example in this parliament of a minister putting his stamp on a department (regardless of whether you agree with what he's doing, or, like MattX, have read in the Guardian that he's a bad man).
At last some common sense instead of tabloid-induced rage.
tech_guy (6th December 2012)
A two tier problem exists, the welfare state which has become a way of life for most and the corporate tax dodgers. Now a lot of the CEO's will argue that they bring employment to the country, which we cannot argue, but they as a whole bring minimum wage employment, which means these employees are still requiring top ups from the welfare state, provided by the squeezed middle. All I can visage is our national budget disappearing down a hole like sand in an egg timer with no option to turn the glass around...
Last edited by andyturpie; 6th December 2012 at 04:47 PM. Reason: wrong whole (oops)!
Those people blaming those on Jobseekers or welfare, let me put it too you like this. In August I lost a job that I thoroughly enjoyed and would have probably kept doing had it not been for various factors, I lost the job due the fact that the economy is not as strong as it was, and therefore the company had to downsize...last in, first out. I was also being seen by an ENT for my ear problems. Since then, I was on jobseekers, looking for work.
Spending the money from jobseekers on interviews, getting to the jobcentre and help paying my bills. I have since come off job seekers and gone on to employment support allowance due to a condition called Menieres Disease. I don't want to be on ESA or JSA or DLA (which after 13 weeks of ESA I will be transferred onto). I want to work! Many people in my situation want to work but physically can't, I can't go for more than 5 hours without getting vertigo, and to be frank, that on top of the deafness, is not fun at all.
Why lumber those of us that want to work and are willing, yet incapable, with those that are work shy.
ButterflyMoon (7th December 2012)
I have said this from day one, how about scrap giving out money and start giving out a credit system. Money to pay your bills? That be taken direct from the credit system. Food/travel again paid by a credit system, as a result the money you get keeps you going and prevents you from buying fags, drinks, drugs and anything else you dont actually need. Problem is the government is trying to stop people from relying on the benefit system. And sadly people like your self are going to get affected, this is also all aimed at those who refuse to work and purposely have kids to stay at home and live the easy life. Dont know whats worse having kids for the wrong reasons or taking money just to live it easy with their large 40" TVs.
I have sympathy for you but you can't hide the fact that people who do work, pay tax and have done for years get shafted day after day while others refuse to work, just have kids to get a large house where people like me struggle to move out.
I think that is the divide though and now it seems to have tipped towards highlighting the bad and tarring everyone with the same brush, we all know the difference I think between the genuine unemployed and the "lifestyle" unemployed, I doubt many people have a problem with the genuine unemployed in this country who want to work and are trying to get work, its just the cases of people on "lifestyle" who bring the bad name too it.
Urgh I hate this Daily Mail style 'lets bash the people on benefits' talk. Its ugly and plays straight in to the Governments hands.
There's been a lot made over benefits cheats recently which plays to the pitchfork toting masses who feel cheated by people getting stuff for free.
1) The Government's own figures put benefit fraud at 1% of the total welfare bill so works out about £1bn, yes a lot of money but:
2) A conservative estimate of money lost through tax avoidance by the rich is £12bn
So rather than kicking the people at the bottom of society why aren't we angry at the people at the top who are avoiding paying what they morally should and getting richer and richer under the Tory Government?
The Tory toffs must be laughing at us at right now.
tmcd35 (7th December 2012)
Scrap the system
Continue on with it as it is
Give it a hefty review
Either way they are doomed, because even reviewing each case people are still going to suffer who are victims and not benefit cheats, or having kids just for the sake of it.
As far as im concerned those who dont want to be a part of the credit system have a choice of finding a job or taking nothing from the government?
Having been jobless a while back and struggling for money I accepted any job I could find, which was basic manual labour work. It paid the bills. Surely if you are innocent you dont mind at all in taking credit which pays your bills and rent - this is what people are fuming about isnt it?
Unless you are telling me that benefit money is just there for you to do what you want when you want.
Either way if people dont want a credit system then I will simply agree with the hefty cuts on the entire system. Personally I would be more than happy to take a system that paid my bills while I try to get another job then I can actually spend what I want on the money I earn. Unless its all just another excuse for people to fiddle a system and use technicality on why they should be given money "Sorry I have bills to pay" then head off own the pub every night.
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