Beware of the B-List Bureaucrats
The folly of UK devolution
Most people in the UK think of the Westminster village when they think of bureaucracy. The majority of the civil servants, Quangocracy and assorted NGO hangers-on congregate in Whitehall. Or, rather, they used to before Covid gave them the golden ticket to hide at home on full pay.
But Whitehall is not the sum total of the UK’s ever-blossoming bureaucratic class. With devolution was created a motley bunch of civil-service-wannabe fiefdoms as well as a myriad set of English municipal authorities and Mayoralties. Tin pot politicised pedants were given the baubles of power all over the UK, as well as bucket-loads of cash to squander on bizarre schemes designed to reflect ‘local culture’ and ‘regional’ jumped-up identity and even independence campaigns.
The Scottish self-appointed “government” (it’s an Assembly) got the lion’s share of media attention after the SNP hoovered-up the majority of the seats in the local assembly and Scottish seats in Westminster. And having won the attention of the English media, they promptly made public fools of themselves with an imbecilic independence campaign and a medieval Covid response dictated by the Shill-in-Chief Sturgeon-General. Meanwhile Mark Drakeford in Wales has banned Park runs for fear of the Covid.
With a few exceptions, the bureaucrats aiding and abetting the bizarre and downright vindictive Covid responses in the devolved regions are an extraordinarily unimpressive coterie of lefty woke sycophants who have, until March 2020, been singularly ignored because they had nothing of note to do. These people are typically unemployable in any other guise, but the mini state Potemkin republics mop them up and give them jobs for life and a final salary pension scheme, as well as endless job rotation and absurdly generous terms and conditions of employment – mimicking the packages demanded by the Trotskyite mandarins in London.
Let’s take Northern Ireland as an example. The place has a population of less than 2 million or about one third the population of Yorkshire. And yet it has mini-me versions of most of the Westminster Departments complete with big cars and permanent secretaries and clacking administrative edifices. For example, it has a Department of Health and within the ‘Department’ it has Ministers, SPADs, media people and people who make posters and do social media misinformation.
Indeed, Northern Ireland’s Department of Health has none other than the Stephen Nolan Show's former Editor at BBC Northern Ireland (David Gordon) to run the Comms function. Stephen Nolan is a broadcaster that most people in the UK have never heard of yet is at the top-end of the BBC’s “talent” salary league table, earning £405,000 (but more from his production company that produces content for the BBC). Handily, Gordon and Nolan work together very well – with the morbidly obese Nolan doling out health information on his daily phone-in show and occasionally hectoring people in public for not wearing masks.
And David Gordon has full access to his other former BBC colleagues to help amplify the messages, spread the fear, and give voice to the latest safeism deluge. He also, handily, has access to Northern Ireland’s very own Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Advisor – just like mini-me versions of the Whitty-Vallance duopoly.
Admittedly Northern Ireland’s CMO/CSO couplet are a tad tainted as they were caught-up in a rather unfortunate incident a few years ago involving the death of a young girl called Claire Roberts. Claire Roberts’ death was examined by the Hyponatraemia Inquiry – a public inquiry that was set up to examine the deaths of five children and that reported in 2018. A new inquest into Claire’s death was ordered by the inquiry after the chair of the inquiry said there had been a cover-up to “avoid scrutiny” by the Belfast Health Trust. The inquest found that Claire’s cause of death was an overdose of fluids administered by the hospital. The inquiry report made clear that there had been a cover-up by the Trust to avoid scrutiny. In fact, the report was nothing short of damning. Young’s attempts to block the inquiry by the GMC failed.
After the inquest, Claire’s father said, “We as Claire’s parents have a clear message for the Belfast Trust, the implicated doctors and the chief medical officer Dr Michael McBride – hang your heads in shame.” Dr McBride and Professor Young now lead the charge in terms of the Vaccine roll-out and Northern Ireland’s unique, localised set of bizarre Covid regulations – different, of course, to England, Wales and Scotland, such is the eminence of the Northern Ireland bureaucrats.
Part of the reason might be because of the money-train. With more regulations come more cash payments to the devolved regions, funded by yet more more public debt - and bailout monies for a hospitality sector, crippled by the regulations in the first place. But, also, it’s about feeding the egos of these jumped-up bureaucrats. On a recent television interview given by Dr McBride, the very-eminent CMO made an astonishing claim. He indicated that he could tell who among the non-mask wearers were genuinely exempt versus those who were not. The interview was a car-crash. The eminent doctor’s ego had obviously suffered a grievous injury. And, therefore, the latest set of regulations makes Northern Ireland very different from all other parts of the UK – it plans to implement fixed penalties to people unable to provide adequate or believable reasons for refusing to wear masks - including those who have genuine, logical or medical reasons for not wearing them.
But I suspect this has more to do with the fact that Northern Ireland’s B-list, ego-driven, and very eminent CMO doesn’t like to be laughed at. But soon he’ll realise that the demise of his eminence is imminent.