HE TIMES Monday Jamuary 6 2020 People who sneer at tin openers should can it Carol Midgley Page 26 Comment If Cummings picks fights he'll misfire badly Downing Street urgently needs the shake-up the PMs adviser promises but only if he takes the civil service with him the fulcrum of change Where was the energy?I expected The West Wing and got The Office The nine to five nature of the place seemed fight with the civil service The problem with alienating this particular establishment though is that the government needs them if it is to successfully implement its manifesto while handling the next round of Brexit negotiations Cummings might wish to junk half of those working in Whitehall and replace them with algorithmic traders but it won't happen You can change pay structures and incentives and so that the strategist is recruiting fellow sociopaths to help create a one-party state another sees it as a monomaniacal invitation to join a Clare Foges d wrong and indicative of a deeper problem the British complacency that we don't need to hustle like other countries of our size and rank This is not born of arrogance but something more subtle a belief that while we may slide from our glory days things will never get too bad because well we're the pilded United Kingdom attitude best expressed in the sick- man 1970s when William Armstrong then the head of the civil service was reported to have said that Whitehall job was the orderly management of dectine Such defeatism enraged Margaret Thatcher who loathed the idea of surrendering Beitish greatness-and I think that the instinct his criticisms of Westminster So in his enterprise of rebooting the heart and brain of the British state all power to his elbow Yet my cheer for the blog was a wary one because I fear that the worst of Cummings is in danger of undermining the best While he is intelligent energetic impatient for change he a pears to be I to the battle Though Cummings praised brilliant civil servants in his blog he is savvy enough to know how the job advert would be received as the opening salvo i Whitehall Soon after i published the former head of the Civil service Lord Kerslake warned against getting into a war while over the weekend this paper reported வி Having worked in No 10 for five yean from 2010 to 2015 Cummings plans get a different response from me call it a wary cheer What springs from the blog indeed from most of his writings is exasperation at the slow pace of change that government structures allow the tolerance of mediocrity the acceptance of wasted resources and time as inevitable He exudes a fierce GCLAREFOGES on the he eirdos oddhalk planet-brained mathematicians Your Country Needs Youl Instead of the pointing finger of Lord Kitchemer we finger of s currently Remember that more flies are caught with honey than vinegar was an urgency an awareness of the sands trickling through the hourglass which in my experience is all too government have ast week the Dominie prime minister senior strategist used his perscnal blog to put out an extraordinary job advert calling for the CVs of weirdos and misfits with odd skills wild cards artists people who nerver went to university and fought their way out of an appalling hellhole an unusual set of people with different skills and backgrounds is a job advert to fire the imagination Cummings call brings to mind the Special Operations on but ultimately most of the same people will be required to make this govermment's agenda a reality-and whether civil servants or anyone else rare in While speechwriting in No 101 worked with many talented and energetic people but I was often frustrated by the way the place seemed stuck in second gear For most of the summer the building was deserted Beyond six o'clock it was people don't tend to respond particularty well to being told they are incompetent cr lazy In his handling of officials both inside and outside No 10 Cummings might do well that more flies are caught with honey than with vinegar If the fight becomes the story if he becomes the bogeyman that civil servants love to obstruct then No 10s ambitions will be dead in the water courteous and conciliatory animates Cummings in same Dominic Cummingss desire to move fast is laudable and in all our interests I was often frustrated by the way No 10 was stuck in second gear to remember the saying with the stir Judging from his career before government at the Department for Education and running the Vote Leave campaign it seems that not only does he relish a fight he sees it success In Cummingss theory of change just as you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs you can't make progress w dozens of people the hairdryer treatment rubbishing whole sectors and becoming a hate figure In each of his political fights he has described an establishment that must be vanquished At the Department for Education it was Executive the secretive Second World sa prerequisite for War unit nicknamed the Baker Street Irregulars after Sherlock Holmess band of urchin spies on account of its HQ location and the Me nature of its crew aristocrats the Mary Celeste Many were the meetings that seemed to go nowhere Regular were the out-of-office emails that declared I am away from my desk and will be returning lin three weeks' timel If while I am snorkelling in anure waters you require an urgent response please contact my colleague who for the month of August will be at his desk between the hours of 12 and lom approach will be alien to someone ke Cummings whose style to date is best described by Facebooks old motto Move fast and beeak things It is in all our interests for him to move fast but in his role now as co-steward of the British state it would be better if he did not break things so casually If Cummings a without giving communists criminals women and ay men fouting the conventions of the time What mattered prospective candidates was not fitting the moulM but merit Now we are to have the Dowming Street Irreglars with in and scorn was interesting name Meme

found ON 2020-01-06 12:04:26 BY ME.ME

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