Thanks to decades of lean governance, no one is held accountable

LIGHT-TOUCH governance has been the order of the day for 40 years, putting in place contracts that are supposed to control projects and hold contractors accountable.

Unfortunately, within the British government, everything seems to be falling apart. It seems that there is no one in charge. No one to be held accountable.

On Tuesday, three events provided some insight. The first was the UK Foreign Office’s 28-page whistleblower description of support for Afghans trying to leave. The second was the Grenfell inquiry. The third event was MP Chris Law’s speech on cuts in UK government aid funding.

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Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab came out waving his bat, saying the UK government had done a great job, we should be happy and grateful that they had extracted 15,000 Afghans in two weeks. The Foreign Office worker who quit in September and was at the forefront said 125,000 people needed help (wanted to leave) so the UK government thinks 12% is fine . It’s a low bar.

He (Raab) himself was sunbathing at the time, and by all accounts some of the remaining 100,000 died at the hands of the Taliban.

The other event took place at the Grenfell Inquiry, where a lawyer (Mr Jason Beer QC) apologized on behalf of the government for the deaths of the 72 people killed.

No! No, a government minister but a lawyer. Must be a good Christmas bonus, having to sell this story.

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The third event was the speech MP Chris Law gave to the committee castigating the UK Government for the fact that just when the UK Government needs to be ‘strong and stable’ with its food aid programme, it is cutting the program by 70% and short, leaving millions of people in need without support. One of Chris’ key points was that food aid enables good nutrition and learning and delays girls’ first pregnancy.

What do these events have in common?

Light governance means responsible and accountable politicians cannot be held accountable. The British government can find money out of nowhere, but not for the hungry. The UK government can build stuff, but when it goes wrong they’re nowhere in sight. The British government can claim that they have done a great job under the circumstances, but stepping back is really a poor performance.

It’s time for a Christmas party – oh no it’s not.

Alistair Ballantyne
Birkhill, Angus

YVETTE Cooper recently felt that Labor was now ready “for government”. Now she has just revealed that she will not be running in the next general election. Maybe she re-read the runes in Labor and got scared!

It looks like she’s not ready either and never will be. I forgot, she will probably join the ranks of the bloated unelected and sit in the Lords!

John Edgar
Kilmaurs

HENRY McLeish – you know, the one who regularly gives his opinion to the National, the one who gazes up at the celestial skies, usually alerting us to a significant glimpse we already know – has resigned after admitting to renting his office space at Glenrothes. Wendy Alexander also quit following a fundraising scandal. All things relatively insignificant compared to Boris’ editing “offences”.

When will gentleman Rt Hon do the honorable thing and move on? But who would take over? I don’t see anyone of any quality, anyone with the fiber who could take the helm. Our only solution is independence. The timing couldn’t be better. Let’s do it as soon as possible.

Robin McLean
Fort Augustus

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