The managerial class

At times it must seem amazing to many supporters of UKIP, the majority of whom are basically conventional and solid citizens, to find themselves part of a party which is both anti establishment and, in British terms at least, radical, although this is inevitable, given the way in which the political class, at Brussels and at home, have closed ranks against the ordinary people and sought only to benefit themselves personally.

It seems to me that the party, in view of its sensible policies on most issues can, and should, take on another group which has done, and is doing, as much damage to the nation as the Europhiles, namely the new managerial class. These people have taken over most of the public sector, and indeed much of private industry, to the detriment of the economy and against the interests of the vast majority of the population, who are excluded from their magic circle but suffer the consequences of their actions.

Everywhere we look we see that whole layers of management have appeared who have no useful function but who can only be described as leeches and parasites, sucking the life from businesses and undermining the efficient administration of public bodies. How often do we hear of senior managers, in local government, in privatised utilities or in bodies such as the NHS, the BBC and the transport industry, who are paid obscene salaries, completely out of line with the vast majority of their staff, who receive massive golden handshakes and golden goodbyes, who enjoy payoffs even when they have failed and who appoint each other to these lucrative positions, with no thought for the effect their selfish greed has on the country. That most have no knowledge of the organisations they infest but merely bring a supposed 'managerial ability' to them causes endless problems and destroys the very expertise which once distinguished such bodies.

As any ordinary medically qualified employee of the NHS can attest these managers have no understanding of the realities involved and merely ensure that money which could have helped the treatment of the sick is wasted on their ridiculous activities. They defend themselves with compliant Human Resources Departments, the product of a non profession which has come into being in the years since we allowed the bureaucratic monster of the EU to infect our lives, and whose only function is to assist incompetent managers to oppress staff, to implement gagging orders and to obfuscate using absurd managerial jargon. When they decide to take some action that will have a totally negative effect on the way the organisation is run their idea of consultation is to inform the staff what they intend to do and then to go ahead and do it, taking no account of the serious and sensible objections raised by those who actually know what is best for the effectiveness of the organisation. If any dare to try to raise the stupidity of the senior managers and their creatures in HR then, despite all the promises made by politicians about protecting whistleblowers, they will suffer persecution and usually the loss of their employment for attempting to point out that the managerial King has no clothes.

Anyone who reads the Rotten Boroughs column in Private Eye will be only too aware of how this plague of managers has destroyed much of the public service ethos which once prevailed in local government. Many of the reports concern outright corruption but there are also many, many examples of selfishness, greed and incompetence. The failures of councillors, many of whom seem more concerned with profiting from their period of office, are compounded by the outright arrogance of senior officers, the worst of whom seem to move around from one council to another, leaving destruction in their wake but being welcomed by their fellow managerialists at the next council to fall victim to their inability to work effectively for the benefit of local ratepayers.

Where once loyalty and competence were awarded the new managerial class want to ensure that no one remains within their organisations whose technical knowledge shows up the managers as largely useless passengers so medical staff are ignored and disposed of in the NHS, expert railwaymen are unwelcome in their own industry and senior figures in education have no experience or real ability in teaching. When I joined the Civil Service in the early 1960s one knew that those in senior ranks had long experience of the tasks required and a real knowledge of the organisation. Now senior managers come in at a high level and take decisions which often have disastrous consequences, not least in the field of public expenditure.

Obviously no government of any complexion in a mixed economy can correct this situation throughout every organisation but there are large areas where a radical overhaul is possible and which would surely be welcomed by the majority of hard working people, who are sick of watching this layer of incompetents taking so much while undermining the conditions under which most work. Clearly the Civil Service and local government can be influenced directly while much could be done via the public watchdogs on organisations such as the utilities and transport systems. Above all it requires a moral example which would ensure that the good of the nation and of its people takes priority over personal interests. If nothing is done the social division between these managerialists and the rest of us will poison the nation, even if we succeed in breaking free of the clutches of Brussels.

Surely this is a matter on which UKIP, a radical, reforming party could cleanse the national stables which have been so corrupted by a failed political class and their acolytes in the ranks of managers through so many organisations. I am sure that a determination to take action would also prove to be very popular with the electorate.