Tuesday 30 August 2011


I heard this morning that the much-heralded bonfire of the quangos was going with a whimper.

For, although there may have been some amalgamation of functions, and rearranging of names, not much has happened in quangoland.

Not much, that is unless you count the neat way that the quango bosses have been adding to their incomes by acquiring bonuses for performance, not GOOD performance you’ll note, just performance; pension additions (pensions, for the rest of you, are things that the super-rich acquire to allow them to leave the UK for the sun when they get older), and special allowances, which are just another way of trousering more public money for nothing.

When the government said that it would freeze public sector pay, what it meant was it would freeze the pay of unimportant people in the public sector: the girl in the tax office, the lad in the housing department...

We should have and would have known had we realised who was in charge of all this... Yes, it’s Francis (I do so much for the big society that I can’t remember a single thing) Maude. Yep, Old Maudie, has published a list of all those bureaucrats who earn more than £150,000 ... but what he let out, was the bit between the £150,000 and the £700,000 that is comprises the extras. Oh well, Maudie, what’s a few hundred thousand between friends, what?

On the list, however, is Mr Tony Fountain (yes, that’s his name, unfortunately name for the chairman of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority). And Tony receives £365,000 for doing that job. That’s £1,000 a day. But then Tony couldn’t be expected to live on a pittance like that. He has to have nearly £86,000 for a second home and a further...wait a minute, why does Tony need a second home at THAT kind of money? Come to that, why does he need a second home at all? If you add another £70,000 for his pension.... yes, that’s in ONE YEAR... the bold Tony manages to scone us out of just over £520,000. Still he saved the government a lot of money recently by closing part of Sellafield with the loss of 600 jobs... Needless to say when asked about the size of the remuneration package, the Nuclear Authority rolled out the tired old crap about needing to attract the right kind of person blah,bloody blah, yawn.

David Higgins who was in charge of the Olympic Delivery Authority and who is now at Network Rail job has a bonus of £179,000 making his total income £705k. And the excuse for him being paid that much is some tat about doing an “inspirational job”. I wonder why he left then. It’s not over; I haven’t missed something, have I? Oh please tell me I didn’t miss the London Olympics. I’ve been sooo looking forwa... Ha ha Gotcha! It’s OK, I haven’t: I was only joshin’.

The bonfire of the quangos was a fairy story. Then there’s a report out suggesting that unless the DWP radically changes the targets for getting people off JSA and incapacity benefits into work, 90% of the agencies employed to do the work will go broke. Oh and Gid’s finance plan, for which you will remember there was no “plan B” isn’t working (the deficit continues to rise). The Olympic plans are getting right up Londoners’ noses. House ownership figures are falling; rents in the private sector are scandalously high and there is virtually no social housing.

It just gets better and better under the Tories, don’t it!

Pic: Francis Maude. Our Francy is a bit of an old hypocrite. Not only did insist that everyone in the UK should do something for the Big Society, and then fail to be able to find one thing that HE did, except that which was his job as an MP... but he also was the well remunerated chairman of Prestbury Holdings, a mortgage company that went bust in 2009, whilst being critical of the Labour government's attitude to easy credit... tut tut. Some of Prestbury's appointed representatives specialised in brokering high-risk mortgages to people who had poor credit histories. Glass houses, stones, people, throw, who, in, live, shouldn't.


  1. Quangos still around? Seems like The Rt Hon Jim Hacker and Sir Humphrey were struggling with quangos 30 years ago. And people were laughing at them then.

  2. They haven't got rid of many, they just rolled them all up into super QUANGOs and probably fired a whole pile of people at the bottom and in the middle. No doubt come next election we will have to have a bonfire of the super Quango's as the meaningless buzz phrase from the nasty party.

  3. I've not a clue what they are for, Danny.

    Quasi-autonomous non governmental organisations?

    Quasi (l) = apparently or seemingly, almost, resembling.

    Autonomous (gr) = self governing

    Seemingly self governing non governmental organisations

    I bet they had to set up an apparently independent self regulated committee to invent that name!

  4. I'd like to know, Munguin, how much less they cost this year than last.

  5. It looks like the proper looters are in quangos or other parts of the sponger sector. The looters should get a suit and get elected.
    Champagne Fountain, the former BP executive also received a performance bonus of £146,000 and additional payments of almost £9,000, bringing his total pay to more than £675,000.
    Anyone who needs a bonus to perform while on £350K would be sacked immediately in the private sector.

  6. I may have mentioned this before but I can remember MICHAEL HESELTINE'S "Bonfire of Regulations". The height of his achievement was to repeal the prohibition in Scotland which stopped ladies from being cattle slaughterers and he also managed to repeal the requirement for pedlars to have a local authority licence.
    Stirring stuff!

    As for Maude, well he has form. My friend Rodney Atkinson and the late Norris McWhirter laid information against him and Douglas Hurd in both the English and Scottish courts upon charges of treason which they committed whilst negotiating the Maastricht treaty. There were several legally faultless charges but the nub of the matter was so-called EU citizenship.

    "....According to Article 8 of the treaty Her Majesty the Queen becomes a citizen of the European Union (confirmed by the Home Secretary - Hansard 1 February 1993) and is therefore "subject to the duties imposed thereby" - subject to being arraigned in her own courts and taxed under Article 192 of the integrated treaty and thereby effectively deposed as the sovereign and placed in a position of suzerainty under the power of the European Union - therefore the said Rt. Hon Douglas Hurd and the said Rt. Hon Francis Maude are guilty of treason".

    Before the Scottish courts they relied on S1 of the Treason Act 1795 "Whereas it is an offence within the realm or without...to devise...constraint of the person of our sovereign...his heirs or successors and "to enter into measures tending to overthrow the laws, government and happy constitution of the United Kingdom"..

    The charges were factually correct and legally faultless. They could not be refuted. The authorities' response was silence until the Maastricht Bill had become the Maastricht Act which, they then said, made everything right retrospectively.

    Unfortunately only the Crown Officers can prosecute for treason and they were (to use the Scottish term) "art and part" of the conspiracy to commit the offence.

    A great pity the charges could not be brought as the penalty then was still hanging - which would have had a very salutary effect both on the body politic and the future conduct of the accused..

  7. I don't think they need to be elected, Monty. These people never were.

    But I'd have to disagree about the private sector. The directors of the likes of BP seem to do nicely on their performance bonuses.

    And whilst, of course, many of the banks are more than half in the public sector, they seem to have enormous bonuses, and had so long before the socialised their massive losses.

    But yes. I agree that they are the real looters.

    Why shouldn't people at the bottom think "I'm gonna get me some" when the people like this lot show "greed gone mad"?

  8. No Mr S. You didn't mention that before. But I'm not surprised. They never manage to get rid of these things. It's all talk.

    As a republican of course, I am always amazed at the notion that the Queen and her disagreeable family should be in any way protected from the law, and whilst I think that the notion that one could be hanged for interfering with this, is simply monstrous, I have to admit to a liking for the notion of hanging cabinet ministers. The idea of Francis dangling at the end of a rope certainly appeals.

    My mother used to fancy Douglas Hurd but she told me last night after seeing on the tv, she no longer did. I suspect it was his expensive coat, the name of which she once told me, that she liked, rather than him. (She'll kill me for letting that out.)

  9. Ah! things are so different under the coalition and the snp executive misrule the new type of politics..

    so whats new we ask?? well the answer is the Torys lib dems and the snp rob the public purse for their supporters instead of the Labour Party.

    Its a grand thing democracy wonder when we will get some

  10. Its a grand thing democracy wonder when we will get some

    When we evict every last unionist politician from Scotland and you have a chance to help in that Niko.

  11. Jeez Niko. Who stole your scone?

  12. Let's start with Harris, shall we Cynical.

  13. tris..
    I don't care what BP pay their workers. It's their money so they can do what they want with it.
    It's the publicly owned banks, council leaders, BBC and quangos etc paying each other hundreds of thousands of pounds that winds me up.

  14. Well, quite so, Monty, but you did say that they would be sacked in the private sector. I merely made the point that they wouldn't necessarily, as there are plenty of examples of huge bonuses in that sector.

    However, the size of executive pay, bonuses, perks and prostitutes (where applicable) may put up the cost of their products. That may be our business. of course we don't have to buy their products, but if they are all at it, we may not have too much choice.