Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Bureaucrats: Flip Flop Boy promises "more with the same"

Flip Flop Boy said today a National Government would "put a cap on the number of bureaucrats."

"Core bureaucrat" numbers have grown 37 per cent [since 1999], compared to 10 per cent growth in state sector staff providing frontline services and 22 per cent growth in employment in the economy as a whole, he said.

The Nats fighting bureaucracy?   No, not really.  Yet again, the large print giveth and the small print taketh away.  Showing the clear difference between a politician and a principled politicians he went on to clarify:

It is time to stop the growth in bureaucracy experienced under the Labour Government over the past eight years, because there are already enough bureaucrats to do the job... When it comes to the bureaucracy, it is clear that Labour has spent eight years doing the same with more. It’s high time we started doing more with the same.

Actually, no.  When it comes to bureaucrats and their all-enveloping bureaucracy, it's well past time "we" started expecting -- nay, demanding -- much less with many fewer.

As Ludwig von Mises observed, "Only to bureaucrats can the idea occur that establishing new offices, promulgating new decrees, and increasing the number of government employees alone can be described as positive and beneficial measures." And only a charlatan would see anything less than a total reversal of that process as anything to boast about.

UPDATE:  "Not exactly the razor gang promised by former National leader Don Brash, is it?" says Colin Espiner (correctly).


"I can see Key’s problem though,"says the sympathetic scribe.  "To announce you’re about to take the knife to the state sector is asking for trouble, since it invites immediate attacks from Labour of the 'slash and burn' variety - you know, National’s 'scorched earth' policies, etc, etc."  And to announce you're not going to take the knife means you invite immediate attacks from those aware the bloated sector is urgently overdue to be punctured, and builds up trouble later when of if such cuts do come because you'll be seen to have been lying.  Again.

Here's how I would slash the bureaucracy while keeping the bureaucrats onside.  On coming to power I'd tell them all that whoever wanted to could take a year's paid holiday.  This would be worth it, since it would stop the bureaucrats whimpering about their jobs while giving them time to get a real one, and everyone and their uncle would immediately see which, if any, bureaucrats were worth keeping when they all returned (if any did) after their year off.  And you can be damn sure it won't be those who are "responsible for developing and implementing frameworks, models, and systems for strategic measurement of progress, determining the best practice benchmarks related to organisational performance, and for developing processes to monitor [departments'] progress towards achieving strategic outcomes.”

How many of Wellington's 36,000 bureaucrats would be missed?


  1. A number very close too, if not very actually- zero

  2. Ha. 'Flip Flop Boy'. The best reference to John yet.

  3. No word on Key's promise to repeal the EFA, ditch the innovation fund, abolish maori seats. Just hate.

    Would you like to know why Don Brash gave up his large salary to become an MP? The answer might surprise you.

    I liked Brash - and the media treatment of him was disgraceful. You are doing the same thing to Key just out of spite.

  4. I imaginge Osawald,that a libertarian society would accomadate a very small number of beuracrats for the purposes of police, and the army,(non public funded of course, and with very little power).

  5. National Party is mental weaklings.

    Key talks. He only means what he says when he says, "Um, ah, eer, ow!" That's when you can be certain he really means it. Othersounds from him is fluffy deceptiveness.


  6. Anonymous, Key only opposed the innovation fund because it wasn't "done the right way", and the Maori seats have been flip flopped.

    Some of us want a change in government, not a wimpy version of the same.

  7. I know people want change Scott.

    Key is a political work in progress and his faults are easy to see. But PC is not objective - he still venerates Brash. My family has had work connections with Brash for years, and nice and intelligent as he is, he is a very ego-driven man who wanted to be in politics for the same reason others do - for the POWER.

    PC gives Key no credit for trying to improve his game, or anything else. No one improves by being told that they are stupid.

    Infact this might as well be on the sidebar:

    I take this opportunity to point out that I denounce, deplore, renounce, object to, disapprove of, damn, condemn, lament, refute, give the finger to, bemoan, look askance, oppose, remonstrate against, decry, wish to have no part in, lambast, and find fault with any and all comments made by John Key.

    Such criticism includes, but is not limited to racism, bigotry, welfarism and yo mama jokes.

    (I adapted that from TBogg!)

  8. One thing PC hasn't mentioned is that one would have to marry such a bureaucratic holiday with a regulatory holiday.

    Eg, all those evil homeowners building a deck without RMA consents (gasp!) would be forgiven since all the "city planners" and other interfering wankers would be too busy chilling out in Rarotonga to stamp the necessary paper.

  9. Those bureaucrats should not be chilling. They should be tossed into a furnace at the point of a pitchfork. Then fed to the roaches. Not chilling. Heating and burning and eaten.

  10. Questioning a politician's promise is not synonymous with not being objective, Anon. Key's probably the next PM of this country. That puts him right in the firing line.

    When's a better time to question their promises/commentary, than election year?


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