Anorak News | This Year’s Brown

This Year’s Brown

by | 13th, July 2004

‘IF Gordon Brown can cut 104,000 jobs from the Civil Service payroll by 2008 and make no difference to the Government’s productivity, it makes us wonder what these people are being employed to do.

Brown plans to make one more public servant unemployed

Yesterday, the Chancellor announced his pre-election spending review and explained how his plans to improve public services would result in the loss of many public sector jobs.

While the Times’ news that the cull and other cuts will save £21bn a year seems good, not everyone is best pleased – around 104,000 people, at a guess.

One of the disgruntled is Brendan Barber, the TUC General Secretary, whose membership is due for realignment over the coming three years.

“These cuts cannot be made without hitting the quality of public services,” says he. “They will deal Civil Service morale a bitter blow.”

That they will. But back to our original question: how can cuts be made and no difference be felt?

Surely, these men and women in bowler hats don’t all work on the Butler report, that investigation into the Government’s handling of the those Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction, which is due to close soon and so render them redundant?

But Brown prefers to explain the cuts away as the products of a great investment in technology, “modernising our [the Government’s] ability to provide back office and transactional services”.

For those of you who wish to find out more, the Times (“The Big Spend”) and the Guardian (Spending review 2004) both include lengthy sections debating the prosaic Chancellor’s reallocation of funds.

And in reading them you may find out more about the Chancellor, the man who is, the Independent says on its front page, still very much at odds with Tony Blair.

Indeed, some of Brown’s allies – dubbed “Brownites” rather than the more approachable “Brownies” by the paper – believe Blair will announce his departure from the top job later this month, thus paving the way for Brown.

The Guardian illustrates this transfer with a large front-page cartoon of a smiling Brown (artist’s impression) wearing a shirt with No.11 on the front handing over a bag of cash to another smiling Brown clad in a No.10 shirt.

So here is Gordon Brown planning the country’s future while simultaneously mapping out his own.

Or, if the Guardian’s picture is read another way, here’s Chancellor Gordon giving with one hand and Prime Minster Brown taking it back with another…’

Posted: 13th, July 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink