1. I am an outsider, so I obviously misunderstand a lot of what goes on in Jolly Old Blighty. But to an outsider it has long seemed as obvious as Mt. Everest on a clear day that a lot of the UK’s problems — perhaps most? — are home-grown, not driven by the EU.

    Separating from the EU will be a giant disappointment if Brits don’t use that opportunity to take back control of their lives from their own intrusive incompetent Westminster-dwelling Davoise. But it is so strange that facing up to the real problem with afflicts the UK gets less attention than the latest round of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’.

    Oh well! As someone once said, we all get the government we deserve.

  2. Gavin: Yes, which is what this is really about. The hope is that when the government can’t just blame the EU, and with a reduced surface area of government to attack, and with reduced mass giving it less inertia, outside of the EU we might better be able to fight this sort of nonsense.

  3. Post-BRExit, I suspect there will be plenty of opportunity for that “Bonfire of the QUANGO’s” we’ve been repeatedly promised.

    Task Dominic Cummings with it as a prerequisite to a “Bonfire of the Government Departments”. That should free up the odd copper or two.

  4. John G — Didn’t the sainted Margaret Thatcher try to do something about those QUANGOs? But they are still firmly ensconced in the UK. And, to go into my broken record mode, membership of the EU over the last few decades would not have inhibited the UK from the “Bonfire of the QUANGOs” — if that had been what the Westminster Political Class had wanted.

    Here is a wild guess from an outsider with no skin in the UK’s game:

    If Brexit goes as well as the doughty Brexiteers have claimed, with no more disturbance than a few minor hiccups, then there will be a rather low likelihood of getting the UK public riled up enough to demand any real change in UK governance and a roll-back of the ever more intrusive claws of your own Westminster government.

    Paradoxically, the best chance Brits have of ever seeing those fabled ‘sunlight uplands of freedom’ post-Brexit is if the Remain crowd turn out to have been right, and leaving the EU triggers all kinds of widespread economic and diplomatic distress for an isolated UK. Then we might see real pressure for the necessary reforms of UK governance which would finally put the UK on the road to the future that Brexiteers want.

  5. @Gavin – I suppose it comes down to “What does Boris want to spend money on”? If the answer comes back deregulation and tax cuts then it is easier to save £100 billion a year by cutting most or all of the 1,148 QUANGOs that exist rather than taking a hatchet to the Beloved NHS or Welfare.

    Having seen the Nanny Statism of Public Health England and other moronic nudge bodies, don’t you think that a country without them would be less hectored? Do they serve any valuable purpose at all (apart from employing morons too stupid for Local and Central Government)?

    If their functions are so essential to the safety of the nation then they should be part of an existing government function? Since they aren’t, clearly they aren’t (works both ways).

    Let it burn.

  6. John – We are in full agreement! Rolling back regulations, cutting out bureaucracy, reducing red tape, lowering overheads, reducing the number of direct & indirect government employees — all good things to do. All things that the Westminster crowd could have made a good start on at any time in the last 26 years of EU membership.

    The role of the UK prime minister seems to have grown over the years, but even the PM is limited in what he can do unilaterally. I guess the reason the Bonfire of the QUANGOs did not happen years ago is that many of the denizens of the Palace of Westminster wanted to keep their favorite QUANGOs — and those jokers (or others of their ilk) will still be in Parliament after Brexit.

    Let’s hope that Boris has the stroke to finally strike the match. All I am suggesting is that Boris will be more likely to have that stroke if the UK finds itself in difficulties post-separation, and has to face up to tough decisions. Otherwise, the inertia of the Westminster Oxbridge Davoise will likely ensure that most QUANGOs still continue on their merry unproductive way.

  7. The role of the UK prime minister seems to have grown over the years, but even the PM is limited in what he can do unilaterally

    True, but the difference between Parliament and Government is that the Government is the one with the chequebook (which is why the rule exists that only the government can pass bills which have an impact on the exchequer).

    Simply defund the bastards, let them cast their begging bowl wider than Westminster and Whitehall. Surely if the British Potato Council is so essential then it can get those who benefit from its aegis (presumably the UK Potato industry) will fund its efforts…and if they don’t we have an answer to the question “How important is the work of the British Potato Council?” (Ans: “Not enough to cough for it out of our own pockets says UK Potato Industry.

    The British Potato Council (aka AHDB Potatoes)

    Now multiply that by the 1,000+ other QUANGOs and see how many are left at the end. Not many I suspect.

  8. “Simply defund the bastards”

    John, we are in violent agreement!

    My only point is that the option of defunding the bastards has been there all along, even while the UK has been part of the EU. The worthless Westminster MPs who could not manage Brexit are the same useless tossers who have kept funding the British Potato Council and many more like it. And after Brexit, that same remote metropolitan set of incompetents will still be there, still happily writing checks to all the QUANGOs.

    Most of the UK’s problems all along have been home-grown. If there are serious short-term economic problems following separation from the EU and MPs can no longer write those checks, then Brexit may force the kind of changes in UK governance which will led to long-term benefits. A little misfortune may be a good thing!

  9. Quangoes will never be eliminated. They are lucrative posts for ex-politicians and/or serving politicians that want to top up their salaries.

    If you don’t believe me, name me ONE, just one person that isn’t already wealthy, one of the nobility or an insider serving on a Quango.

    The bar stewards are looking towards their post political career and keeping both trotters and snout in the trough.

    Besides, if cuts have to be made in the spending, it will be on things that will hurt the public (less pensions, less spent on schools etc.) while a Quango will be set up to argue against the cuts in funding for pensions, schools and the sacred Cow, the NHS.

  10. Most of the UK’s problems all along have been home-grown.

    More violent agreement. However, the Parliament of Knaves and the unCivil Service have been known to paint all manner of unnecessary garbage as “an EU requirement” or some such.

    By getting out of the EU, we remove that argument entirely (justified or otherwise) and restore full agency to both parliament and government, since one requires the other.

    The British Potato Council might well have had some meaning and purpose in the immediate aftermath of the potato famine or a WW1/WW2, but it has no real meaning today other than as a government subsidy to the grand viziers of the potato-industrial complex.

    Quite frankly, when there is any form of deficit the first cuts should always be with the QUANGOcracy, since they are rarely justifiable in the long-term.

  11. The buggers are talking about banning private cars now as well.

  12. “Do they serve any valuable purpose at all (apart from employing morons too stupid for Local and Central Government)?”

    I suspect that this part might be more significant than you think. How many useless people are being kept out of the unemployment statistics by all these useless fake charities and quangos? What would the social costs of sacking them all look like? Are we ever likely to have a government that actually has the courage to find out?

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