September 6th, 2013

Knives Sharpen For DWP Permanent Secretary

On Wednesday night Guido revealed that IDS himself had to launch his own investigation into Universal Credit after he suspected the civil service were not giving him the whole picture. Yesterday, little was left to the imagination over who DWP blames for the NAO’s description of a ‘fortress mentality’ and ‘good news culture’ – the civil service. Fingers are being pointed all over the place at DWP Permanent Secretary Robert Devereux, particularly in the Telegraph with Isabel Hardman quoting a Cabinet source putting the boot in:

“You have a permanent secretary who seemed not to know what he was doing and was not willing to admit it, appallingly badly negotiated contracts with suppliers, which you would not expect, and if ministers want to crawl all over that, then there would be a lot of criticism that they should leave it to the civil servants.”

Another ‘observer’ points out “If he had an ounce of shame he should have departed some time ago.” With both Mark Thompson and Devereux up next week, the Public Accounts Committee could be a bloodbath…


  1. 1
  2. 2
    Dave, the drowned poodle says:

    Let’s launch our attack then

    I don’t like bloodbaths on my watch Guido

    Then I can go tooting with Tony in the Med

    Happy days

  3. 3
    Casual Observer says:

    Should be a blood bath, but then they may all just be let off.

    Stupid question, but is Common Purpose involved in this anywhere ?

  4. 4
    Living in 97.222% white Merseyside says:

    Thank goodness this Universal Credit doesn’t affect my cast-iron bennies.

    Solid as the Rock of Gibralter (as Sir Bumley Foghorn spells it).

  5. 5
    Liblabcons are shit says:

    I don’t know about Russia’s leadership but Britain certainly looks like it’s being run by a load of tossers

  6. 6
    Happy Days says:

    How is the Chilcot report coming along ?

    Tony should have finished his bit by now.

    (Dave should count his blessings that he has avoided a similar future problem)

  7. 7
    Fun without Joy says:

    Dave isn’t a complete tosser:

  8. 8
    John Chubby Cheeks Bercow says:

    I’m much taller than Putin.

  9. 9
    Irritable Drain Syndrome says:

    Nothing to do with me.

  10. 10
    Happy day says:

    Let’s have some real class here, Guido

  11. 11
    dai the heavily taxed says:

    its deja vu all over again

    ‘they are all in it anyway’

    and if the likes of ian sunken stiff and the political overseers of the bbc haven’t yet appreciated both the fecklessness and corruption of their own charges – they are a bit old to be finding out now

    one suspects huge %age spending cuts across the board may be one of the few ways to identify any competence within these fossilised parasite organisations

    we ain’t seen nothin’ much yet

  12. 12
    ken frost says:

    Do not forget the sinking “flagship” that is RTI (UC cannot function without RTI)

  13. 13
    Grumpy Old Man says:

    In the good old days, a mandarin who fucked up was given the option of a K and retirement through ill-health. As after 13 years of Ruritanian rule the politicised Civil Service is full of Lefty saboteurs, reformers like Gove and IDS perforce must play hard-ball for the encouragement of others. Before the knives are inserted, just remember that Devereux was a loyal servant of any Government once. Devereux merits the civil service misericord

  14. 14
    Sandra in Accounts says:

    Civil Servants could not give a flying fig about value for money in contract negotiation – it is not their money or a companies money & they know they can never be sacked, no matter how lazy, incompetent & feckless they are.

    Devereux should be sacked. No pay off – if it were the private sector he would be thrown out.

  15. 15
    Little Englander says:

    If our civil service were given the job of inventing the wheel the fucking thing would come out square.

  16. 16
    Bobby Deveraux says:

    I may have been on a course or two, I couldn’t possibly comment.

  17. 17
    jmf says:

    Heard on the radio this morning that there is play opening soon about Medicated Gordon. Opens this week I think in London.

  18. 18
    Yankee go Home says:

    What we need here is some good old-fashioned British happy music. Written by a German

  19. 19
    Bobby Devereux says:

    The report on that will come out in due course, but I can indicate privately to you that it was the fault of an external contractor, one Barney Rubble. Please keep this to yourself. Boaz

  20. 20
    Voltaire says:

    He should be unceremoniousy fired without a pension.

    Pour encourager les autres.

  21. 21
    War Watch says:

    Leaving aside the PR war of words, actions speak somewhat louder:

    Troop carrier changes the equation slightly. Capability to deploy landing force somewhere in the Med means only one thing.

    Now, Russ!a lacks an aircraft carrier in the region, but do they need it ?

    If a small carrier fleet shows up near G!braltar there should be no surprises.

    Has Dave fixed that problem with the Span!sh yet ?

  22. 22
    A Taxpayer says:

    Exactly. And the firms he did deals with should be banned from bidding for government contracts for five years.

  23. 23
    Tay King-dePisse says:

    And years behind schedule.

  24. 24
    He's such a twat says:

    The real Gordon wouldn’t even be able to play himself in it.

  25. 25
    A Taxpayer says:

    So why doesn’t he publish Chilcot now?

  26. 26
    The British Public says:

    Syria is none of our business.

  27. 27
    In other news... says:

    The U.S. Military Dumped 20 Million Gallons of Chemicals on Vietnam from 1962 – 1971.
    Israel Attacked Palestinian Civilians with White Phosphorus in 2008 – 2009. Washington Attacked Iraqi Civilians with White Phosphorus in 2004.
    The CIA Helped Saddam Hussein Massacre Iranians and Kurds with Chemical Weapons in 1988.
    The U.S. Military Littered Iraq with Toxic Depleted Uranium in 2003.

  28. 28
    Anonymous says:

    Local Election results show the Tories are still losing support to UKIP

    Goodby Cameron

    Charnwood BC, Loughborough Ashby September 5, 2013

    Lab 375 (72.3; +10.0)
    UKIP 115 (22.2; +22.2)
    Con 29 (5.6; -32.2)
    Majority 260
    Turnout 9.2%
    Lab hold
    Percentage change is since May 2011.

    Carlisle City, Yewdale September 5, 2013

    Lab 716 (48.7; -10.5)
    Con 453 (30.8; -4.6)
    UKIP 257 (17.5; +17.5)
    LD Terence Leslie Jones 31 (2.1; -0.7)
    Green 14 (1.0; -1.7)
    Majority 263
    Turnout 30.2%
    Lab hold
    Percentage change is since May 2012.

    Boston BC, Fenside September 5, 2013

    UKIP 162 (39.4; +39.4)
    LD Alan Taylor 87 (21.2; +10.6)
    Con 87 (21.2; +21.2)
    Lab 75 (18.2; -6.9)
    [Boston Bypass Independents (0.0; -28.3)]
    [English Democrats (0.0; -35.9)]
    Majority 75
    Turnout 13.66%
    UKIP gain from English Democrats
    Percentage change is since May 2011.

  29. 29
    ReefKnot says:

    No surprise there then. Top civil servants are all Arts and Humanities graduates. Couldn’t organise a proverbial in a brewery.

  30. 30
    resign says:

    Iain D Smith, if he had a conscience, would resign over misleading the Tory party.

  31. 31
    Guinness is good for you, as Guido knows says:

    Robert Devereux

    Robert Devereux
    Permanent Secretary
    Department for Work and Pensions
    Robert rejoined the Department for Work and Pensions as Permanent Secretary on 1 January 2011, having previously spent four years with the Department for Social Security, and two years with DWP when it was first created in 2001.

    Robert’s civil service career began in the Overseas Development Administration, and he has worked in HM Treasury, on secondment to Guinness Brewing Worldwide, and since 2003 in the Department for Transport, where he was Permanent Secretary for 3 years.

  32. 32
    Living in 97.222% white Merseyside says:

    Gibraltar? Like my benefits – ROCK SOLID!

  33. 33
    Don't hold your breath that this will see the light of day before 2035 says:

    There is some argy-bargy between Chilcot and Cabinet Secretary(and Bliar ?)regarding the publication of correspondence between Bliar and Bush in run up to the War isn’t there ? So Chilcot is refusing to publish until they agree.

    Dave has nothing to do with it or any say when it is published as under the conventions it’s controlled by cabinet secretary and the Inquiry was set up under Brown

  34. 34
    Living in 97.222% white Merseyside says:

    One time lover of good old Queen Bess. Didn’t she have his you know what chopped off.

  35. 35
    Maqboul says:

    It’s called The Gay Gordon’s on Ice….

    …I’ll get me coat

  36. 36
    Anonymous says:

    The fingers need to be pointed at all those that can not help themselves and continue to expect success from those that have consistently demonstrated failure.

    People rarely change. Corporate mentality is absolutely impossible to change.

    There was a consultancy that performed tests on different corporations by locking their employees in a isolated rooms and giving them tasks. The result was that for a small teams the difference in productivity was a factor of 10.

    Also as the companies offered multiple teams it was shown that the corporate mentality actually determined the productivity of all their teams.

    So when a company came last for all its teams the director asked for help from the consultancy.

    There was nothing that could help. It was an ingrained culture problem where only those that fit in stayed. Hence it was forever doomed.

    That was for companies in a free market with competition, now think what the civil service would be like.

  37. 37
    Anonymous says:


  38. 38
    Tachybaptus says:

    What do you think they should have studied? Sociology? Drama? Bubbleblowing?

  39. 39
    Gruinard says:

    The UK’s own record in such matters is exemplary

  40. 40
    The blind leading the blind says:

    It is clear that, like much of the rest of the UK Government, the DWP is completely out of control

    Devereux is obviously an incompetent ninconpoop

    But the question is

    Who can bring this juggernaut stufed with leftie civil servants under control?

    Indeed, is it even possible?

  41. 41
    Anonymous says:

  42. 42
    Handy if Liverpool are playing away says:

    And by the sound of it you will be able to claim them not just in Liverpool but anywhere in the Universe.

  43. 43
    Point of information 5 says:

    Canada only recently stopped using Agent Orange in civilian population centers:

  44. 44
    Those who Can't,teach says:

    I noticed that since management skills have been taught as a subject in our colleges and Universities that Britain’s management skills have gone right down the fucking toilet.

  45. 45
    Common sense politics says:

  46. 46
    The Public Which Pays For This Nonsense says:

    Dave should man up and tell the Cabinet Secretary to get his finger out.

    Conventions = The Dead Hand of Complacency

  47. 47
    The EU is croques (de merde) monsieur says:

    Russia have their own problem with Muslim terrorists (Chechnya) so why should Putin support Al Qaeda in Syria?

  48. 48
    Glanaman says:

    There there never mind keeping taking your meds, and do keep off these conspiracy websites

  49. 49
    V1le disgusting toxic Labour trashed my Country says:

    The Civil Service have never been fit for purpose because of the cosy little environment they work in. If they were placed in a commercial enterprise they would collapse within hours. This is why we have to fund all this waste with extortionate taxes. Sack the lot of them and outsource it with the proper controls.

  50. 50
    The Public Which Pays For This Nonsense says:

    I blame the ‘accreditation’ culture for a lot of this nonsense

  51. 51
  52. 52
    Glanaman says:

    Media studies or PPE of course

  53. 53
    Truth seeker says:

    So … regularly promoted under a Labour administration.

  54. 54
    Point of information 5 says:

    Strong math and science with some useful creative arts.

    Many of the humanities subjects are a complete waste of time, when looked at purely from a productive value perspective. Arguably they are counterproductive.

    Through history, the G’erman focus on science and technology vs. the UK’s more liberal arts focus has made a marked difference.

    This is the principal reason why G’erman Industry is much stronger and further ahead of the UK, despite G’ermany’s total defeat at the end of WWII.

  55. 55
    Truth seeker says:

    No, of course not. They are all unionised and work at their own speed, under their own conditions.

  56. 56
    Who dunnit? says:


    After he had used his other “you know what” quite often methinks…

  57. 57
    Jimmy says:

    You’re right. That was a stupid question.

  58. 58
    London says:

    Why should anybody, least of all the UK, which has actually been attacked by these arseholes?

  59. 59
    The UK government is totally corupted says:

    Yes and Labour introduced the system of “secondments” to give bungs to its chums and make them tame

    Thereby corrupting the whole fucking system

    Just look at the Cabinet Office at this moment…

  60. 60
    Yankee Go Home says:


  61. 61
    Jimmy says:

    Iain Dunce Smith: The Buck Stops Over There.

  62. 62
    alister says:

    Yes Minister

    Sir Humphrey Appleby:

    “The Opposition aren’t really the opposition. They are only the Government in exile. The Civil Service are the opposition in residence. ”

    True 30 years ago and seems as true today

  63. 63
    The Public says:

    A life of mediocrity and self advancement spent ignoring the public interest. Sack him. Sans pension.

  64. 64
    Anonymous says:

    The unofficial monopoly of enforced conformance.

    The absolute opposite to the traditional UK ability to break the mold and advance.

    There is now no choice but to conform. New ideas are not allowed, and taking responsibility for your own actions is just unheard of.

    The country does not want innovation. So it goes abroad.

  65. 65
    Insincerity Always Outs says:

    IDS once promised the public that he’d go to the grave fighting against the development of the Walthamstow Dog track. He failed. I am still looking foward to watching his act of Seppuku in atonement.

  66. 66
    Gormless ed says:

    I demand a judge led public inquiry into this contract.

  67. 67
    My finger is stuck in the dyke (ooh missus!) says:

    Good idea. Get his finger out – so all the shit will come tumbling out unaided for us all to see.

  68. 68
    Noted says:

    James! Your first sensible contribution this week.

  69. 69
    Noted says:

    Can you make that 55 years please?

  70. 70
    Noted says:

    Are you one of the Barbary Apes by any chance?

  71. 71
    John Tandy says:

    Pretty typical of modern day politicians and civil servants sadly….

  72. 72
    geordieboy says:

    No doubt civil servants negotiating contracts are taking backhanders like holidays, conservatories etc and that includes local planning departments.

  73. 73
    RickyTshed says:

    you will be able to walk from cyprus to syria across the warships soon

  74. 74
    City of Vice says:

    The term ‘British management’ is an oxymoron. For at least two generations too many British companies have been run by generalist know nothing bullshit artists with a replete their lexicon of US style management speak. It wasn’t the Unions that designed the Austin Allegro or the Austin Princess The dying Unions are no longer a factor, regardless of how crap most unions are, not least as most of their former membership voted with their feet. The reality is that we make fuck all of note these days. We have become a nation run by a faceless mandarin class of banksters and property spivs on the one hand, complimented by no nothing, self-serving politicos and civil service mandarins, most of all of whom are drawn from the same pot. Welcome to the corporate state.

  75. 75
    RickyTshed says:

    The guy who can live quite happily on £70 quid a week , about time we slashed the MP’s benefits

  76. 76
    A Thort says:

    Sack them all and make them re-apply for their jobs – and ban any union involvement. We could live with the strikes etc for a month or two, but when the strike pay money runs out, they will all come crawling back. That would then be the time to filter out the lefty dross and other incompetents.

  77. 77
    Dog Tagg says:

    You keep on and on and on about this. Are you a greyhound breeder or something?

  78. 78
    Truth seeker says:

    Good luck with that! About as likely as Dave closing down the BBC, I fear.

  79. 79
    IT Contractor on £1,000/day says:

    Funnily enough, the DWP has already given up on the shiny, new way it was developing the Universal Credit software and gone back to it’s old, discredited methods.

    What could go wrong?

    Nothing much for Accenture and IBM, who are on track to earn £1bn between them as lead developers of the system!

  80. 80
    10.4 highway patrol says:

    He looks completely alien to the realities of life . A proverbial lamb to the slaughter with a cherubic smile on his face on the way to the jobcentre — or more realistically a knighthood and a golden goodbye to buttress his top hat pension .

  81. 81

    Thanks to the Blair regime the Civil service is now full of labour placemen
    waiting for the return of then next corrupt socialist messiah to safeguard their
    inflated pensions and privileges. These self serving parasites need to be rooted out
    along with their pals in the judiciary, together with the rest of the euro arselickers

  82. 82
    Andrew Efiong says:

    Sack him and strip him of his pension.

  83. 83

    and his balls!!

  84. 84
    Eeyore says:

    Lack of “an ounce of shame” isn’t what’s keeping him in the job, it’s the salary and gold-plated pension – not to mention the promotion prospects. Frankly, it’s what any of us would do, given the alternatives.

    It’s an established civil service tradition, to promote the incompetent out of harm’s way; so expect his name to be gazetted soon.

  85. 85
    Eeyore says:


  86. 86
    Eeyore says:

    Agree entirely, except that you may have meant ‘complemented’.

  87. 87

    At our expense? they can go and fuck themselves!!!

  88. 88
    cynic says:

    or even ‘know nothing’ people

  89. 89
    cynic says:

    Actually, its us they’re fucking, and at our expense.

  90. 90
    Bilbo Baggins says:

    He looks like an extra from “The Hobbit”!

  91. 91
    Sha na na says:

    Putin says that he’ll shoot back! Bet THAT changes the equation!!

  92. 92
    Archie says:

    Canada did, back in the eighties it sacked 20% of all bureaucrats! In-laws tell me that the country survived without a blip!

  93. 93
    Anonymous says:

    The incompetent lying turd’s real name is George Smith and he is a serial failure at everything he does other than poncing off his wife’s money.

  94. 94
    Anonymous says:

    Useless Tory SoS demands system despite everyone with a brain telling him it won’t work.

    Useless Tory SoS then blames the people who told him it couldn’t be made to work for it not working.

    What a wanker.

  95. 95

    After attending Grimsby Job Centre this morning to sign on,I was informed that I had missed an appointment on the 19th August 2013.I replied I have received no letters informing me to attend any appointment.I was then told I would need to make a ‘Rapid Reclaim’.I was not informed about any details concerning the alleged missed appointment.I searched several sites online and drew a blank concerning ‘Rapid Reclaims’.Advice on the net mentioned that I would have to make a Basic Claim from scratch or get a phone number from JCP to ring for an appointment whereby I could then start a new claim.Jobcentre Staff have sold their Souls to the Fascist Smith Himself,they are paid over the minimum wage to lie to claimants.The Fascist Smith has made the DWP a complete Shambles.

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