A purge of reform-blocking Labourite quangocrats should really have happened in 2010, a Year Zero revolution removing enemies of the Coalition from positions where they could do harm. Here are some examples of high-ranking public quangocrats who should be first up against the wall:
- Suzi Leather – Dubbed the “Quango Queen”, Leather has been deputy chair of the Food Standards Agency, chair of Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, chair of the School Food Trust and chair of the Plymouth Fairness Commission. As the £104,999 a year (for a 3 day week) chair of the Charity Commission, expenses guzzler Leather’s nakedly political, failed attack on private schools cost the quango £185,000 in legal fees. She now sits on the General Medical Council.
- Matthew Taylor – Labour’s Campaign Co-Ordinator and Director of Policy during the 1997 election, helping to write their manifesto. He developed Excalibur, Labour’s anti-Tory attack super-computer, before becoming Labour’s Assistant General Secretary and Chief Strategy Adviser to Tony Blair. Strictly speaking he is not a quangocrat, we’re not sure how to categorise the chief executive of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. He has turned the august institution into a Blairite third-way think tank and made his position impregnable to internal attack from the fellows.
- Chris Smith – The former Labour MP and now peer chairs the Advertising Standards Authority, a censorious bunch of self-appointing bureaucrats making politically correct judgements in areas they should not go into. To call them a “kangaroo court” would be to insult the powers of jurisprudence wielded by antipodean mammals. His vast experience of Islington drinks parties qualified him to take charge at the bloated Environment Agency. Obviously.
- Linda Perham – Ex-Labour MP for Ilford North, Perham is now a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, Chair of the Thames Water Trust Fund and Chair of East Living, a subsidiary of East Thames Group.
- James Purnell – Former Labour work and pensions secretary Purnell is paid £300,000-a-year as the BBC’s head of strategy. Prime example of the revolving door between Labour and the Beeb.
- Godric Smith – Tony Blair’s former political spokesperson is now a £100,000-a-year BBC PR adviser.
- Justin Forsyth – A former No. 10 spinner for Gordon Brown, Forsyth replaced Damian McBride no less. Now he is the CEO of Save the Children UK, which has ramped up attacks on domestic government “cuts” since 2010.
- Jacqui Smith – Now the chairman of Birmingham hospital, no doubt she became an expert on healthcare while she was Labour’s Home Secretary.
- Naaz Coker – Sits on the board of the National Audit Office. Previously she was chairman of St George’s hospital, where she did nothing about Jane Pilgrim’s status as a taxpayer-funded trade union official.
- Geoff Mulgan – A former chief adviser to Gordon Brown and Director of Policy to Tony Blair in Downing Street, Mulgan is in charge of Nesta, who oversee the government’s £250 million budget for science and technology.
- Peter Brook – Director General of Finance and Commerce at the Ministry of Justice under the last Labour government, Brook is now chief executive of Barnardo’s, which says welfare reform leaves people “stranded”.
- Graham Badman – Advised Labour on education, now he is on the executive board at Unicef, which says UK “government cuts will increase child poverty“ and backs a Robin Hood tax.
- Chris Patten – And finally the most notorious, dripping wet, left-winger of all, not only is twelve-job Patten the chairman of the BBC Trust, he is also chancellor of Oxford University.
One down, who’s next?