Dowden and Reform Party React to Last Night’s YouGov Poll

It will have been nigh on impossible for co-conspirators not to have already seen last night’s bombshell YouGov poll that sees the Tories end their 149 consecutive lead over Labour, slipping back five points down to 33% versus Labour’s 35%. Dowden unsurprisingly put on a brave face, saying “polls go up, they go down”. How much further down is the main question…

The Tories’ poll hit should come as no surprise to anyone with at least a foot in the real world. Hypothetical polls of the public’s desire to be taxed more to fund public services very quickly give way when the reality of taxes hit.

Reform will be capitalising on the desire of Tory voters for a non-Labour-lite, free-market party. Nearly one in ten Tory voters have switched to Reform UK according to this poll, doubling the party’s poll rating. A Reform UK spokesperson tells Guido:

“Who knew that wacking taxes up for red wall workers while simultaneously unrolling a red carpet on every beach in Kent and Sussex and threatening civil liberties like a drunken traffic warden could hurt the Tories polling figures. Seriously who could have guessed it?”

Meanwhile it’s not just the polls that see the Tories in the mud. Guido learns that even a Tory bigwig fundraiser on Wednesday, at Mayfair’s Wallace Collection, couldn’t get hands reaching into pockets for the party, despite cajoling from both Boris and Rishi. Who knew Tory donors weren’t keen on an enormous tax hike?

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Gove Backs Anti-Reshuffle Reform Plans

Michael Gove has backed the findings in a new report from Policy Exchange which lays out plans to modernise the Civil Service with a greater focus on promoting ‘talent and potential‘ over tenure, and broadening recruitment with a greater range of ‘backgrounds, life experiences and perspectives’. It also suggests limiting cabinet reshuffles and introducing greater training for ministers and SpAds. Odd to see Gove supporting fewer reshuffles…

Writing this morning, Gove said:

“Covering a wide range from the history of Civil Service reform to the Sisyphean challenge of upgrading our digital and data infrastructure, this report is a valuable guide to modernisation of government. As this report argues, Ministers and officials will ensure the promotion of the most capable Civil Servants, with promotion based on talent rather than time served.”

To anyone in the private sector, the idea that you should not promote on the basis of time served doesn’t seem particularly radical. A white paper outlining the details of the government’s planned reforms is expected soon…

Read the report in full: 

Read More

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80% of State Bureaucrats Will be Replaced by Robots

Britain’s bloated public sector could save £4 billion-a-year over the next 15 years by replacing 250,000 human civil servants with more efficient robots, according to a study by the wonks at Reform. Chat bots and other web AI could all but wipe out administrative roles, while drones and robots will take over policing and medicine. This would streamline the sector to its essential human core: the 20% of strategy-setting top minds. Reform said the changes would mean:

“The NHS, for example, can focus on the highest risk patients, reducing unnecessary hospital admissions. UK police and other emergency services are already using data to predict areas of greatest risk from burglary and fire.”

Robots – in the form of AI driven software agents – also have the advantage of not going on strike and making fewer mistakes than humans in critical processes. Today’s study is the latest in a slew of similar reports: Oxford University predicted 850,000 jobs could go to robots. The data-driven, automated public sector would wipe out the government’s budget deficit…

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