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Wednesday 23 March 2011

TPA – Non-Job Holder In Show Of Ignorance

To show that there is strength of non-jobbery in depth at the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA), non-job holder Andrew Allison has been making the running today with his continuing attack on North East Lincolnshire Council, who have had the temerity to hire someone on a year’s fixed term contract at £70k, to help them in guiding through a £9 million program of cost savings.

Yes, this Council is looking to save £9 million a year, every year, so it might be thought that the TPA would be in favour of the appointment. But because the job title is “Future Shape Programme Manager”, they have decided to demonise the move instead. After all, the TPA’s knowledge of local Government is limited to lists of salaries, and job titles.

And that’s all: actually finding out what this job entails is beyond Allison and his generously remunerated colleagues. He has made no effort whatever to do so, except to assert that the job is not required because someone else can do it. He does not justify this assertion, as such mere details are beyond the TPA.

In fact, what Allison is showing to his readers, although this is not his intention, is his ignorance of the workings of local Government. The way to find out if the role he so cheerfully derides is necessary would be to study the organisation and those working within it, assess their workloads and responsibilities, and the requirements for the change programme.

But Allison will not be doing that: he will continue to sit on the sidelines and sneer. He shows this technique elsewhere in his piece by attacking Surrey County Council for appointing a team of three people, which he then describes as a “vast array”. He asks if the Council really needs the staff, and thus shows that he is as ignorant of that organisation as the one in Lincolnshire.

If he knew his subject, Andrew Allison would not need to ask questions or offer only opinions – he would know, and would have facts to back up his judgment. This is yet another example of TPA ignorance and the resorting to shooting from the hip: the shoddiness of the exercise is underlined by the lack of even a read through, so we get the payoff “creating new departments Sir Humphrey Abbleby would be proud of”.

Put the boot in, forget the read through

Whatever the less than stellar array of non-job holders at the TPA are being paid, it’s clearly too much. But there is an answer to this problem, and Andrew Allison himself has it: “they should be replaced with people who can do their jobs better”.

Well said that man!

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