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Tuesday 22 March 2011

TPA – Waste No Opportunity, Spare No Opponent

Those wealthy yet furtive people who bankroll the less than stellar array of non-job holders at the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA) will be glad to know that their generous donations are being used to significant effect in demonising anything out there that looks like Government. Today has brought an excellent example of this from the smug-faced Chris Daniel, who has previously been mentioned here.

Daniel’s target is the Local Government Group (LGG). Who they? Well, this is a body, or group of bodies, that provide specialist support to local authorities. It means that those specialist skills are pooled, rather than each authority having to pay out for a resource they may not need all the time – or having to buy that resource in on spec.

So it might be thought that the TPA would be in favour of such an organisation, as it enables local Government to make savings. But that is to misunderstand the TPA and its mission: just because the article comes under the Better Government strand does not mean that the TPA is bothered about such trivialities – or even understanding what the LGG is and does.

The TPA, as I’ve previously noted, has one purpose and one alone, and that is to demonise Government – any Government – along with public service and public works. No other consideration enters, not even forming an understanding of how any part of any Government works. Far easier to sneer, snark, and then put the boot in, as Daniel does to customary effect.

This lack of understanding extends to the salary structure of the LGG: given that the body provides specialist services, it should be expected that many of its staff will not be on the most basic of pay grades. But Daniel is not interested in this, substituting waffle such as “Each individual division of the LGG employs a similar number to a large council”. But no example is cited, as he just made that up.

After all, the LGG has committed a cardinal sin that in the eyes of the TPA is unforgiveable: it has declared itself to be “a strong collective voice that argues the case for local Government at every opportunity”.

Like the garage mechanic might have said, “mmmm – that’s going to cost you”.

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