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The Johnson Quandary

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tetsabb
1389365.  Thu Sep 09, 2021 4:58 am Reply with quote

Alexander Howard wrote:
Personally, I think it's a cussedly awful decision that might even reduce the tax take, and if it increases it, the money will be spaffed up the wall by inefficient bureaucracy and not reach the project it is intended to do. They could trim rolls of fat off the bloated state, if it were not so engorged that no one can see any shape to it, let alone where to stick the knife.


Are you suggesting we do not provide more funding for our NHS?

 
barbados
1389370.  Thu Sep 09, 2021 6:04 am Reply with quote

I can see a little of where AH is coming from.
The NHS isn’t funded adequately, and it never will be. So there is some merit in looking to reduce the bloat before giving additional money.

 
Alexander Howard
1389372.  Thu Sep 09, 2021 6:37 am Reply with quote

tetsabb wrote:
Are you suggesting we do not provide more funding for our NHS?


Who mentioned the NHS? I know some people worship it as their golden calf, so it is wisest not to mention the NHS in a public forum just as I do not mention beef steak in front of Hindus.

The government machine is bloated, wasteful and largely pointless. That is not a fault of those working in it: it just has an internal system logic that expands as money is poured in. Perhaps we should farm it all out to the government of New Zealand or Ireland: they do all that is necessary for a state on a tiny tax base, just by not doing so much.

 
tetsabb
1389479.  Fri Sep 10, 2021 11:38 am Reply with quote

So, next time you are on a motorway, and a vehicle is on fire, you don't want wasteful fripperies like a fire tender to put out the flames, traffic officers directing traffic, or control room staff putting up electronic signs to advise motorists of what is going on?

Just as an example....

 
barbados
1389492.  Fri Sep 10, 2021 1:50 pm Reply with quote

It would be a strange world where a fire engine is considered "a frippery"
I think the point is that while you need the tender, you don't need the 6 full time managers to oversee the part time window cleaner who is only in once a month.

 
PDR
1389494.  Fri Sep 10, 2021 3:05 pm Reply with quote

barbados wrote:
It would be a strange world where a fire engine is considered "a frippery"
I think the point is that while you need the tender, you don't need the 6 full time managers to oversee the part time window cleaner who is only in once a month.


Can you provide an example of such? (Outside the pages of the daily wail etc).

PDR

 
barbados
1389495.  Fri Sep 10, 2021 3:08 pm Reply with quote

PDR wrote:
barbados wrote:
It would be a strange world where a fire engine is considered "a frippery"
I think the point is that while you need the tender, you don't need the 6 full time managers to oversee the part time window cleaner who is only in once a month.


Can you provide an example of such? (Outside the pages of the daily wail etc).

PDR


Not too hard .
tetsabb wrote:
So, next time you are on a motorway, and a vehicle is on fire, you don't want wasteful fripperies like a fire tender to put out the flames,

 
PDR
1389497.  Fri Sep 10, 2021 5:00 pm Reply with quote

My bad - I should have been more specific about the question I was asking, so let's try again (my emphasis):

barbados wrote:
I think the point is that while you need the tender, you don't need the 6 full time managers to oversee the part time window cleaner who is only in once a month.


Can you provide an example of such? (Outside the pages of the daily wail etc).

PDR

 
suze
1389498.  Fri Sep 10, 2021 5:10 pm Reply with quote

The notion that the existence of a public fire service is communist really does exist in North America. There used to be a Facebook group devoted to the idea and it had a six digit number of members.

It was long suspected that the group had been set up as a satire, but the guys who ran it would never confirm or deny that - and even if it was, by no means all of the members got the joke. See also the first Discworld novel, which goes a little way down that road.

This is not really an answer to the question that PDR was asking, since the sort of American who really does object to his taxes being used to fund a communist fire service would undoubtedly be placed in the "Daily Mail etc" category. I've never met anyone in Britain who feels the same way about the existence of the public fire service, but the number who do is probably not zero.

 
PDR
1389500.  Fri Sep 10, 2021 6:03 pm Reply with quote

I was aware of that, and have actually met people who hold those views. I suspect it's related to the view which resulted in "Collision Damage Waivers" for hire cars being prohibited in some US states (eg Illinois) because they claimed it denied personal responsibility (the usual mantra of the brainless alt-right nut-jobs as we also see in these pages). I think there was a move to remove these CDW bans but I don't know whether they succeeded.

I was just looking for documented examples of the excess managers and bloat that were being alleged. I know Alexander has a contempt for facts, so we can ignore his claims - but can we have an actual example of these excess layers of management in public-sector organisations? These claims usually evaporate when checked, so I'd like to see one.

It used to be common to make similar claims about the NHS - too many managers when they could hire doctors & nurses instead. Of course much of the reality was that in the 70s the NHS (like many large organisation) confused rank and seniority with management responsibility, so they had the senior consultants spending much of their time doing management & administration rather than medical stuff. This was patently ridiculous, and eventually they recognised it by separating the technical (medical) seniority form the organisational responsibility - they let the medics concentrate on medical stuff and hired administrators & managers to take care of the routine organisation & management.

There are a lot of people in a hospital staff, multiple departments and millions of pounds of procurement and services (both internal and contracted out) so you need a fair number of non-medical staff to undertake these roles, and the senior management roles might be accountable for 300 staff and annual budgets of over £100m, so the people of the calibre to undertake these roles are going to be those who could easily earn over £100k in any other field. But it's still better than having senior medics spending their time letting the catering contracts, assessing tenders for the ICU refurbishment or conducting disciplinary hearings.

But that doesn't stop the Daily Fail fodder spouting these tales of bloat. It gives them delusions of sentience.

PDR

 
barbados
1389504.  Fri Sep 10, 2021 7:51 pm Reply with quote

hyperbole
in British English
(haɪˈpɜːbəlɪ )
NOUN
a deliberate exaggeration used for effect

Quote:
It used to be common to make similar claims about the NHS - too many managers when they could hire doctors & nurses instead. Of course much of the reality was that in the 70s the NHS (like many large organisation) confused rank and seniority with management responsibility, so they had the senior consultants spending much of their time doing management & administration rather than medical stuff. This was patently ridiculous, and eventually they recognised it by separating the technical (medical) seniority form the organisational responsibility - they let the medics concentrate on medical stuff and hired administrators & managers to take care of the routine organisation & management.

It was also like that in more recent times. There are IT departments with managers overseeing a team of 1, which includes the person managing the team. The hospital trust I worked at had an IT department of 14, with 5 of those being managers, who kept away from the coal face, and wouldn’t know how connect up a computer if you left them with the instructions. Although that can’t be confirmed because at the time, unless the device was in the renal, pathology, or x-ray departments there was only one person who could do that - and that was me, I couldn’t “fix” an issue, but if one of the three people who were responsible for the deskside support couldn’t fix it, They had to ask their manager, to ask my manager to ask me to provide the replacement.

Again, I wouldn’t know what is written in the daily mail, I don’t read it. Perhaps if it offends you so much you might do the same.

 
Jenny
1389557.  Sat Sep 11, 2021 2:04 pm Reply with quote

Is your claim that these multiple managers each only bear responsibility for that one team member?

And in the instance you cite, is it true that the five managers out of 14 did nothing else but manage the other 9 members of the department? Were they all of equal standing, so that each of the five managed specific individuals while doing no other form of work?

Let's pass over the instance of one manager speaking to another, because that is part of the normal chain of command in any hierarchical organization.

 
barbados
1389558.  Sat Sep 11, 2021 2:17 pm Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
Is your claim that these multiple managers each only bear responsibility for that one team member?
No, and that is not what I said
Jenny wrote:

And in the instance you cite, is it true that the five managers out of 14 did nothing else but manage the other 9 members of the department? Were they all of equal standing, so that each of the five managed specific individuals while doing no other form of work?

Yes.
Jenny wrote:

Let's pass over the instance of one manager speaking to another, because that is part of the normal chain of command in any hierarchical organization.

It is the normal chain of command, however when you work in a department to have 2 people being the only ones responsible for replacing computers, a job that anyone who works in IT could do is an example of bloat, or do you consider the amount of time sat around waiting is good value for money?

 
PDR
1389576.  Sun Sep 12, 2021 2:57 am Reply with quote

Perhaps it simply shows that you only understood the element of the IT department's work which involved physical moving, installing and configuring of equipment and that there were other tasks & responsibilities beyond this in the ToR of the management team.

PDR

 
barbados
1389578.  Sun Sep 12, 2021 3:52 am Reply with quote

PDR wrote:
Perhaps it simply shows that you only understood the element of the IT department's work which involved physical moving, installing and configuring of equipment and that there were other tasks & responsibilities beyond this in the ToR of the management team.

PDR

You could be right, it would mean that the hospital created a job with a specific very basic skillset, which represents excellent value for money to the tax payer.
Although if what you suggest is true - would it not simply enforce the bloat suggestions?

It would also suggest that previous to that I was just winging it and striking lucky often enough to make me the go to person on a number of major projects in my previous roles.

 

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