Andrew Murrison, MP for South West Wiltshire - Do we need highly-paid bureaucrats?

This Is Wiltshire: Dr Andrew Murrison, MP for South West Wiltshire Dr Andrew Murrison, MP for South West Wiltshire

I have fairly mixed views on the way Parliament is run. It is probably reckoned bad form to be anything other than effusive about the senior bureaucracy that supports the Commons but it has never struck me as especially Rolls-Royce.

Remember this was the outfit whose accounting officers allowed the preconditions for the appalling expenses debacle. That deeply traumatic, slow-motion train crash five years ago severely dented our democracy. Whilst MPs rightly took the rap, I’m sorry to say officialdom was asleep on the job.

So I have no objection to finding a ‘Clerk’ (the lowly title is misleading) to run the place from outside even, like the Governor of the Bank of England, from overseas. It could be an invigorating breath of fresh air.

However, before making a very senior and expensive appointment like Clerk of the Commons I would ask whether the position is actually needed at all.

If Wiltshire Council can abolish its Chief Executive, saving tax payers loads of money, why not the Commons? Have you noticed any deterioration in the service you get as a result of the decapitation of Wiltshire’s bureaucracy? No, neither have I. But I do appreciate WC freezing my council tax for five years.

If it really is essential to fill this vacancy, as with any vacancy, you must assure yourself that the person in mind possesses the necessary skill-set and attributes. Finally, remember that it’s the public paying and the public wants to curb senior management overhead.

So, you should explore how to manage downwards the cost of the post. The incumbent, a very nice, affable public servant, enjoys a truly eye-watering pay and pension package, superb central London accommodation and a knighthood thrown in. Nice work if you can get it.

To my knowledge, none of the strictures I have offered have been applied in making the appointment that Mr Speaker Bercow is apparently intent on. I do so hope that he has not sacrificed ability to do the job for political correctness. Time will tell.

Comments (5)

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11:49am Sat 23 Aug 14

Highwayman says...

I believe on this occasion Andrew is wrong. To ask a Canadian to run the Bank of England, the Americans to run defence procurement, the Mauritian to run The Foreign Office back office and now an Australian to run the House of Commons is either The Government showing too little faith in the British people or a disparaging refection on their ability to develop the requisite skills. What is apparent is The Government is not prepared to invest in the national engine room and if we now need to invest in high priced executives to modernise the bureaucracy, it is a price we must pay. The Treasury is responsible for a great deal of our money and gaining best value requires a modern, efficient and effective system, which in turn requires proper investment. Until The Government develops the necessary skill to run a modern national infrastructure themselves, they must rely on others to do so, I only wish they would put their faith in the British to assist them.
I believe on this occasion Andrew is wrong. To ask a Canadian to run the Bank of England, the Americans to run defence procurement, the Mauritian to run The Foreign Office back office and now an Australian to run the House of Commons is either The Government showing too little faith in the British people or a disparaging refection on their ability to develop the requisite skills. What is apparent is The Government is not prepared to invest in the national engine room and if we now need to invest in high priced executives to modernise the bureaucracy, it is a price we must pay. The Treasury is responsible for a great deal of our money and gaining best value requires a modern, efficient and effective system, which in turn requires proper investment. Until The Government develops the necessary skill to run a modern national infrastructure themselves, they must rely on others to do so, I only wish they would put their faith in the British to assist them. Highwayman
  • Score: 2

12:05pm Sat 23 Aug 14

brasstacks says...

It might be far better rather than publish his thoughts on other people's wages, that Andrew Murrison focus on earning what tax payers pay him for ?
If Mr Murrison spent more time in his own Constituency in Wiltshire to help those who can never get hold of him instead of living in his 2nd home in London and or jetting off to ireland etc ?

Mr Murrison's articles in local free papers in Wiltshire only rant on about the wars going on and I suggest that he put a lid on the box of his former Forces career and open the box that says MP in Wiltshire ?

I heard a rumour that MP's are Public Servants so why the hec is Mr Murrison critisising his own 'team' ?...

Be grateful you have a job Mr M and, with respect, perhaps start standing up to the 'promises' you made when you were last up for election ?
It might be far better rather than publish his thoughts on other people's wages, that Andrew Murrison focus on earning what tax payers pay him for ? If Mr Murrison spent more time in his own Constituency in Wiltshire to help those who can never get hold of him instead of living in his 2nd home in London and or jetting off to ireland etc ? Mr Murrison's articles in local free papers in Wiltshire only rant on about the wars going on and I suggest that he put a lid on the box of his former Forces career and open the box that says MP in Wiltshire ? I heard a rumour that MP's are Public Servants so why the hec is Mr Murrison critisising his own 'team' ?... Be grateful you have a job Mr M and, with respect, perhaps start standing up to the 'promises' you made when you were last up for election ? brasstacks
  • Score: 8

1:24am Sun 24 Aug 14

beetawix says...

brasstacks please cheer up, a miserable whinge indeed.

How do you know how Mr M apportions his worktime.?
brasstacks please cheer up, a miserable whinge indeed. How do you know how Mr M apportions his worktime.? beetawix
  • Score: 0

4:18pm Sun 24 Aug 14

Mrs Donnyfly says...

Does brasstacks think that the comments made/article written by friend of Dave Cameron, Andrew Murrison, take him days out of his schedule to produce?
Does brasstacks think that the comments made/article written by friend of Dave Cameron, Andrew Murrison, take him days out of his schedule to produce? Mrs Donnyfly
  • Score: 0

4:25am Mon 25 Aug 14

moonrakin wurzel says...

The problem is actually highly paid incompetents isn't it?

We have been saddled with far too many completely out of control and incompetent public servants ( like Bercow and his totally toxic predecessor) - and nobody in a position to do anything will lift a finger to even make a start on actually making sure that government is run well and cleaning up the mess of unbridled self interest and hubris by actually confronting the perpetrators and handing out a few P45s where appropriate.

Brasstacks mentions a "team" ... in your dreams mate! The public sector wastes around half of what they take from us to provide communal services - serial incompetence and worse is not remedied.

It's a cliche - but something must be done...

Highwayman - you need a stick as well as a carrot (or truckloads of carrots in your estimation) - overwhelmingly, the present culture of UK public servants promotes suffocating, constipated process over the actual delivery of services and this must change.
The problem is actually highly paid incompetents isn't it? We have been saddled with far too many completely out of control and incompetent public servants ( like Bercow and his totally toxic predecessor) - and nobody in a position to do anything will lift a finger to even make a start on actually making sure that government is run well and cleaning up the mess of unbridled self interest and hubris by actually confronting the perpetrators and handing out a few P45s where appropriate. Brasstacks mentions a "team" ... in your dreams mate! The public sector wastes around half of what they take from us to provide communal services - serial incompetence and worse is not remedied. It's a cliche - but something must be done... Highwayman - you need a stick as well as a carrot (or truckloads of carrots in your estimation) - overwhelmingly, the present culture of UK public servants promotes suffocating, constipated process over the actual delivery of services and this must change. moonrakin wurzel
  • Score: 0

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