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Politics in the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead

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    David Burbage MBE was Leader of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council from 2007-2016. This blog : Promoted by Geoff Hill on behalf of David Burbage and all other Windsor and Maidenhead Conservative candidates, all of 2 Castle End Farm, Ruscombe, Berkshire RG10 9XQ
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What Blair Said

Posted by davidburbage on November 22, 2009

Anthony Jay, co-creator of Yes Minister writes in the Guardian that “Yes Minister is as true as ever”.

Pointedly, he says of politicians that :

There are two answers: the expressed, publicly acceptable motivation, and the real motivation. The minister’s declared motivation is to serve the voters, to satisfy their hopes and aspirations, at whatever personal sacrifice. His real motivation is to get promoted, to get re-elected, to burnish his own and the government’s image.

Of civil servants he says :

The civil servant’s declared motivation is to carry out the wishes of the government efficiently, economically and impartially, working conscientiously and tirelessly to turn ministers’ policies into just, beneficial and workable laws. Their real motivation is to raise their personal status, to enhance the importance of their department, to avoid blame, to gain credit, to minimise work, to resist change, and to retire with an index-linked pension, a knighthood and the chairmanship of a couple of quangos and a seat on the board of a blue-chip company.

What’s this got to do with Blair?

Well, in his final Commons appearance, he said

Some may belittle politics but we know it is where people stand tall. [..] It may sometimes be a place of low skullduggery but it is more often a place for more noble causes.

And that is the analogy. It gives me great pleasure to sort things out, get wrongs righted and change things for the better. But all too often one is frustrated by vested interests, a lack of ambition or drive, the desire for a quiet life. And all of the Yes Minister traps! And although there are plenty of civil servants who carry out the wishes of politicians with enthusiasm and zeal, it’s by no means a universal given.

I have no magic answer to this – just to be consistent and fair, and yes, putting residents first because it’s the right thing to do, not just because it sounds good.


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