Friday, 13 August 2010
Do you want Pickles with that pork pie?
Today the expenditure of the Department for Communities and Local Government was "laid bare" in what was basically a manuevre to give the appearance of "transparency", whilst in essence being an exercise in political point-scoring. Details here
There's nothing wrong, of course, with opening the books. Nor is there anything wrong in principle with showing up New Labour allowing the frittering away of sums (however small) on senior management ego-trips and flights of fancy.
But the trouble with printing items of expenditure of £500 or more, without any detail or context provided, is that you can make it tell any story you want it to. The ConDems. led in this case by Eric Pickles, want to use it as a handy distraction from the massive cuts they want to make in all areas of public spending. So the story is "Labour's 12 months of excess".
While Pickles is attacking the "profligacy" of others, it also takes the focus off his own grossly inflated expenses claims, and his chauffeur-driven ministerial jag.
All in all, a rather desperate attempt to soften us up for what he's got planned for the public sector.
Don't be fooled.