Monday June 1, 2020

Sir Humphrey is back in charge

The coalition's timidity in pushing through reforms is allowing the civil service's natural conservatism to reassert its power, writes Green Party leader Eamon Ryan.

1st September, 2012
A scene from 1980s BBC TV sitcom Yes Minister: 'The real skill a politician needs to learn is how to work with the public service.' Photo: BBC

On my first day in office as a government minister, a senior civil servant gave me the full box set of the TV series Yes Minister. It was a present from an insider who knew that the real skill a politician needs to learn is how to work with the public service but that sometimes you also have to be good at fighting the system, to save it from its own worst instincts.

That system...

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