Avoiding the Omnishambles

Posted on: March 1st, 2015

Over the summer break we published a series of “thoughts for an incoming Government”. These have now been combined in our latest report “The Next Government”, which will be the subject of a mid-March conversation organised by the BGI with principal speakers Lord Falconer and Dominic Grieve MP.

The report, drawing on the experience of our members of working at the most senior levels of government, identifies a number of practical steps that a new Government can take to avoid repeating the sort of “omnishambles” mistakes of policy and delivery that have been the subject of so much criticism in recent decades.

The report covers:

A good start – constructing a programme that is realistic and thoroughly prepared.
A functional Cabinet – restoring the Cabinet’s ability to provide strategic leadership to the country.
Running a Government – working as a team in the careful preparation and implementation of policies.
The civil service – a more effective relationship, built on mutual trust, that nurtures the development of key expertise.
A ministerial “cabinet” system for Britain? – the need to resist the temptation to set up parallel hierarchies with confused accountability.
Coalition – practical steps to construct an agreed programme and resolve differences when in government.

The proposals are not rocket science, and they are obviously sensible. But how likely is it, given the pressures of today’s media, that a new Government will be able to resist the temptation to rush forward with a host of ill-considered commitments?