This section is where I feel all parties fail abysmally. And I see no reason to believe Reform etc would be any different. It is also my only gripe with (far better) writers on GP, that they call for cuts with no predetermined plans on where to reduce bureaucracy.
In all government organisations bureaucracy has now made them unworkable, there isn’t enough money for the front line. The NHS, Policing & Courts, DVLA etc etc, they are not providing a service any private organisation could stay in business with. It needs not just tinkering but vast, swinging cuts.
No legislation is brought in to deliberately cripple
Any restriction (legislation) on our lives is brought forward with the intention of doing good. So any attempt to get rid of said legislation will be met with both confected & real horror. When arguing against implementing restrictions is that it is easy to measure results on a narrow set of criteria, and to then proclaim good has been performed. Minor increases in life expectancy & happiness is a lot harder to take credit for at the ballot box. This is why so little regulation is ever repealed. What we need are clear principles that we can argue are good reasons for the greater good to clear certain regulations away.
Any time spent in either the public or private sector covering legislation instead of being productive is a drag on people’s wealth and happiness. It doesn’t create it, which is one of the more absurd claims of the left. By taking more man hours to produce the goods and services we do, it means we have less of an economy to pay for what we as people want, making us poorer, unhappier, and with that, a lower life expectancy.
Therefore in the public (and private) sectors we need to reduce the need for all the back office bureaucracy that gets in the way, employing more and more people and unable to be easily cut. Add in gold plated pensions, without serious reform, any monetary cuts will fall heavily on the already undersized front line. Yes we need more of certain civil servants!
By reducing the functions the government is involved in we can remove vast departments, Health, & Education being a start.
Four areas for the mass scrapping of laws/rolling back
Here are four areas I have identified as being first to scrap/repeal almost wholesale.
Only the police must act as policemen
Many laws brought in recently put the emphasis on people/organisations. These require them to act as policemen, with heavy fines if they fall foul of the regulations.
This has created a massive increase in off the public books spending.
My goto example is the UKTR laws on importing timber. A law all about virtue signalling, brought in to deal with a situation in West Africa especially, that had mainly passed long before implementation. Comprehensive and proscriptive risk assessments (another no no) must be performed – even if unnecessary to prove legality. You are fined for not following the regulations more so than importing illegal timber. Now I’m sure everyone reading this will guess the uproar if a government tries to repeal this law. And this is in theory one of the easiest to scrap.
Should be possible to clear a lot out with the minimum of fuss.
The Precautionary Principle
A lot of rules brought in by the EU and then further gold plated by ourselves (to show we’re not poodles!) were brought in just in case it saved a life. A classic example is the law that insisted that a vet had to be present at all slaughterhouses when killing. This was despite not one instance where this would have saved a single life. It closed down a lot of small slaughterhouses, and is probably more a health hazard should the wrong infectious disease get into one of the mass ones.
If it is accepted that regulations were brought in on this principle we should repeal making the case that the benefits to life expectancy and quality of life far outweigh the risks incurred in scrapping them
Outside the Scope of Government
There should be many quangos and oversight bodies that can be just scrapped. Common law is there as protection.
Risk Assessment Culture
I am told risk assessment is Roman/Napoleonic in nature; where you are guilty until proven innocent.
In my lifetime, there has been a shift to Risk Assessments for everything. These are by their nature cumbersome and end up being Arse Covering Exercises (ACEs). Going back to having simple laws and prosecuting for contravening them, rather than the risk assessment process will transform the bureaucracy overhead – especially of small companies. It will return us to the anglosphere way of being innocent unless proven guilty. Even compulsion to this approach for health & safety would be scrapped.
Any Other Principles
Any other principles that can be used as a blanket attack on bureaucracy is welcomed. I’m not interested in single regulations to repeal, that approach would never do more than scratch the surface.
The Diversity Act is one exception that although one piece of legislation, is horrendous in its bureaucracy.
On mass, repeal all legislation as outlined above – it would create some chaos, but if it isn’t performed swiftly it will be bogged down by self interested parties and get nowhere. Also, with this approach there will be too much for the left to defend.
After the mass repeal, we would look at another set of criteria with which to do the same again.
Next up – what we should take with menaces: Part 5 – Funding Government.
© Jerry Mandarin 2022