Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Marsham Street's Missing Millions

Does this surprise anybody at all? Yeah, the worst department of state is up to its old tricks again. Its accounts are so dire that the National Audit Office finds it impossible even to tell how bad they really are. That's pretty fucking bad, I think you'll agree. Apparently they can't even do their bleeding bank reconciliation.

It makes you wonder, really. My dad has spent an entire career scrupulously documenting his expenses incurred in the exigencies of the service, while the Ministry has apparently been behaving like a New Jersey waste disposal contractor on secondment to the CPA, throwing slack handfuls of geld up at the gilt minstrel's gallery of some Saddam-era palace and grinning like an axe wound.

There is of course only one solution. Kill the beast. I've said it before and I'll say it again: abolish the Home Office. Policing should be local. Devolve it. The proliferating profusion of centralised agencies - the Border Patrol or whatever it's going to be called, PNITO, NCIS and MI5? Well, there should be proper ministerial accountability for the spooks, so they should come under a Secretary of State for the Secret Service or SOSSS for short. PNITO should be zapped. The actual port security mission should go to the respective police forces. The Revenue already runs Customs & Excise. Politicians have repeatedly shown they can't be trusted with the question of immigration and nationality, so the IND should be quangofied to get it out of direct political interference, rather like the Bank of England. Prisoners are typically illiterate - perhaps the Department of Education should take over? A large majority of them have more than one mental illness - perhaps the NHS should?

All the monster database projects and such must simply die.

That leaves - what? The QE2 Conference Centre, I believe. Meh, privatise it. Who cares?

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