Iain Dale is pimping his latest Telegraph Column: Bonfire of the Bureaucrats. Amongst other tosh and twaddle he claims:
If you employ hundreds of thousands of extra bureaucrats - as Gordon Brown has - do not be surprised if they come up with hundred of thousands of extra regulations. It's what bureaucrats do. The only way to stop them is to get rid of them.
But where does he get his statistics from? Is he perchance in a careless muddle between bureaucrats in bureaus and public sector workers at large - police, doctors, nurses, prison officers and so on?
100s of 000s of extra bureaucrats? Last time I looked Gordon Brown was in deep trouble with Unions over his insistence on cutting around 100,000 jobs in bureaucracy i.e. 20% of the national civil service.
It is also worth noting that over the last 10 years or so the proportion of the total headcount in such jobs who are part time has increased very considerably (chart one) meaning total hours are dropping even more than the numbers and it looks like there are more flexible jobs available to women in the workforce. Though there are other ways to dice and slice that statistic.
Deliciously a Japanese paper I found with two minutes search shows that of five major OECD nations surveyed in 2000 only Japan had a lower level of non military public service workers per head of population (chart two). The United States of America, France and Germany were actually running ahead of us. Though Bush may well have done some damage there.
At local government level more and more work is of course being carried out by private and voluntary sector workers. The trend there is almost certainly also downwards.
So we must assume that Iain's bold statement of Gordon Brown bringing on 100s of 000s of extra "bureacrats" is actually based on a totalling of more police, more teachers. more doctors, more nurses, more of this that and the other direct public service providers? Afforded in part by cutting bureacrats!
Bureaucrat numbers are now falling from a total of around 500,000 in the civil service towards a target of around 400,000. They have certainly not risen even before this process by the 100s of 000s claimed. Ridiculous!
An anonymous comment at Iain's suggests CCHQ would be annoyed. Iain shouldn't frighten the horses by telling the truth. Conservative Central HQ might instead be worried that rather than telling the truth and frightening the horses Iain would speak a load of vague unresearched generalisations and ideologically driven tosh?
But then again that is of course their stock in trade.