Thursday 28 March 2013

Meet the new boss...

One of the coalition's stated priorities after the general election was to have a "bonfire of the quangos" which would save the taxpayer £2.6 billion and rid us of numerous pointless bureaucrats. Three cheers for that, of course, and some progress seems to have been made, with more than 100 of these parasitic organisations biting the dust.

It is, however, notoriously difficult to slim down the size of the state thanks to the vested interests who depend upon it. Governments are also incredibly inefficient even when it comes to closing things down. Almost unbelievably, the cost of the bonfire will be £830 million—nearly twice the original estimate—and the government could not resist setting up some new quangos in the process.

On Monday 1 April, Public Health England will begin its work of dealing with all the outbreaks of cholera and scarlet fever which blight the country on a daily basis. I jest, of course. You could count the number of genuine public health issues in the UK on one hand. Instead, this bloated organ of the state will be focusing on private health issues and hassling people about their bad habits. Presumably the government thinks that there is a gap in the market for another taxpayer-funded gaggle of fussbuckets to join the chorus of the British Medical Association, the Royal College of Physicians, Action on Smoking and Health, Alcohol Concern, Consensus Action on Smoking and Health, the Alcohol Health Alliance, the National Obesity Forum, The Lancet, the Smokefree Coalition, DrinkWise North West, SmokeFree North-East, the UK Faculty for Public Health, the Royal College of General Practitioners etc. etc. etc.

The budget for Public Health England is a little under half a billion pounds a year and its management structure has all the hallmarks of a money pit for pencil-pushers, ball-jugglers and frustrated politicians who think they're too important to do a real job.

Although this quango is not yet fully operational, it has already started issuing proclamations and demanding legislation. What do you think the first topic addressed by this 'public health' group was?


Seasonal influenza?

Hospital superbugs?

Of course not...

New public health agency backs calls for minimum price on alcohol

The new national agency in charge of public health in England has backed proposals to establish a minimum price on a unit of alcohol to try to curb the harmful effects of drinking.

This, I suspect, is the tip of very large iceberg.


Ivan D said...

Disgusting. A complete waste of our money at a time when decent people who make a real contribution are being asked to take pay cuts or work part time. How does the government even begin to justify this?

nisakiman said...

Dear God, not another bloody health lobby? Who are they? Escapees from another quango that was torched? And the budget they have! You could just about solve the drinking water problems in Africa with that kind of money! And this in a time when UK PLC is about to call in the receivers!

I give up, I really do. The idiocy is truly monumental.

Lysistrata said...

I've been wittering on about this since February 2011. Public Health England, big money, and devolution of Public Health responsibilities to local authorities, god help us, from 1 April 2013.
No-one took any notice so I think I'll change my username from Lysistrata to Cassandra.

NJS said...

By jingo! If you add the British weather to the equation, I am jolly glad that I live in Brasil - where only lip-service is paid to such patronizing creeps as those who run these blasted organizations - and, of course, the weather is absolutely perfect. Even the thought of visiting Blighty makes me feel anxious and I don't really regard it as my country anymore.

David Moss said...

One million obese children should have personally tailored get-fit programmes, says health watchdog:


Professor Kevin Fenton, Designate Director of Health and Wellbeing at Public Health England, said drastic measures were needed to tackled what he describes as an "obesogenic environment" and help the 1.3million children who are obese in England to lose weight.

Public Health England is a new body which started work on Monday April 1 “to protect and improve the nation’s health and wellbeing, and to reduce inequalities”.

Prof Fenton is in charge of the new agency’s health and wellbeing, screening, mental health, health inequalities and public health programmes.