After 9 years of National, our public service has become a highly politicised and increasingly ideologically damaged entity which threatens to stop any progressive change that the new Government may want to enable.
Highly politicised because public servants have manipulated rules to provide their political masters with information they shouldn’t be able to access, (Winston’s pension over payment being the most recent example), and increasingly ideological because almost the entire welfare state is geared towards punishing beneficiaries rather than helping them.
If the new Government want to force their agenda through, they must begin by radically purging previous political appointees. There are thousands of positions that now need filling on various Quangos throughout the country and Labour needs to start immediately there to ensure their eyes and their ears are sitting on Boards to ensure policy implementation isn’t being stymied by right wing Public Servants.
Now would be a good time to sit down with the PSA to see if they are genuine in improvement of public service values rather than protecting their members jobs. If such a partnership is possible, Labour could use that relationship to force the State sector bosses to change ideological direction, but Labour could also force change by supporting socially progressive NGOs critical of social policy to critique the welfare agencies.
Setting up a whistle blower 0800 number so that public servants can dob in their managers and bosses who are ignoring their public service obligations would also be a good means of forcing change.
Passing new policy is one thing, having a right wing public service implement it is another.