Wednesday, July 19, 2006
And Then There Were None
A couple of months ago I was discussing the quality of senior civil servants with someone who comes across a lot of them. We both agreed the quality has definitely gone down since the days of Sir Humphrey and the famous Rolls Royce Mind. For some reason today's bright young grads want to become lawyers, investment bankers, and consultants, rather than signing up for a lifetime toadying to the likes of Blunkett and Prezza.
But then my companion said 'ah well, there's always David Varney of course- he seems good.'
Sir David is certainly different to most civil servants, having worked most of his career in the commercial world. And he's certainly given the impression of getting on top of the rambling new HM Revenue and Customs conglomerate. Despite those vast losses to fraud and evasion (blogged here).
But now he's gone. After just two years, and all of a sudden, he's gone.
Well OK, he's actually moving to some non-executive Treasury advisory role on "transformational government". But that's clearly just a smokescreen.
More likely, he got fed up trying to explain why he couldn't deliver Gordo's fantastical anti-avoidance revenue gains while simultaneously cutting staff numbers to meet Gershon targets.
Posted by Mike D at 6:51 pm