Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Plague Lab Disgrace


The Bloke on the trail... before he contracted foot and mouth


As predicted (see here), the report of the enquiry into the Pirbright foot and mouth outbreak has found the government guilty on all charges. They are directly responsible for releasing a devastating virus into our countryside.

This disgraceful episode precisely illustrates why we can never trust the government with anything:

  • Shabby and dilapidated- that's how the enquiry describes the lab - par for the course in our second-rate "not me guv" public sector
  • Shambolic organisation- with five separate public sector bodies involved, responsibilities were fudged and confused: even now, the enquiry has been unable to say precisely which was responsible;
  • Conflicts of interest- Defra (BOM's long-time candidate for Whitehall's worst department) was centrally involved as both funder and regulator- a conflict that would not be tolerated in the real world
  • No learning- we are constantly told by our blundering commissars how "lessons have been learned", but actually, that hardly ever happens - the chair of this enquiry has been unable to get any assurance similar things aren't still happening at other government labs
  • Buck passing- when the outbreak happened last summer, Defra span like crazy that it was all the fault of the damned yanks in the lab next door (see previous blogs eg here and here). Well before any proper investigation, they passed the buck (and that included the "sainted" I-Speak-Only-Truth HillaryBillary).

So why hasn't Benn resigned?

These arrogant clotheads confiscate over 40% of our incomes and deliver nothing but chaos and underperformance. Yet they just plough on as if it's someone else's fault. It isn't.

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