Implement That


Watch out for the word “implementation” in 2012. It’s the new in-word in Whitehall.

‘Delivery’ is out – far too New Labour. Instead, ‘implementation’ is the new buzz-word – it has already started to make an appearance in public, for example when it was used by David Cameron and George Osborne to explain that the ‘implementation’ of the cuts in Child Benefit might be a bit different from the original announcement.

It’s reported that ‘Dave’ is becoming increasingly frustrated that Whitehall is not doing the business – budgets have been butchered, policies promulgated, laws leveraged through, but on the ground – nada. At least not what, or as much, as our Dear Leader would like to see hapening is happening.

There is even talk of some sort of new “implementation” unit being set up in Downing Street (not a Delivery Unit, oh no, they just rid of one of those).

As reported in the previous post, the first meeting of Perm Secs of 2012 under the new Heywood-Kerslake regime spent the whole meeting addressing ‘implementaion’.

I hate to say “I told you so” – I have predicted several times that 2012-13 would be the time that the massive cuts and radical change agenda would hit the brick wall of reality – especially the inability of the Mandarins to ‘implement’ (must get used to saying that, I still keep wanting to put ‘deliver’). My slightly whimsical end of year message for 2010 was entitled ‘The Great Train Wreck of 2013‘ and a month earlier I’d advised that “This Government could do with a notice hung in every Ministerial office saying “It’s the implementation, stupid.” ” It seems they might just be waking up to the reality. Good luck with that.

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About Colin Talbot

Professor of Government. Universities of Cambridge and Manchester, England.
This entry was posted in Politics, Public Administration, Public Management, Whitehall. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Implement That

  1. John says:

    ‘waking up to the reality.’
    Camerwrong and 0z one born every minute wouldn’t know reality if it…. well you get the drift.
    Gentle Cuts & Growth would be wonderfuel…. Yes they are all gas and no electric..

    If we had it we’d be living the dream.
    With this shower it’s a nightmare.
    Please can we have an election.
    How many Liberals would get returned if they said they made a mistake and went to the country?

  2. Pingback: The Civil Service Reform Plan – Mostly Old Wine in Very Old, but relabelled, Bottles. | Whitehall Watch

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