Some emperors driven mad by absolute power appoint their horse a senator.
While others create ERG.
This time last year Sir-Gus-now-Lord O'Donnell was still Cabinet Secretary, permanent secretary at the Cabinet Office and head of the home civil service. He stood down on 31 December 2011.
The month before, Sir Richard Mottram had published an article in Public Servant magazine, Whitehall shake-up – not all good news.
Sir Richard mentioned a number of the abiding problems faced by Whitehall, problems which existed when Sir Gus took over and which had still not been solved six years later. Among others, how do you govern Whitehall? The big central government departments look like independent satrapies. Silo government. Who, if anyone, is in charge? According to Sir Richard:
... the coalition government has given increasing priority to improving the efficiency of the civil service and the wider public service under a Cabinet Office group ...