Tuesday 1 November 2011

494 years later ...

... a profitable 22 minutes and 53 seconds may be spent by all, listening to the audio of Chris Chant's talk, given to the Institute for Government on 20 October 2011, available here and here:

In the first nine minutes, Mr Chant declares war on the Whitehall dispensation under Pope Augustine.

The Ninety-Five Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences (Latin: Disputatio pro declaratione virtutis indulgentiarum), commonly known as The Ninety-Five Theses, was written by Martin Luther in 1517 and is widely regarded as the primary catalyst for the Protestant Reformation. The disputation protests against clerical abuses, especially the sale of indulgences …

On the eve of All Saint’s Day, October 31, 1517, Luther posted the ninety-five theses, which he had composed in Latin, on the door of the Castle Church of Wittenberg, according to university custom.
OK, we don’t call it “reformation” now, we call it “transformational government”. But that’s what Mr Chant’s talking about, isn’t it. He didn’t nail his theses to the door, they were posted as an audio stream. But it comes to the same. And we don't buy indulgences any more, but we might as well, it might be more effective than paying PA Consulting and Computer Sciences Corporation.

What chance did Luther stand, with the powers ranged against him? To any sensible observer at the time, none. Ditto Mr Chant. But Luther won. Mr Chant (and we) might, too.

1 comment:

Taxpayer said...

Very impressive-sounding man. The greedy sods who've been stuffing their maw with public money grotesquely mishandling technology projects must really loathe him! The idea of limiting contracts to one year - and of paying people for results only - is, of course, basic business common sense, but it's astonishing how often these principles aren't applied in the public sector. (I know - I worked in it for a long time). Chant sounds like good news for all of us, as you suggest.

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