It could have been worse, yes, but just look at the state we are in. During the 10 years of plenty, 1997-2007, public spending went through the roof, much of it wasted, the planned budget deficit this year is £121 billion and the interest bill is £50 billion.
At times, the civil servants’ role is to save politicians from themselves. Sir Gus is proud to have been instrumental in stopping Britain joining the euro in 2003 when he was Permanent Secretary at the Treasury. “We did the biggest evidence-based piece of work I’ve ever done. My only regret now is we didn’t get it translated into Greek and send it across. There were a number of politicians who, out of a belief that the politics was the crucial part, wanted us to go in. Imagine what state we’d be in if we’d been in the euro.”
Is Sir Gus "proud to have been instrumental" in that success, too?
The truly ghastly, enraging thing is that this smug numbnuts will be floating off towards a massively well-remunerated retirement on a cloud of self-satisfaction - while the rest of us count the cost of his lousy maladministration. Surely the whole point of these people is, as you quote O'Donnell saying, to save politicians from themselves. Well, that went bloody well, didn't it? The only reason we're not in the Euro is that Gordon Brown is an emotionally damaged control freak who couldn't bear to relinquish control over the currency - and that God for that! O'Donnell cherry-picking the few good things that happened - no doubt accidentally - on his various watches is nauseating. When he was in charge of the whole civil service this country's economy slid down the crapper. Where were our so-called saviours when public spending zoomed into the stratosphere? What exactly was O'Donnell doing then? Wretched man!
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