Let them off…


Why do we complicate things?

The finance people used to try it on… until the Future Focussed Finance and their Value Makers appeared and reminded us NHS finance is only adding up, dividing, not much multiplication… and mostly taking away!

Some people complicate things when they already know the answer… so they look heroic when they solve the problem.

IT bobble hats do it. I used to think re-booting a computer was magic!

Inept managers complicate situations to hide the fact they are useless…

… and then there are politicians… the only tool in their box is the law. The law is complicated, so their solutions are clunky, heavy handed and complicated.

Many politicians come from a background as ‘special advisor’. They are seldom special and their advice is usually complicated because it is their job to be Machiavelli with a laptop.

There’s a stand-out example going on right now, manifesting itself in the persona of one Damien Green MP.

Former Tory minister, who ran into a bit of trouble with the contents of his computer. Be that as it may…

He remains a close confident of Mrs May and looks like he has the key to the back-door of Number 10, even if he’s not seen using the front-door, these days.

He’s written a report for an outfit, grandly called, The Centre for Policy Studies.

Founded in 1974 by Sir Keith Joseph and Margaret Thatcher, the CPS modestly announce, on their website;

‘… a world-class track record in turning ideas into practical policy. As well as developing the bulk of the Thatcher reform agenda… responsible for proposing the raising of the personal allowance, the Enterprise Allowance, the ISA, transferable pensions, synthetic phonics and free ports.’

Well, they must be jolly clever, that’s all I can say.

The report our Damien has been working on; the politically toxic topic, how to fund adult social care.

The Chancellor’s been trying to bung his way out of trouble, social care is on its knees and the NHS has been feeling the full force of the pile-up in A&E and delayed discharge.

The fact that Green has been prompted into writing it?

Remember he was once Work and Pensions Secretary, and once had the responsibility for writing a Green Paper on the topic, but didn’t… this is important.

Amongst Damien’s raft of talents is go-to-man, BBC Today Programme explainer of government’s woes and chief kite-flyer.

Kite flying is a valuable political skill. It requires the ability to judge which way the wind is blowing, across the landscape of public opinion.

I think Green has had his Paper written for him, by CPS, a think-tank, hard wired into the Tory Party.

A solution to this thorny topic has defeated previous governments and a promise of a Green Paper kicked the can down the road, on several occasions.

I don’t think government knows what to do, or they do and don’t want to say. They don’t want to talk tax-rises, at a time when they are unpopular, in enough mess without making it worse.

Let’s not forget, the government has had a couple of goes at sorting out social care funding. The most spectacular, the 2017, ‘dementia tax’.

Hence the so-called Green-Report will be what the government would like to say, dressed up as cerebral-think-tankery, put, deniably, into the public domain, as the work of someone else… to see how it plays.

How it plays in the media, the financial press and in the heartlands.

This ‘Green Report’? It’s bonkers.

Tax thresholds, top ups, vouchers and an unbelievable complexity that no one will be able to explain, least of all, on the doorsteps during an election campaign.

Forget it, far too complicated. So, what’s the answer? Keep it simple…

We all pay into the NHS, in case we get ill. If we don’t it’s a blessing.

We all pay into defence, maybe there’s no personal threat but it’s for our collective safety.

We all pay for schools. We don’t all have kids but they are the future of the nation and our pensions.

We are all going to get old, so we all need to pay a bit more. Simple.

Those who are not going to get old… let them off.

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Reproduced at TrainingPrimaryCare.com by kind permission of Roy Lilley.