Magazine article Public Finance

PC and Goodwill to All

Magazine article Public Finance

PC and Goodwill to All

Article excerpt

If you still think of good old Santa as an old fuddy-duddy dressed like a lumpy pillar-box with a tatty beard, prepare yourself for a shock.

With help from my old friend Sir Gus O'Donnell, the revolutionary Cabinet secretary, my new Departmental Capability Reviews, introduced only last month, are set to turn Toyland into a paradigm pioneer of efficiency. They will be independently audited by the NAO (National Arctic Office) so don't talk to me about Toyland inspecting itself.

The challenge, so my management gurus tell me, is to push the envelope and provide organisational glue for the positive deviants to take us on a journey to baking the cake.

The appointment of Rudolph as my efficiency champion represents a step-change in the battle against those banes of the public sector, siloisation and stove-piping.

The other good news is that Santa is going interactive. On the new Santa Christmas channel press the red button for more information, plus puzzles and competitions featuring Santa's own Christmas poker game -get a royal flush and win your very own Tessa Jowell London 2012 doll.

E-mail me from your computer on - no more grubbing around in dank, dusty chimneys looking for indecipherable lists for me - or text Santa on 5088880.

Plans for Santa's public sector Christmas party are progressing well.

The Westminster Strictly Come Dancing extravaganza will benefit from the inclusion of newly anointed Tory leader David 'Mr Cool' Cameron, who will dance the party waltz with Lord Jeffrey Archer. David Davis has retired hurt after his recent reverse and is unlikely to be seen again.

Number 10 adviser Lord Birt had signalled his agreement to take part in the cha-cha round ('blue skies, smiling at me...'). But this has now been vetoed by Prime Minister Tony Blair on the grounds that Birt is an imaginary figure and is never seen anywhere, least of all before MPs at the public administration select committee.

The arrangements for my new production of I'm a Cabinet minister, get me out of here have had to be revised. David Blunkett made an unexpected exit (again) prior to the start of filming, so he will be replaced by Education secretary Ruth Kelly. The bush-tucker challenge will be to survive being savaged by carefully selected Labour back-benchers.

In the Narnia pantomime, the Lion will now be played by John Prescott, the White Witch by Theresa May and the Wardrobe by Geoff Hoon, who has augmented his long-standing reputation as Mr Wooden in the new production of Leader of the House. …

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