Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Ah, to be a bureaucrat!

At Brothers Judd, Peter Brunet is keeping us apprised of the latest fearless exploits of UK bureaucrats. Take NOW THAT’S ANAL RETENTIVE:
It is a story that might have been dreamt up by the authors of Yes, Minister - except that most viewers would have found it too far-fetched to be believed. For 18 years, according to documents published today under the new Freedom of Information Act, civil servants pushed papers around Whitehall as they grappled with one of the great policy issues of the late 20th century: should government departments be supplied with hard lavatory paper, or soft?
No squeezing the Charmin! And after they wiped out that painful problem - Anti-bullying alliance 'bullies members':
Critics, including MPs, have accused the Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA), an umbrella group of more than 50 voluntary, private and professional organisations backed by £570,000 government funding, of using bullying tactics itself in trying to suppress criticism.
The alliance, founded in 2002 but launched as a full government-backed programme last July, is charged with promoting national anti-bullying campaigns and providing national and regional support for schools and other organisations in tackling bullying.

It has set up a structure of nine regional anti-bullying coordinators, with a brief to create local anti-bullying networks among schools and social services and promote schemes to tackle the problem.

Bullying Online, run by nine unpaid volunteers and trustees, has attacked the scheme, arguing that five of the coordinators - each paid £30,000 a year for two days' work a week - already work addressing bullying for local education authorities. Another, coordinator for the south-west region, runs a commercial firm, Lucky Duck publishing, whose publications include materials for addressing bullying.
Forget starting your own business - form an NGO and suck up some government largesse!