David Cameron learns what his government is doing from the radio, says aide
Steve Hilton, close confidant of Prime Minister David Cameron and former government policy guru, has lifted the lid on life working at No. 10 Downing Street in a lecture to students in California.
Hilton, who was brought into government as Cameron’s “blue sky thinker”, revealed that only 30% of the government’s time is spent on implementing its own policies, with the rest spent on EU regulations and “random things”.
“In other words, only 30% of what the government is doing is actually delivering what we’re supposed to be doing. It just shows you the scale of what you’re up against… when I found that out, it was pretty horrific,” he said.
Hilton, who left Downing Street last May in order to take up a sabbatical in California, claimed that the even Downing Street found out about the government’s own policies through the the media.
“Very often you’ll wake up in the morning and hear on the radio or in the news or see something in the newspapers about something the government is doing.
“And you think, well, just hang on a second - it’s not just that we didn’t know it was happening, but we don’t even agree with it,” he added.
The system of British government was condemned by Hilton as “briliant…for paper-shuffling people to be in control”. He was speaking to students at an hour-long seminar on “How to Make Change Happen In Government” at Stanford University, as reported by The Sunday Times.
This morning Cameron offered qualified backing for Hilton’s message, telling the Today Programme:
“I agree with some of what Steve has said – he’s right to say there’s an awful lot of bureaucracy and red tape and quangocracy.
“That’s where he’s absolutely right, that a lot of the paperwork that comes through government relates to the fact that we’ve got an enormous bureaucracy, there are too many quangos, there are too many rules including those that are coming from Brussels, and we need to cut that back, we need to deregulate, we need to reduce the number of quangos – all of which we are doing.”