Lord Adonis - Dogfuzz

Gridlock, pollution and slow broadband are failing Britain, Lord Adonis says-TIMES 13/10

Worthwhile reading this article . It basically is a gentle hidden reminder that car buying and ownership should increasingly be accompained by a message that you can't go anywhere at any time without a serious traffic jam or find anywhere to park . Rather than blaming politicians and transport bodies , perhaps what he should have said is that most motorists don't seem to mind at all or for that matter give a damn!

Lord Adonis - csgmart

I do blame politicians for decisions they made which affect the volume of traffic on our roads. Allowing 650,000 net new people into the country each year has an effect on traffic numbers (and other things like schools, housing, the NHS etc). They evidently planned for this but didn't think it through properly and haven't invested in the infrastructure needed to support this level of growth in the population.

Lord Adonis - Engineer Andy

I do blame politicians for decisions they made which affect the volume of traffic on our roads. Allowing 650,000 net new people into the country each year has an effect on traffic numbers (and other things like schools, housing, the NHS etc). They evidently planned for this but didn't think it through properly and haven't invested in the infrastructure needed to support this level of growth in the population.

Quite right, especially when the hundreds of thousands who do emigrate here often do the work of British people who are mostly either loo lazy to bother (and who are supported by the state [us]) or who are priced out of the market by people willing to live in very poor conditions for the first 5 years until they've established themselves.

Infrastructure can never be built fast enough to keep up with the population growth we've seen in the last 20 years - a few tens of thousands (as it used to be) at best. All that happens (I saw this in Construction during the 'boom' years) is that any extra workload is covered by importing yet more foreign workers, who, of course, need housing and more infrastructure to live here. We've been trying (and failing badly) to catch up, making a hash of things (especially during the Blair years - dumbing down education [why more firms recruit abroad nowadays] and slurging on inefficient public services which we now are having to pay the piper big time).

Lord Adonis - John F

I do blame politicians for decisions they made which affect the volume of traffic on our roads. Allowing 650,000 net new people into the country each year has an effect on traffic numbers .......

....especially when a large percentage are probably driving the hundreds of thousands of new vans which hit the road last year.

www.smmt.co.uk/2017/01/another-record-for-uks-new-.../

Roll on the delivery drone.

Lord Adonis - Andrew-T

Allowing 650,000 net new people into the country each year has an effect on traffic numbers (and other things like schools, housing, the NHS etc). They evidently planned for this but didn't think it through properly and haven't invested in the infrastructure needed to support this level of growth in the population.

That number (if correct - I'm rather dubious) is about 1% of the whole population. As traffic will be roughly proportional, I suggest it is physically impossible to add 1% annually to the road mileage in this country. Certainly in the parts where congestion is worst.

The only cure might be for some of the travellers not to take their 10-cubic-metre metal boxes with them. Much easier said than done, but as long as people see their cars as their preferred means of transport things won't improve.

Lord Adonis - Engineer Andy

Allowing 650,000 net new people into the country each year has an effect on traffic numbers (and other things like schools, housing, the NHS etc). They evidently planned for this but didn't think it through properly and haven't invested in the infrastructure needed to support this level of growth in the population.

That number (if correct - I'm rather dubious) is about 1% of the whole population. As traffic will be roughly proportional, I suggest it is physically impossible to add 1% annually to the road mileage in this country. Certainly in the parts where congestion is worst.

The only cure might be for some of the travellers not to take their 10-cubic-metre metal boxes with them. Much easier said than done, but as long as people see their cars as their preferred means of transport things won't improve.

Even if it is a 1% increase each year, it is certainly not evenly spread about - immigrants go where the jobs and housing are, making congestion far worse (e.g. in the SE on England).

And don't forget, a 1% increase each year is a 16% increase after 15 years, not a small number, and that almost all immigrants are a) of working age, so require the full range of infrastructure everyone else does and b) onece established, will bring their immiediate families over, and its a known fact that most have larger families than UK ones - all those extra children need looking after at school and by the NHS, even worse if granny and grandad come over, who almost certainly have no money to pay for care and have never contributed to the UK exchequer.

Most infrastructure projects take a minimum of a decade to plan and implement, and probably decades to pay for. If huge numbers of people just suddenly 'turn up', never having previously contributed anything to this country, we wouldn't have the extra funds available (which we don't) to pay for all the extra infrastructure and services they will need in order to live.

That's why NuLab borrowed so much (paid for by the next generation) to pretend to the voting public that they were doing so much for the country, only it was spent so poorly that a lot was very poor value (PFI hospital and school buildings being the prime example, but not the only ones), as was the huge increase in staffing levels, much of which was poor quality middle and upper management and bureaucrats, and now the financial piper is having to be paid, meaning there's very little money left.

Lord Adonis - craig-pd130

Allowing 650,000 net new people into the country each year has an effect on traffic numbers (and other things like schools, housing, the NHS etc).

Net migration to the UK was 327,000 from March 2015 to March 2016, and 246,000 to March 2017, according to ONS stats.

Lord Adonis - csgmart

Allowing 650,000 net new people into the country each year has an effect on traffic numbers (and other things like schools, housing, the NHS etc).

Net migration to the UK was 327,000 from March 2015 to March 2016, and 246,000 to March 2017, according to ONS stats.

And you believe those figures?

Lord Adonis - Andrew-T

<< And you believe those figures? >>

It doesn't matter whether you believe them or not, any published figure is probably a rough estimate, and as you imply, will not be believed. We all agree that our population grows steadily, most noticeably in certain parts of the country, where it causes resentment.

Perhaps one of the few likely advantages of Brexit will be to enable us to control the inflow (a bit).

Lord Adonis - craig-pd130

Net migration to the UK was 327,000 from March 2015 to March 2016, and 246,000 to March 2017, according to ONS stats.

And you believe those figures?

Whether I believe them or not is immaterial. They are the UK's ONS statistics on net immigration, and they are substantially lower that the figure you quoted.

If you're going to base your argument on statistics, it's useful to know the source so we can take a view on the validity of that data.

Lord Adonis - Engineer Andy

325k and 250k approx. are still VERY large numbers, and don't forget that's NET migration - maybe they are quoting just the number of iimigrants, not your migure which includes those Brits emigrating elsewhere, who are much more likely to be either single wage earners (e.g. well-off professionals) or wealthy pensioners, both of whom do not consume as much government paid for services and don't have dependents that would require significant amounts of government spending (schooling, NHS, etc, etc), whereas (in my view) a large proportion of immigrants to the UK have dependents, particularly children of school age and sometimes (from the EU at least) coming with their older (poor) parents who aren't in the best of health. I would point out that illegal immigrants are likely to either be missed off deliberately or are seriously underestimated.

I've seen several instances of this working in construction - son comes over from Eastern Europe or Asia, send lots of his money back home for a year or so, then once established brings the rest of the family across. Suddenly you have the wife, three kids (or 1 or 2 and one on the way) and grandparents with only one income and lots of needs, with only one main earner. Nothing illegal about this, but it has been presenting the UK with very large and serious issues regarding public services and infrastructure, whose problems are now coming to a head as the REAL cost of the school and NHS PFIs and NULab's ourageous overspending come home to roost.

Having EVEN MORE NuLab no-hopers in charge of our infrastructure would be a serious mistake, though not as much as Corbyn's lot, which is saying something.

Lord Adonis - craig-pd130

Having EVEN MORE NuLab no-hopers in charge of our infrastructure would be a serious mistake, though not as much as Corbyn's lot, which is saying something.

Because you can trust the Conservatives with money? The past seven years have proven otherwise. Austerity has not addressed any of the fundamental problems in the economy, much less the deficit.

PFI started under the Major government, and yes, it was to Labour's shame that they continued the sham.

The problem with Britain's roads started with the Beeching report being implemented in the early 60s, aided by the very vocal road lobby. Then privatisation of public transport networks. Immigration numbers are a tiny proportion of the problem.

Lord Adonis - csgmart

Having EVEN MORE NuLab no-hopers in charge of our infrastructure would be a serious mistake, though not as much as Corbyn's lot, which is saying something.

Because you can trust the Conservatives with money? The past seven years have proven otherwise. Austerity has not addressed any of the fundamental problems in the economy, much less the deficit.

PFI started under the Major government, and yes, it was to Labour's shame that they continued the sham.

The problem with Britain's roads started with the Beeching report being implemented in the early 60s, aided by the very vocal road lobby. Then privatisation of public transport networks. Immigration numbers are a tiny proportion of the problem.

What austerty?

Lord Adonis - RT

Having EVEN MORE NuLab no-hopers in charge of our infrastructure would be a serious mistake, though not as much as Corbyn's lot, which is saying something.

Because you can trust the Conservatives with money? The past seven years have proven otherwise. Austerity has not addressed any of the fundamental problems in the economy, much less the deficit.

PFI started under the Major government, and yes, it was to Labour's shame that they continued the sham.

The problem with Britain's roads started with the Beeching report being implemented in the early 60s, aided by the very vocal road lobby. Then privatisation of public transport networks. Immigration numbers are a tiny proportion of the problem.

What austerty?

We do still have austerity, which shows the real depth of problems highlighted by the banking crisis - but I dread to think how bad it would have been in PM Nero had remained in power in 2010.

Lord Adonis - csgmart

What austerty?

We do still have austerity, which shows the real depth of problems highlighted by the banking crisis - but I dread to think how bad it would have been in PM Nero had remained in power in 2010.

Well, the austerty we've had hasn't worked - the debt we owe is still growing and doesn't look like we will ever be in surplus in my life time. Meanwhile the bankers got off pretty much scott free leaving the rest of us to pick up the tab.

Lord Adonis - RichT54

When I retired 3 years ago I really enjoyed not having to commute during the rush hour and being able to travel a quieter times of the day. However, the traffic has relentlessly increased since then, with many more delays, and everyone seems to drive everywhere so furiously, motoring is becoming increasingly unpleasant.

I recently got myself a Senior Railcard which allows 1/3rd of the cost of off-peak fares which means I can go to Reading and back for less than the price of 2 hours parking, let alone the cost of petrol. However, you have to put up with frequent delays and possible cancellations at very short notice; there have been several track and signalling problems on my local line in the last couple of weeks. In addition, GWR have been reducing the length of some off-peak trains which is causing more overcrowding.

Lord Adonis - Snakey

Surely a large part of the problem is the way our roads are managed (if thats the term)

Every year I see new 'improvements' which usually means putting traffic lights on a roundabout, and the day after it open the queues are always longer. But they never remove the lights. Personally I now wish they'd just leave things alone.

I've seen quite a few examples of that around the north east - I don't think the amount of traffic has increased by much in the last 10 years, but the way we're herded certainly has.

Lord Adonis - RT

Surely a large part of the problem is the way our roads are managed (if thats the term)

Every year I see new 'improvements' which usually means putting traffic lights on a roundabout, and the day after it open the queues are always longer. But they never remove the lights. Personally I now wish they'd just leave things alone.

I've seen quite a few examples of that around the north east - I don't think the amount of traffic has increased by much in the last 10 years, but the way we're herded certainly has.

Road management is done on the cheap - more junctions should be "freeflow" with grade separation and avoiding junctions on the level.

IMO, traffic light controlled roundabouts are the spawn of the devil because each section of road spends half it's time empty of moving traffic - roundabouts work well on their own in light/medium traffic so it's time the full-time lights were changed to peak-time only.

If a junction does need full time lights, and many do, they should be simple cross-roads.

Lord Adonis - Sofa Spud

I'd rather have traffic lights on a busy roundabout than sit for 5 minutes giving way to 3 lanes of continuous rush-hour traffic coming from the right.

We all need to use our cars some of the time but if more of us used public transport or walked more often, or cycled if there's a safe cycling environment to do so, there'd be a bit less traffic. And if more freight went by rail, there would be fewer lorries although not all rail routes have much spare capacity.

Another thing, particularly in cities, is if more people had smaller cars, there'd be less congestion.

Edited by Sofa Spud on 13/10/2017 at 22:44

Lord Adonis - madf

I'd rather have traffic lights on a busy roundabout than sit for 5 minutes giving way to 3 lanes of continuous rush-hour traffic coming from the right.

We all need to use our cars some of the time but if more of us used public transport or walked more often, or cycled if there's a safe cycling environment to do so, there'd be a bit less traffic. And if more freight went by rail, there would be fewer lorries although not all rail routes have much spare capacity.

Another thing, particularly in cities, is if more people had smaller cars, there'd be less congestion.

Public transport round here is every hour and takes 1 hour (round teh houses job) to travel 10 miles into town. It's very hilly so cycling is virtaully impossible except for the superfit..

As for fright on trains, the rail system is already overcrowded...

Lord Adonis - RT

I'd rather have traffic lights on a busy roundabout than sit for 5 minutes giving way to 3 lanes of continuous rush-hour traffic coming from the right.

We all need to use our cars some of the time but if more of us used public transport or walked more often, or cycled if there's a safe cycling environment to do so, there'd be a bit less traffic. And if more freight went by rail, there would be fewer lorries although not all rail routes have much spare capacity.

Another thing, particularly in cities, is if more people had smaller cars, there'd be less congestion.

As I posted, peak-time lights can be useful - but at 5am on a Sunday morning, being stopped for 2 minutes at the entry and each set of lights on the roundabout, when no other traffic is around, is time-wasting and creates un-necessary emissions.

Lord Adonis - focussed

Gridlock, pollution and slow broadband are failing Britain, Lord Adonis says-TIMES 13/10

Worthwhile reading this article . It basically is a gentle hidden reminder that car buying and ownership should increasingly be accompained by a message that you can't go anywhere at any time without a serious traffic jam or find anywhere to park . Rather than blaming politicians and transport bodies , perhaps what he should have said is that most motorists don't seem to mind at all or for that matter give a damn!

Andrew Adonis was Minister of State for transport and then Secretary of State for transport in the Blair/Brown labour government.

An Oxford educated arts graduate.

What the h*ll does he know now about roads or road transport and current problems, that he didn't know then and failed to act on when he was a minister?

Says it all really doesn't it?

Lord Adonis - Andrew-T

<< An Oxford educated arts graduate. What the h*ll does he know now about roads or road transport and current problems, that he didn't know then and failed to act on when he was a minister? >>

Sounds like a bit of inverted snobbery creeping in here ? Being 'educated', it is just possible that he may have educated himself since ?

Lord Adonis - Engineer Andy

<< An Oxford educated arts graduate. What the h*ll does he know now about roads or road transport and current problems, that he didn't know then and failed to act on when he was a minister? >>

Sounds like a bit of inverted snobbery creeping in here ? Being 'educated', it is just possible that he may have educated himself since ?

Not really - being a minister isn't the same as being a day-to-day manager in a business. And besides, the person 'learning on the job' has to have some kind of talent in the area they are trying to learn, which most MPs don't. The same goes for lawyers (in my opinion), who can 'master' a brief but actually have no real skills in that area - they just know inside out about the very specific things they are working on on that case.

Ministers may think they know a lot, but really they only concern themselves about high level policies and not their implementation - they are 'ideas people', and often come up with very poor ones, mostly 'helped' by civil servants more concerned with keeping their empires than doing a good job for the nation. I worked on the Tube (as an engineer for one of the PPP firms) for two years, and found the ineptness of supposedly senior people of long standing across the board (including at TfL) amazing. Most never listen to the people on the ground who actually carry out the work, and same goes for most, if not all government departments. In such circles, people get high-powered jobs because who they know rather than how good they are at their jobs.

Lord Adonis - Andrew-T

We are all revisiting the long-established Peter Principle which stated that most employees of a structured organisation are promoted to their Level of Incompetence. That didn't happen to me because I avoided being promoted at all ;-)

But then so many jobs these days seem to consist of overseeing or inspecting others, telling them how to do their jobs. And we are all good at seeing how bad others are .... Business Consultancy reigns ?

Lord Adonis - corax
Ministers may think they know a lot, but really they only concern themselves about high level policies and not their implementation - they are 'ideas people', and often come up with very poor ones, mostly 'helped' by civil servants more concerned with keeping their empires than doing a good job for the nation. I worked on the Tube (as an engineer for one of the PPP firms) for two years, and found the ineptness of supposedly senior people of long standing across the board (including at TfL) amazing. Most never listen to the people on the ground who actually carry out the work, and same goes for most, if not all government departments. In such circles, people get high-powered jobs because who they know rather than how good they are at their jobs.

This is very true, and as long as we have this culture where people at the top are more concerned with their egos than listening to people who are directly involved with the problems, there will be the same old ineptitude.

It's a rare gem to have a manager that listens to staff and implements possible improvement measures based on their experiences.

Lord Adonis - Andrew-T

<< ... as long as we have this culture where people at the top are more concerned with their egos than listening to people who are directly involved with the problems, there will be the same old ineptitude. >>

I'm not sure it's all about egos. Politicians spend most of every parliament worrying about whether anything they do may lose their team the next election. So many do very little of long-term consequence. That, plus the fact that they soon realise (as if they didn't know before) that most of the promises they made are impossible to implement.

Lord Adonis - RT

"Science graduates spend their careers asking “Why does it work?”, engineering graduates ponder “How does it work?”, while their friends with arts degrees ask: “Do you want fries with that?”

Lord Adonis - sandy56

It is well known that about 15% of any staff or group do ~50% or more of the work. This means that of our ~600 MPs only 60-90 are actually doing anything useful, so we can reduce our costs by getting rid of about 50%, without no real consequence to the nation.

Lets do it!

Lord Adonis - madf

It is well known that about 15% of any staff or group do ~50% or more of the work. This means that of our ~600 MPs only 60-90 are actually doing anything useful, so we can reduce our costs by getting rid of about 50%, without no real consequence to the nation.

Lets do it!

By all means.

Who are the 325 you wish to make redudnant? Answer by 12am tomorrow.. it will be along post.. reasons as well :-)

Lord Adonis - gordonbennet

Never lowering yourself to ask someone who's doing the job well, and might well have been doing the job well for 40 years man and boy, is not just the preserve of the public sector, it's rife in private industry too.

Somewhere in a carribean type land probably at this very moment is a resort where normally sharp suited sales bods are being waited on hand and foot by dusky maidens.

One can just imagine the guffaws as each tells the others just how much unfit for purpose garbage, involving computers electronics or non-labour saving or monitoring/admin (read spying) systems they managed to sell at fantastic cost to govt and local authority depts, and private companies are just as bad for this, and in the space of a couple of years (if it ever worked at all) the systems are obsolete or scrap, the selling company no longer providing service or back up...but will of course will sell you another white heffelump, this one much better guv.

If these sales bods turned up in a bright red suit with huge shiny spotted shoes a red nose glued on and a flower that squirts water and squeaks pinned to their chest whether the buyers involved would even twig it then, what is it about budgets, they're like little kids with too much allowance burning holes in their pockets and these sharks in clown costumes are only too ready to tell them what they want to hear and trouser the loot.

Edited by gordonbennet on 14/10/2017 at 18:41

Lord Adonis - Terry W

Cars are flexible - trains and buses are infrequent inflexible and often don't operate beyond peak periods.

Public transport is (per mile) very expensive in peak times. Part of this is a funtion of a personal cost structure - variable costs of car owneship are low - fixed costs - deprciation, insurance, servicing etc are largely fixed once the ownership decision has been made.

We have also created a society based on cheap flexible travel. Commuting 10-30 miles is not uncommon. Visiting friends 50-100 miles away is not unusual. School run is now normality. We now have a geographically diverse society changed from the largely local over the last 25 years.

The real question is what happens in the future. Some will be social changes without government intervention - on line shopping, work from home. Others will require intervention - reinstatement of more local health and education.

Lord Adonis - focussed

<< An Oxford educated arts graduate. What the h*ll does he know now about roads or road transport and current problems, that he didn't know then and failed to act on when he was a minister? >>

Sounds like a bit of inverted snobbery creeping in here ? Being 'educated', it is just possible that he may have educated himself since ?

Just how does a degree in history qualify him to be a Minister of Transport?

Just about anybody who posts on this forum knows more about transport, the problems, and possible solutions than Adonis.

Another professional politician that just slithers from one well-paid post to the next, pass go, collect a big bung, onto the next earner, leaving chaos in his wake - is my take on him and he's not the only one as we know only too well.

Edited by focussed on 14/10/2017 at 20:34

Lord Adonis - Ethan Edwards

Adonis is tbe criminal fool who gave..GAVE the Dartford crossing to a foreign owned consortium. The crossing taxpayers funded. Users have now repaid the cost over and over. Yet despite the promise of free crossings at the time. We still have to pay.

Except now it's a congestion or enviroblox charge. Either way Le Crossing is making a killing at our expense thanks to this Adonis Buffoon.

who only got into power by being a mate of the hated Tony Bliar.

So pardon me if I don't swoon over his latest pronouncements.

All I want is to see him and Tone pay for their crimes.

Lord Adonis - Bromptonaut

Adonis is tbe criminal fool who gave..GAVE the Dartford crossing to a foreign owned consortium.

I think it's a bit more complex then that.........

Lord Adonis - Andrew-T

<< Just how does a degree in history qualify him to be a Minister of Transport? Just about anybody who posts on this forum knows more about transport, the problems, and possible solutions than Adonis. >>

Unless you know a lot about Lord A, I suggest that you are just making an assumption that anyone with a history degree and a free title is no use for anything but teaching more history. There are quite a few people who have wider interests than one might imagine. I'm not saying Lord A is one, but blind stereotyping may say as much about you as about him.

Lord Adonis - focussed

I'm not interested in the possibility that Adonis or anybody else may have wide interests, whatever that might mean, I was commenting on his record when in post, which was not enviable.

And the previous post about the dartford crossing is representative of his level of achievement.

Stereotyping? Yes - another useless politician - the UK seems to have an endless supply of them.

Lord Adonis - Andrew-T

Focussed - you asked how a history degree qualified him to be a minister of transport. That seems to have little connection with his record in office. Neither does your lack of interest in his interests. So get elected and do a better job, I'm sure you could.

Lord Adonis - peterb
Just how does a degree in history qualify him to be a Minister of Transport?

It doesn't, but I don't think many of us could justify our current jobs on the basis of what we knew when we were 21...

Lord Adonis - RT

A degree in medicine is relevant for a hospital consultant - even if they've undergone much training since and some of the principles taught in their 20s are now out-dated.

A history degree is great for those who want to be historians - but no use for anything else

Lord Adonis - Avant

Sorry, RT, but I can't let you get away with that.

With medicine, and probably also engineering and careers in science, yes, you need a relevant degree, otherwise it will take you forever to qualify.

But in many other professions the degree subject isn't the issue. I used to recruit trainees for a large firm of accountants. We genuinely didn't mind what subject they'd studied: there's no particular advantage (or disadvantage, in fairness) in having an accountancy degree. What we hoped for was that the degree course had taught them to think for themselves, rather than regurgitating what they'd copied down in lectures. Often the university is at fault here rather than the student.

It's not surprising that many employers are taking apprentices straight from A-levels. If a young person of 18 knows what they want to do, there's a lot to be said for going straight in and getting on with it. It's just as good a way of growing up as going to university.

Not having a clue at 18 what I wanted to do as a career, I did a classics degree and then trained as a chartered accountant. I have no regrets and would do both if I had my time over again.

Lord Adonis - peterb

Not having a clue at 18 what I wanted to do as a career, I did a classics degree and then trained as a chartered accountant. I have no regrets and would do both if I had my time over again.

Music degree then actuarial exams for me. Now working as a management consultant! Yes, no regrets!

Feel sorry for today's graduates who more or less HAVE to do a STEM or vocational subject

Lord Adonis - RT

Sorry, RT, but I can't let you get away with that.

With medicine, and probably also engineering and careers in science, yes, you need a relevant degree, otherwise it will take you forever to qualify.

But in many other professions the degree subject isn't the issue. I used to recruit trainees for a large firm of accountants. We genuinely didn't mind what subject they'd studied: there's no particular advantage (or disadvantage, in fairness) in having an accountancy degree. What we hoped for was that the degree course had taught them to think for themselves, rather than regurgitating what they'd copied down in lectures. Often the university is at fault here rather than the student.

It's not surprising that many employers are taking apprentices straight from A-levels. If a young person of 18 knows what they want to do, there's a lot to be said for going straight in and getting on with it. It's just as good a way of growing up as going to university.

Not having a clue at 18 what I wanted to do as a career, I did a classics degree and then trained as a chartered accountant. I have no regrets and would do both if I had my time over again.

I'm old-school and can only tell it as I see it - my degree in Maths & Computing was necessary to get started in the fledgling IT industry - at a rough count, half the people I know with degrees needed that subject or similar to get started in their careers - the other half have degrees in less useful subjects but none need a degree for the job they now do.

History degrees seem to be normal among the UK's incompetent Cold War spy network.

Lord Adonis - Bromptonaut

I'm old-school and can only tell it as I see it - my degree in Maths & Computing was necessary to get started in the fledgling IT industry

Which is pretty consistent with Avant's comment about engineering, science etc.

Not sure what last para tells us. Whether you're on about Philby etc or Peter Wright refelections on Oxbridge, Intelligence Service and middle years of last century have no relevance to today.

Lord Adonis - peterb

A degree in medicine is relevant for a hospital consultant - even if they've undergone much training since and some of the principles taught in their 20s are now out-dated.

A history degree is great for those who want to be historians - but no use for anything else

Absurd comment. What if the person with the history degree takes and passes their accounting exams?

Medicine is hardly a typical profession!

Lord Adonis - Bromptonaut

Absurd comment. What if the person with the history degree takes and passes their accounting exams?

Indeed. Same goes for law exams or using the skills that got you the hisory degree to go into journalism or public policy. Andrew Adonis took history as far as a PhD and became an academic before making the move to journalism and public policy. Whatever you think of his personal poiitics, and he's a bit too 'Blairite' right for me, he's an extremely clever and astute man.

Nothing in the British system requires Ministers to be technocrats in their area of responsibility. We don't expect the Education Minister to be a teacher or an academic or the Defence Minister to have been in the services. Indeed regular re-shuffles ensure they often move too quickly to fully grasp their brief in the way they should,

Current Transport Minister is Chris Grayling, another historian who went via the media to politics. And while he probably appeals more to the Tory boys here than Adonis his record as a minister (everything he did as Justice Minister has gone wrong - for reasons his advisers told him they would) makes Adonis look like a paragon.

Lord Adonis - Avant

The problem wilth all politicians is that they don't get any proper training. Some of us as professionals trained for three or more years to get our qualifications: civil servants get their training through years of experience on the job.

Every time there's an election or a reshuffle, someone is given a department about which usually (s)he knows nothing, and then is expected to make vital decisions from the word go. No wonder they make such a pigs' breakfast of it.

Oddly enough when there's a change of party in power, there's a better situation when someone who has shadowed a job then gets it. Whether you agreed with their policies or not, for example David Blunkett (education) and George Osborne (chancellor) at least had some idea of what they were doing.

 

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