Now, How Can It Possibly Benefit The Mandarins To Have A Clueless Minister?

New Culture man-at-Westminster Ed Vaizey:

To emphasise this point he has decorated his office with items that signify his areas of responsibility; a framed tribute from the Brit music awards, a painting by John Hubbard and, in pride of place, the Oscar won by Cecil Beaton for costume design for My Fair Lady in 1964.

He would like to make a further addition but, to his chagrin, his requests for a games console in his office have been rejected by unidentified “powers that be” as inappropriate. “I was encouraged not to, in case it looked frivolous,” he says. “But I think I will renew my campaign. I have a television so why can’t I have a games console?”

At a guess, it’s because the higher echelons of the civil service who want to be the hands that pull the lever would rather you stayed ignorant and simply rubber-stamped any policy they shoved under your nose….

He knows that a modern media minister must have a firm grasp of digital technology but admits to ignorance of the sector when he became shadow Culture minister six years ago. “I knew nothing about gaming in terms of either doing games or its policy place.”

And there most people who aspire to be ministers would have left it, content to simply attend industry dinners and read pre-prepared speeches.

But not Ed, it seems:

But Apple technology has given him a way back and, having been an “early adopter” of the iPhone app Angry Birds he progressed to Plants vs Zombies and now plays Monopoly on his iPad during trips on the Tube.


Readers who share with the “powers that be” a sense that such activity is frivolous should be aware that gaming has become an important sector of the British economy. Vaizey will be emphasising the point when he chairs a session on gaming at tomorrow’s Royal Television Society 2012 Digital World Conference. “We have a great heritage in games and we want to exploit,” he says.

It seems we do have at least one minister who is really fit for office – if he can prevail against the unelected civil service!

3 comments for “Now, How Can It Possibly Benefit The Mandarins To Have A Clueless Minister?

  1. Tatty
    October 4, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Christ…wot a whinger. I say give him his bloody XBOX….but cut the plug off it.

    It’s only to decorate the office with, right ? Then for ornamental purposes that’ll do fine. Hard to believe there isn’t a single devious, manipulative civil servant to be found to deal with this, isn’t it.

    People who automatically say NO have no imagination as to how to say YES while actually saying NO.

    C’mon, the place is riddled with politicans who do it all the time..

  2. October 4, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    The idea of civil servants treating ministers with the mushroom method has a very long history. A lot of the reasons our education system is so messed up is because the Thatcher and Major governments took their eyes of the educational ball, and allowed civil servants to manipulate ministers into signing the disaster that is the National Curriculum.

    Too many ministers have no balls when it comes to confronting civil servants, also there seems to be from what I can gather a lack of accountability for those senior civil servants who attend various conferences and meetings in Brussels.

  3. Greg Tingey
    October 4, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    Can we have Roy Jenkins back?
    ( Hint: 10, Rillington Place – “what pardon, Minister?” )

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