For instance, I seem to have scuppered the Civil Service Review of the telecoms industry – – hopefully to advance my own nefarious interests.
My Permanent Secretary tells me the Review is pretty much dead in the water with all the heavyweight participants taken off it and just a few junior people left. It will die the death.
Killing off projects could be trickier than getting an advantageous new wheeze on the government to-do list, but I’m going to try.
“I think it’s high time we helped manufacturing in this country, particularly high-tech manufacturing,” I tell my Permanent Secretary.
“Absolutely, Secretary of State,” oils the PS, “might I ask how?”
“My idea would be government guarantees to construction companies who build factories for approved manufacturing schemes and who use their own capital to build the facilities, meaning start-up companies don’t have to use their start-up capital to build manufacturing facilities,” says I.
“And I would also want government guarantees to the suppliers of manufacturing equipment allowing them to supply the equipment to start-up companies without the start-ups having to use their own capital.”
“Very bold Secretary of State,” purrs the PS, “a very innovative scheme.”
‘Bold’ and ‘innovative’ are pejorative words to the PS. It means he think my scheme hasn’t got a prayer.
“So how do we get this on the government agenda?” I ask the PS.
“Well, first of all the Department would need to draft a Green Paper, Secretary of State.’
“And what will that do?”
“It will initiate discussion, Secretary of State, a Green Paper is a discussion document circulated to all interested parties.”
“Do the interested parties include the Treasury?” I ask.
“Naturally Secretary of State, all spending proposals affect the Treasury.”
“And the Treasury’s view will be?”
“That’s not for me to say, Secretary of State, said the PS in a voice so sepulchral, and with an expression so depressing, that it’s clear he thinks it hasn’t an earthly.
But with the right PR, and with No.10 behind it, I think we have a chance.
“Get this Green Paper drawn up,” I tell him.
“Certainly, Secretary of State.”
If yours truly can’t find an opportunity for graft in this scheme, I’m losing my touch.