Playing with everything, fixing nothing

18 May 2018

The government managed to demonstrate twice today that independent commissioners and their reports are sometimes either fearing or receiving government rejection or intervention.

Firstly, the Dame Hackitt review was revealed as ridiculously timid, which the government had seemed fine with until the report was released to media ridicule - due to the lack of endorsement of a ban of combustible cladding and no examination of the circumstances of the Grenfell fire that had triggered the enquiry. This led to the government all of a sudden decide to announce that it would consult on a ban of combustible cladding, making the entire review look like a time-wasting farce, as opposed to a matter of serious meaning. As a side note, the other big concern in this government department is another huge issue - the need for four million more homes. James Brokenshire’s return to the front-bench looks like quite the baptism of fire.

Secondly, the Independent Anti-Slavery commissioner announced his resignation, and he on the same day gave an exit interview in which he expressed frustration with government intervention in his role. This now begs the question: What did they intervene on? He refused to elaborate in the interview, but hopefully a parliamentary committee will pick this up(perhaps the home affairs select committee?), because this matter cannot be left ignored.

Whether the government will hit a hat-trick this week remains to be seen, but even when this government seemingly does nothing, they still seem to screw up everything.