Melanie Phillips

1 May 2006

Serially dysfunctional

Published in: Daily Mail

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John Prescott's future looks bleak. The tawdry claims by his former lover Tracey Temple were bad enough. But separate allegations by a former Labour party aide that he sexually harassed her over a two-year period are even more serious and - if true - mean he cannot possibly remain in office.

The position of Charles Clarke, frantically trying to locate more than 900 foreign prisoners who should have been considered for deportation, has become steadily worse as more details have seeped out. Now Tony Blair has pointedly refused to guarantee the Home Secretary's job, saying that his survival depends on his success in sorting out the mess.

It is pretty objectionable that these ministers are still in post at all. But whether they stay or go is immaterial. What we are witnessing is not just two different ministers on the rack. It is nothing less than the disintegration of public administration in a democracy that has fundamentally lost its way.

Mr Clarke says the Home Office is seriously dysfunctional. Absolutely true, and this goes back to well before Labour came to power. These tendencies, however, have become infinitely worse since 1997, in large measure because of Labour's highly ideological agenda promoting multiculturalism, mass immigration, human rights and hostility to the traditional family.

Along with the education department, the Home Office is at the cutting government edge of such social engineering because it is the ministry with the most coercive power which it has used, under this government, to reshape society.

One only has to think of its attempts to rig the criminal justice process to convict more men of rape, its distorted use of research on domestic violence to demonise men, or its tacit support for drug decriminalisation to realise quite how badly the Home Office is out of control.

It is more obsessed with promoting diversity and instructing staff to avoid politically incorrect attitudes than ensuring they are of the highest quality and properly trained in what the job requires.

Once upon a time, the senior civil service would have put an end to such rubbish. Now, our highly politicised mandarins are themselves part of the problem. The National Audit Office has discovered that the former Permanent Secretary at the Home Office, Sir John Gieve, who presided over the foreign criminals debacle, was also responsible for such financial chaos - before departing to become deputy governor of the Bank of England - that

About Melanie

Melanie Phillips is a British journalist and author. She is best known for her controversial column about political and social issues which currently appears in the Daily Mail. Awarded the Orwell Prize for journalism in 1996, she is the author of All Must Have Prizes, an acclaimed study of Britain's educational and moral crisis, which provoked the fury of educationists and the delight and relief of parents.

Read full biography

Books

  • The World Turned Upside Down
  • Londonistan
  • The Ascent of Woman
  • America's Social Revolution

Contact Melanie

Melanie Phillips
Daily Mail
Northcliffe House
2 Derry Street
London W8 5TT

Contact Melanie