An intelligent minister is a liability for a corrupt government.
There is an aphorism that when something is done by an authority that is palpably ridiculous, it is normally due to corruptive malevolence - and, of course, MONEY.
For a government with an undisclosed agenda, to have an intelligent Minister responsible for controlling a money-making sector of the community is a liability. So fools who are compliant enough to obey their advisors without real questioning are appointed as ministers. Take for instance the way in which two intelligent Federal Ministers were soon given the "Lateral Arabesque" when they tried to represent their constituents, their conscience, their expertise and good governance. They accepted the reality that Government policy is prescribed and controlled by faceless outsiders, so those virtuously-intentioned, intelligent people sat back, reaped the spoils of office and sold their consciences and constituents down the drain.
When some minister acts stupidly, it is probably because he/she IS stupid and thus eminently qualified for the job of (probably) unwittingly implementing corruption. We constantly witness incomprehensibly stupid ministers making dim witted, obviously false and misleading statement and making incomprehensible decisions. If on the other hand, we assume that the politician has a modicum of morality, then the likelihood is that the minister hasn't the faintest idea of what he or she is saying or what is going on. Nor do they understand why their puppeteer/advisors/implementors tell them to say what they are told to say— but they say it nevertheless. "Just stick to the script son. Leave the thinking to me and you'll be OK!"
Ministers soon learn that to do otherwise would only result in the Implementor making the Minister feel a blithering idiot — which isn't all that difficult to do. So they stick to the script and make a fool of themselves to the public, thinking whatever logic argument is "out there" can be rationalised afterwards by their implementor as long as they "Stick to the script".
Of course, nobody is as black and white as I have painted them in this essay. Here, the businessmen and the implementors are clearly defined villains and the Heads of Departments are greedy spineless conscience-bereft whimps. In reality, there are degrees of villainy and spinelessness. But painting a simplified caricature of reality is necessary to describe a real problem.
My key contention of links between Implementors and big business can never be proven within our system that obviously and without doubt protects criminality. It of course begs the question as to why this criminality is not only allowed, but rewarded and encouraged. Lord Acton had the answer to that when he said: "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." And where are the good men out there of: "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)?
An Independent Crimes Commission may be part of the solution, but until investigative journalists start asking hard questions, the corruption will get more powerful and brazen — and they will know they are striking gold when highly-paid lawyers start threatening them. After collecting significant evidence about the actions of people who fit the portraits painted above, I have identified the names of implementors in the major departments. It would be interesting to compare notes with like-minded people.
* Whilst there has been a noticeable amount of women heads of departments, all the implementors behind the heads of department in our Government that I have identified, are men.
Our well-polished veneer of democracy hides the reality of a system of government by faceless rich people and their Implementors within the public service who are rewarded handsomely to control the politicians. The key is getting the Implementors into pivotal positions where they could brow-beat our politicians into acquiescence. It takes a little time and money, but it is now a fait accomplis. We criticise the Italian Berlusconi government for its less-than-democratic government, but how hypocritical are we? Our elected politicians who are presumed to govern our country, instead allow little known and sinister cliques to do the governing. The only difference between us and Italy is that in Italy the clique has a name. Here it doesn't.
So who are the powerbrokers within the public service who implement the wishes of the business coterie? What happened to the Sir Humphrys who used to be the powerbrokers who advised the minister of the consequences of government and policy, but who in reality, advanced the bureaucracy's own interests to the doubtful benefit of the people? Poor old Sir Humphry, he (nowadays it is likely to be she*) has taken a back seat, albeit a very comfortable back seat. Back in "Yes Minister" days, the Sir Humphrys', that is, the heads of departments, had real power and could influence the ministers, and in doing so, would make life very comfortable for their bureaucracy, as long as they could rationalise that they were serving the public. Today, sadly, the heads of department are merely highly paid puppets of a new breed of powerbrokers— the Implementors, who, seemingly paradoxically, are at a lower level than the heads of department within the bureaucracy.
The Implementor is, typically, a rapidly-promoted, senior-positioned bureaucrat with a disarmingly-pleasant personality and a ready answer for all the begged questions that corruption presents. Although officially the Iimplementor's official salary is less than the head of department, we will probably never know the total remuneration he gets, because they also have the protection of the departmental lawyers. Their total salary is most likely to be much, much more than even the Minister. Normally Implementors let lesser-ranked bureaucrats do their jobs or they can often serve the public well, and those Brownie points are well documented and on display. For instance, all the good things Hitler's Implementors did were well publicised. However, whenever a flagged issue that could affect big business arises, the Implementor springs into action, seizes control over the issue and ensures that the interests of the businessmen are advantaged. Big business pays him handsomely for his services, of course, not overtly.
Popular blokes with the staff, these Implementors. To garner staff cooperation and endear the Implementors to the staff of the bureaucracy, they are well supplied with largesse, funded by the business clique— of course not directly, but through compliant intermediators. Implementors are able to get for their staff favours and "good deals" just for the asking.
On the other hand, the heads of department must take the blame for everything that goes wrong. But should they worry, there is always their much higher salary to salve their conscience, which keeps them from blowing the whistle on any corruption. Heads of department are dispensable. If they don't toe the line, or if intractable problems arise, they are sacrificed, often by being promoted sideways, which deflects blame away from the Implementor. So, within the Government's bureaucracy, the head of department's main job is to guard over and protect the welfare of the Implementor whose job in turn is to control the Minister. And all for the businessmen.
Lobbyists, often retired parliamentarians— used to profiteer from their know-how of how of how to get things done at parliament by selling their supposed powers to influence ministers. That no longer applies. Whilst small business interests still sometimes employ lobbyists and PR experts to get the attention of the influential politicians by using their influence, know-how and blackmailing prowess to influence their old politician colleagues. This old method is comparatively ineffective compared with the efficiency of using Implementors. Bad luck for sacked politicians