Administrative bureaucracies versus elected politicians

Discussion in 'theory, philosophy & history' started by 1%er, Sep 6, 2018.

  1. 1%er

    1%er Well-Known Member

    Should unelected administrative bureaucracies, such as the civil services (departments staffed with non-elected officials in both the USA and UK) be able to thwart or undermine the policy's of elected politicians?

    I ask as in the news here about politics in both the US and the UK there seems to be attempts by civil servants to undermine both Trump and Brexit. In the USA I read today about a "resistance" in the White House who are working to frustrate parts of the president's agenda. In the UK I read that politicians are claiming that senior civil servants are working against the government to thwart Brexit.

    What if the UK had a socialist leaning government that wanted to implement policies such as a minimum income of around twenty-two thousand pounds, or a massive social housing program, or the reintroduction of free universities etc. Should unelected bureaucrats be allowed to stand in the way of those policies being implemented?
  2. Saul Goodman

    Saul Goodman It's all good, man

  3. Santino

    Santino lovelier than lovely

    Another interpretation would be that one wing of the Republican party is trying to manipulate events in order to carry out its own policy programme while keeping Trump in the White House for as long as is politically convenient.
    Dom Traynor, 8ball and emanymton like this.
  4. colacubes

    colacubes Well-Known Member

    I think the Trump story is apparently an appointed official by the administration rather than a civil servant. So not quite as stated above.
  5. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Starry Wisdom

    would unelected - or even elected - bureaucrats stand in the way of that?
  6. mauvais

    mauvais change has become unavoidable

    What would civil servants not thwarting Brexit look like?
    Winot and existentialist like this.
  7. MickiQ

    MickiQ Well-Known Member

    I take both these claims with a pinch of salt since the Trump and May administrations are both so fucking incompetent that it may actually be reality that is frustrating them and they are desperate for someone else to blame.
  8. Ralph Llama


    No goat fucking cabal option :(
  9. kebabking

    kebabking Unfettered ambition

    I wonder how many of those with concerns about unelected officials deliberately subverting elected government policy have previously suggested that soldiers should refuse to obey orders to undertake military operations with which those commentators disagree?

    I look forward to a flurry of posts about how that's different....
  10. DotCommunist

    DotCommunist slowtime

    what about elected administrative bureaucracies. Make mandarins campaign for their gilded thrones, now they just get born haute bourgeoisie, do a PPE from the right university and vote solidly tory and that is the entry requirements. We've all seen yes minister.
    ViolentPanda likes this.
  11. alex_

    alex_ Well-Known Member

    Is there any evidence this is happening or is it all politicians floundering around desperate to blame someone for their inability to arrange a piss up in a brewery ?

    Civil servants execute strategy, there needs to be a strategy first.

    Winot and Pickman's model like this.
  12. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Starry Wisdom

    My main issue is with politicians, their existence
  13. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Starry Wisdom

    Nothing that wouldn't be improved by a few executions
  14. Supine

    Supine Rough Like Badger

    Civil servants also have put politicians ideas into solid legal policy / laws etc. The crazier the idea the more difficult it is to put into practice (e.g. Brexit).
    Winot likes this.
  15. JimW

    JimW 支那暗杀团

    Would some of those elected roles like sheriff in the US count as something like that?
    One thing living in China has brought home to me is that it's not so much the picking them that counts as being able to get rid peacefully. Not that the former is meaningless either but right of recall is a real bare minimum.
  16. DotCommunist

    DotCommunist slowtime

    or very short fixed terms maybe. St Benn of Wedge:
    The House will forgive me for quoting five democratic questions that I have developed during my life. If one meets a powerful person--Rupert Murdoch, perhaps, or Joe Stalin or Hitler--one can ask five questions: what power do you have; where did you get it; in whose interests do you exercise it; to whom are you accountable; and, how can we get rid of you? Anyone who cannot answer the last of those questions does not live in a democratic system.”
  17. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    Most senior Civil Servants have decades of hard-won experience in their respective fields, and have access to information that most ministers do not. I don't believe they should be allowed to thwart policies, but I do believe that policy SHOULD be informed by advice, and not just rammed through to bolster a party or a politicians' political perspective.
    Taking all that knowledge and experience, then setting it aside to push through policy informed by ideology rather than information, will not stand us - the people - in good stead. For myself, I'm glad Civil Servants have the compunction to resist, even though I don't agree with them regarding Brexit, which I believe will eventually be a "good thing" economically and legally, and I don't mean for capitalism, but for, again, "the people". The EU is a nightmare of entanglement with capitalism that locks us into a particular mode. That is unhealthy, especially given the high volume of "corporate welfare" the EU doles out.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice