What brings Priti Patel and PPE procurement together? Other than the letter P?

Govt is making similar excuses: It was a crisis. Policies were urgent. I'm demanding. It matters too much to worry if a few eggs get broken. etc

I'll call it the "Process is for Losers" Fallacy (1/?)
It's a compelling political narrative because it allows a tiny bit of contrition while allowing you to tell everyone how much you care about doing your job.

It's a humble brag exactly like saying "My biggest fault is perfectionism" in a job interview.
But here's the thing. It's a fallacy.

If you really cared, you'd care about getting your job done. You'd care about the doctors getting their masks. You'd care about officials following through on what you'd asked them.

And for that, process is actually your friend.
"I shouted at my officials because I cared so much" presupposes that frightened officials do their jobs well.

"I signed off the PPE without checking if it passed quality checks, just to get it to the doctors quickly" ignores the reality that substandard PPE is no use.
The best leaders work out how to inspire, encourage and empower staff, and that means the leaders get more (instead of less) of what they want

Good procurement includes lots of box ticking. Because it checks that what you're buying actually meets the needs of the people using it
The sad truth is that, far too often in government, staff management and procurement are done badly. So I can understand why, in a crisis, ministers panic, freak out, smash up the rules and start screaming "JUST GET IT DONE I DON'T CARE".
It's an iconoclastic instinct - indulged by ministers it feels good to smash things.

Instead we need to be "iconoplastic" - reshape the institutions and the rules instead of destroying them.
Resilience comes from agility
(as this @demos classic Resilient Nation explains so brilliantly - demos.co.uk/files/Resilien…)
We should be reforming procurement to make it more agile, and more able to cope in a crisis - no better place to start with than the recommendations in @Rose_Lasko's report demos.co.uk/project/value-…
And we could make our government agile too, so that even "demanding" ministers get what they want without throwing any toys out of any prams.
demos.co.uk/files/Towards%…
Because of course... Ministers should be demanding. I'm glad that they care.

We just need them to move away from "virtue signalling" how much they care.

And focus on system change that can actually deliver the change they say they care about.

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More from @pollymackenzie

19 Nov
Just helped my son share the story of Fraoch the Shetland pony, mascot of the 3rd Argyll and Sutherland regiment, with his beaver troupe - thought Twitter might like it too. Here she is
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They suggested the soldiers name her Rhuadh - red in Gaelic - but the regiment chose Fraoch, which means heather, instead. Here’s some Scottish heather.
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New from @Demos : Our research shows social divisions over Covid-19 now run deeper than Brexit. Read the whole report here:
demos.co.uk/project/what-n…
At the start of the pandemic, people felt unified. After years of division over Brexit, this terrible disease might at least bring us back together. ONS data suggest at the high point more than 60% believed it would. But that's gone. ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulati…
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11 Apr
There are some justifiable reasons why ~1000 daily deaths in the UK is reported differently from the same situation in Italy a few weeks ago. First: we have absorbed a new tragic baseline for ‘normal’. But it’s also a question of the efficacy of shouting...
When Italy was first facing this crisis, there was still time for us to act and protect ourselves. Now there is not.

Because of the incubation period of Covid it takes two weeks for distancing policies to work, so today’s death toll is the result of choices made 15-20 days ago.
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The “hostile environment” mission started in earnest in December 2012, with an inter-ministerial group set up on Migrant Access To Benefits And Public Services (we called it MATBAPS)
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At no point was evidence presented on the scale or importance of abuse; we were just repeatedly told it was widespread.
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1 Oct 17
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