I wish he'd omitted the silly paeans to Johnson and Brexit, and the stupid swipe at pastiche “identity politics”. But much otherwise of interest in this @firstname.lastname@example.org speech. If only more public policy debate could be had at this level. More thoughts later https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/896041/Ditchley_lecture.pdf
…even though diversity in lived experience and background of civil servants and politicians is critical. (I am also well aware that there are many non-simplistic “truths” :) /ENDS
…led politicians (and voters) unhappy with the political direction evidence suggests simply refocusing on alternative “truths” instead. I am also very pro government being distributed around the UK, but there is no “metropolitan” or “elite” truth 🤷🏻♂️
I applaud Gove for making this detailed case for reform at the Ditchley Foundation yesterday [https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-privilege-of-public-service-given-as-the-ditchley-annual-lecture], much of which I agree with, and look forward to seeing other people’s comments. I must also resurrect my blog and publish this, before it’s auto-deleted :)
He REALLY needs to read @ArielEzrachi@twitter.com and @MauriceStucke@twitter.com’s new book, especially the section on toxic competition: https://www.harpercollins.com/9780062892836/competition-overdose/
Great that Gove is so pro-experimentation. That fundamentally requires devolution, and push-back against the notion of the “postcode lottery”. However: "We should also be fearless to compare individual courts, judges and CPS managers on their efficacy on processing cases” (§120).
I was *astonished* when I became mid-career civil servant to receive a hour’s training on my my laptop and DCMS Google Docs installation worked, and nothing else! (I later took peer-led “lunch and learn” sessions on writing a submission, project management, etc.)
Gove rightly notes the damage done by "the whirligig of Civil Service transfers and promotions” (§101), and the great “What Works” centres (§99). And that "we need to ensure that basic writing, meeting chairing and time management skills are de rigueur for all policy” officials
(Here is how I did this at @email@example.com) https://www.slideshare.net/blogzilla/making-effective-policy-use-of-academic-expertise
Gove lists a number of examples (§97) of specific expertise he thinks officials should have. I actually think they should be trained instead to make better use of external expertise, b/c they will *never* have the time to specialise to the extent academics and practitioners do
…leads sometimes to (in my experience) slapdash, barely considered, politicised embarrassments. Why not make these automatically available to select committees, or even (gasp) the public, so external experts can critique and feed in more diverse knowledge and experience?
Gove wants "tight, evidence-rich, fact-based” submissions (the formal documents civil servants use to ask for a decision from a minister, maintaining an evidence trail.) Ministers could demand those today. The fact they seem to prefer faster (“agile”), higher volumes of these...
Gove wants civil servants to have "deep, domain-specific, knowledge.” (§94) Does he realise that goes against the entire philosophy, HR policies, and typical career route of the recent civil service, and what a profound change this would be?
Ditto for para 88 ("Suitably anonymised as I say the deep and broad pool of health data we have can improve diagnostics and treatment, it can support life science innovation and it can close the health inequality gap.”) /cc @firstname.lastname@example.org
A welcome focus on data and evaluation (social as well as economic impact) of policies. But (para.87) you *cannot* publish anonymised high-dimensional data while protecting privacy. You need to give protected access to researchers, as we wrote in 2013: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2356824
Some specific responses to Gove speech where I have particular expertise to comment. I will leave the wider critique of his political philosophy, and Rooseveltian history, to others… (Including @email@example.com, who has written my favourite thread on “identity politics”)...
4) UK election law and @ElectoralCommUK@twitter.com need a serious overhaul and more ambitious leadership and powers if we are to have broad confidence in future election results
2) @UKLabour@twitter.com has no choice (for the future of the UK) but to work with @LibDems@twitter.com, @TheGreenParty@twitter.com, @theSNP@twitter.com and @Plaid_Cymru@twitter.com towards a united front at the next election; 3) Opposition must preserve the ability of the @UKSupremeCourt@twitter.com to void any more blatant illegality by the govt...
The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!