It is sometimes difficult to keep up to date with the endless stream of ever-changing quangos that seem to illicitly govern our country. With no democratic mandate or channels for accountability the damage they do to society can be underestimated.
The quangos have always been a natural adversary to society but it seems they are now even working against one another. The upper management of the quangos seem to be deserting the sinking ships as fast as possible. Three senior staff at the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) have left within the last couple of weeks. Maybe this is due to the inherent flaws of such bodies – Is there not a huge paradox in trying to engineer equality of opportunity?
The emergence of the quangos was a costly episode in more ways than one under New Labour. We have paid dearly for the dubious honour of having the quangos rule over us. There are roughly 1,162 Quangos in the UK (not even the government knows the full statistics) which run at a total cost of £63bn (equivalent to £2,550 per household). They employ over 700,000 staff – all to do boondoggle jobs which have been artificially created by the government.
It is not only our taxes that have taken a hit at the hands of the quangos. Our democratic rights have also been massively depleted. The heads of quangos are appointed, not elected, and as such there are no routes for accountability to the public. Yet they are still used to wield huge sums of public money and massive amounts of power. As such, they are extremely useful tools for the government when it comes to unpopular policies and legislation.
The prominence of quangos in our society is yet another example of government trying to help itself and promote self-interest rather than focussing resources towards those that would benefit most.