Like many I’ve long held a sceptical view of the politicisation of quangos [quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisation].
Quangos are established by government as an executive agencies, though sharing goals, they’re independent of each other. In principle they are free from direct government control, and free from party politics. Well, that’s the aim. In practice an appointment to a quango has been a political reward.
Yes, yes, get to the point please.
Well, the bleating of Baroness Morgan – the head of OFSTED – about not being reappointed exhibits two things; an odious sense of entitlement that it’s my right to carry on, and exhibiting the base party politics that she apparently so deplores.
Here are some facts for your consideration,
- Ofsted was set up by John Major’s government in 1992. It says about itself, “Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. We report directly to Parliament and we are independent and impartial”. Note impartial.
- On 8th Feb 2011 Education Secretary Michael Gove appoints Baroness Morgan of Huyton to post of Ofsted chairman.
- Wikipedia entry for Baroness Morgan, recording a lifetime of political activism for the Labour Party.
- Baroness Morgan was Director of Government Relations working in Tony Blair’s office at No.10.
- On Friday 31st January 2014 Michael Gove announces that Baroness Morgan will not be reappointed OFSTED chair when her term ends in February 2014. So that’s simply she’s not being renewed as chair, that’s not the same as being sacked.
Baroness Morgan is displaying politics that she so disparages. “There is an absolutely determined effort from Number 10 that Conservative supporters will be appointed to public bodies,” said Baroness Morgan. Completely forgetting that she was appointed by the Coalition government.
She complains about the politicisation of quango appointments by Conservatives, conveniently ignoring that facts, as Fraser Nelson in The Spectator neatly discounts. It strikes me that there’s politics in play here from Baroness Morgan, if I can’t keep my job, I’ll be like Elizabeth Bolt in the Just William stories, “I’ll scream and scream until I’m sick”.
UPDATE: Excellent chart in Peter Hoskin’s article, again completely disproving her argument.