He [Ex-trade minister Lord Digby Jones] had ameliorated that harsh statement by saying just beforehand that the civil service was "honest, stuffed full of decent people who work hard"...Diggers, we know...we know...and we know the rest of what you said about them is true too.
"Frankly the job could be done with half as many. It could be more productive, more efficient, it could deliver a lot more value for money for the taxpayer. And the levers of change, the ability to affect change are so rare, because of the culture. I was amazed how many people frankly deserved the sack, and yet that was the one threat that they never ever worked under because it doesn't exist as long as they're being not criminal or whatever."
Interestingly, back in April, Digby Jones said "I am a supporter of Gordon Brown and I believe in what he is doing." I wonder if that opinion has changed recently?