July 6, 2012
A letter from Dempster Marples
The Culture Select Committee of the House of Commons recently held an inquiry into public library closures. Their report is still awaited.
From the list of evidence they received it is hard to tell what line of approach they used, but in my view what they should have done was to ask people from all over the country of their experiences when faced with the possible closures or the downgrqding of the standard of service
Then the evidence would have descrinbed the extraordinary difficulties local councils place in the way of intelligent people asking to be told about the factual matters that relate to their local services. They would have seen the incomprehensible language that is used, the astonishing inability to account for simple expenditures, the bizarre use of language for subjects which have no technical content whatsoever.
They would have been told about the evasion, the lies and the incompetence that characterises local government in our country, among both highly and low paid officials and from councillors themselves. It would have been and is an extraordinary saga
They would have seen how that type of behaviour is not confined to local government, but operates in the government departments, offfiiclal central bodies, the House of Lords and indeed of most MP's themselves - who often present themselves as inept in public administration to a degree which is frightening
And in the particular matter of public libraries they would have been shown the many letters written by a gentleman whose mother called Dempster Marples and the dossier of absurd correspondence written in the name of Jonathan Stephens and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport
And of course they would have assembled the sorry tale of Minister Ed Vaizey and the attempts that have been made by ordinary plain, sensible citizens to bring him into the land of the sane, the mildly interested and the living- while they watched their library service be destroyed for no good reason at all.
I have been recipient of most of the emails that circulate upon this matter and I could even prepare a book of them - to show what a crazy world our governors inhabit- and it would be called "A letter from Dempster Marples"
Bless Mrs Marples
Posted by Perkins at July 6, 2012 3:22 PM
Typical Coates. Misunderstands how the civil service works and pokes fun at the man who signs the letters. Uncalled for.
Posted by: Nasty Coats of Paint at July 9, 2012 4:57 PM
Making fun of someone's name? Tut tut.
Posted by: Awful at July 13, 2012 2:23 PM
Why do you think it is acceptable to poke fun at someone's name?
Posted by: Barry Boswell at July 16, 2012 11:26 PM
If ever there were need of proof that our civil service doesn't work - it lies in the letters of Dempster Marples
Are you suggesting he shouldn't take responsibiity for the letters he signs? Because that way lies chaos and the end of civilisation
Here is a man who writes condescending rubbish to good honest citizens who have troubled to alert the department to problems with which they ought to be dealing - and you are asking me to feel sorry for hiim?
Well I don't I am outside the citadel throwing stones in and the intention is that they hurt and do damage. ...
He is to be scorned for what he does and he is paid to do . He takes the shilling - don't tell me otherwise
Most of the damage that has been done to the public library service in the last fifteen yesars has been caused by civil servants and local government officers. I think they should not be able to hide behind some convention that says the elected politicians are responsible for everything - they aren't and they can't be. We have a civil service so that there is continuity and quality of administration. When they fail - it is them that fail and there should be no hiding place.
As John Delane said, the burden of civic trust is a mighty one, never to be taken lightly .. these guys, like Marples, Westwood, Stephens and the others in the DCMS over the years, have failed totally and they should be shamed and ashamed.
These are the matters thsat should be revealed in the forthcoming Select Committee report - but I doubt if they will be.
Posted by: perkins at July 17, 2012 11:08 AM
Posted by: hmmmm at July 19, 2012 4:28 PM
No - not me- it is the civil servants- the ones who go anonymous like you- that are the bullies. Pathetic nasty bullies who hide from the public
Posted by: perkins at July 20, 2012 1:20 AM
Thank the Lord above that you are free of concerns about your career, feeding your family and keeping a roof over their heads, and can devote your time to more noble passions such as this blog. Those terrible civil servants are evil doing their jobs with no more concern than those terrible prosaic things, eh? Or maybe the most junior administrative staff should resign and throw themselves on the dole on a point of your principle?
Posted by: Humus sandwich at July 25, 2012 9:22 AM