In response to Timothy Bradshaw: Our nakedly politicised civil servants,

Suthringa wrote:

When I was lobbying in Whitehall, late 1980s and early 90s, on behalf of the construction industry I got used to these so called ‘servants’ frustrating every commercial proposal under ‘General Policy’ and that even when we had the backing of MPs, junior Ministers. My Number One said to me, ‘These people are totally arrogant and totally ignorant of the issues we are talking about’, and that was in the period MPs and junior ministers actually had real world jobs before politics!

‘Yes Minister, I agree, the current policy is irrational, contrary to industry needs and over-bureaucratic . . . but you must understand this is now a European matter.’

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