The following comment from Ivan Horrocks on the blog this morning is too good not to share more widely (I have edited very slightly to add context only):
Let’s remind ourselves of two words that became so important during the period of Dave Harnett’s reign: relationship management. I’d assume that under his watch, and particularly after the current government came into power, that was specifically defined in the case of HMRC as not taking any actions that might:
a. upset big business or the wealthy and thus embarrass members of the Board of HMRC, or create difficulties for their interests elesewhere;
b. upset any existing or potential donors to and/or members of the Tory party;
c. be detrimental to the future employment prospects of HMRC staff who regard employment as a public servant merely as a very useful stepping stone to a far more lucrative employment in the private sector.
I may be wrong of course, but for a decade now that’s certainly the impression one is given.
It is very hard not agree.