Labour is using far too many consultants when it should be thinking for itself

Posted on

As the FT notes this morning:

Labour has quadrupled its use of consultants as it prepares for a general election, despite shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves vowing to cut their deployment in the civil service if her party takes power.

The opposition party received £287,000 in donations of staff time from consultancy firms in the year to September 2023, up from £72,000 in the prior 12 months, according to Electoral Commission data.

As the FT then note me saying:

Richard Murphy, a left-wing campaigner and professor of accounting practice at Sheffield university, said Labour's use of consultants was “fairly naive” as it undermined their message about limiting the outsourcing of expertise to corporate advisers.

Murphy said the practice of offering staff time for free gave consultancies an opportunity to gain “influence, access, phone numbers and a competitive advantage”.

He added that Labour could find it harder to wean government off hiring external expertise if it built a dependence on consultants in opposition.

My point is a simple one: it is that if you use the consultancies arms of forms dedicated to maintaining the economic status quo to help you create your policies when in opposition you will deliver what they want of you when in government. And that, I suggest, is precisely what Labour will do.

As importantly, and the comment did not make the paper, the use of consultants when there is a wealth of talent able to assist policy creation within Labour shows a rejection of all that Labour really stands for - and a desire to embrace 'the market' instead.

This is all deeply worrying.

Thanks for reading this post.
You can share this post on social media of your choice by clicking these icons:

You can subscribe to this blog's daily email here.

And if you would like to support this blog you can, here: