Wednesday 21 April 2010

A Quangocrat in Amber

The occurence of (yet another) unprecedented national disaster, the ash cloud, has thrown the spotlight on Deirdre Hutton, a prime example of New Labour's politicised and incompetent civil service and quango "elite".

The discovery of various random insects captured in amber from millions of years ago is of great use to scientists. We voters are offered a similar opportunity to study a typical New Labour "impartial" civil servant who was suddenly captured by the amber of a national disaster.

She started out in life as an interfering left wing political activist and has had virtually no experience of working in the private sector.

Deirdre also has NO experience of aviation and NO experience of engineering ... So what job do you think she is best suited for? Well, it seems she is the ideal person for the most senior aviation job in this country of course, Chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority. When she started her job in Aug 2009, she was burdened with working two days a week for £130,000.

It was our Deirdre who stood next to the Transport Minister yesterday (20th April) and read out the announcement of Britain's climb-down over the ash cloud no-fly zone.

Deirdre's Significant Roles
Observers of our failing civil service under New Labour will not be surprised to learn that Deirdre has, coincidentally (or is it?), been in charge of the following public sector bodies at the time of various national disasters and problems:

Civil Aviation Authority - During our recent "No Fly" disaster and at the time that flight taxes were increased again in 2009.

Financial Services Authority - at the time major decisions were not made in the lead up to the Credit Crunch. Derdre was also deputy direcor at teh Treasury.

Food Standards Agency - At the time of a scare concerning avian flu getting into the food chain and also at the time a controversial decision was made about Genetically Modified foods.

The CV of Deirdre, New Labour's Quango Queen.

In her youth:
Left-wing political activist, arrested in South Africa.

Appointed to the Arts Council in Scotland "largely because of her interest in chamber music" (see Ref-01 below).

Worked for the Financial Services Authority

2002 - 2004:
Deputy chairman of the Financial Services Authority

Chairman of the Food Standards Agency
"A Cabinet meeting at the start of the year, which included Gordon Brown, the chief scientist Sir John Beddington and the then chairman of the FSA, Dame Deirdre Hutton, is understood to have concluded that Britain’s official stance of opposition to GM crops had to be altered.

Cabinet papers leaked at the time showed the government appeared to be ready to go ahead with GM crops despite what it recognised would be considerable public resistance." (See Ref-04)

Dec 2006
Ed Balls announces that Deirdre's non-executive directorship and deputy chairmanship of the Financial Services Authority is extended until December 2007. (see Ref-03)

Feb 2007:
"The Food Standards Agency is investigating whether poultry from a Bernard Matthews' production site infected with the avian influenza virus (H5N1) entered the UK food chain and is being sold in stores.

The revelation, made yesterday by Deirdre Hutton, chairperson of the FSA board" (See Ref-05)

Autumn 2008
Advisor for a review into privatisation of the Royal Mail in 2008 with Richard Hooper and Ian Smith.
(See Ref-08)

Non-executive director of the Treasury

Mar 2009:
Appointed to the Board of the CAA.
"Currently chairman of the Food Standards Agency" (see Ref-02 below).

Aug 2009 to present:
Chairman of the CAA. She has no aviation or engineering experience and virtually no business experience.

Other Roles
Chairman of the National Consumer Council
Chairman of the Scottish Consumer Council
Deputy chairman of the European Food Safety Authority.
member of the Better Regulation Task Force.
Chairman of the Foresight Panel on the Food Chain and Crops for Industry
Chairman of the Food Chain Centre
Member of the Policy Commission on the Future of Farming and Food (the Curry Commission)
Deputy Chairman, European Food Safety Authority
Vice Chairman of the European Food Safety Authority.
Member of the Better Regulation Task Force until June 2005.
Advisor to the Social Market Foundation
Chairman of the Personal Investment Authority Ombudsman Bureau.

Personal Interests
(see Ref-07 below)

Dierdre's son Nicholas Hutton is a researcher for Jo Swinson, Lib Dem MP for East Dunbartonshire.

Shares in GlaxoSmithKline, Tesco, Unilever, BskyB, and Scottish Radio to a value of approximately £43,500

Close family members hold shares in GlaxoSmithKline, ICI, Tesco, Scottish & Newcastle, Unilever and Marks & Spencer to a value of approximately £88,000

Clubs and other organisations
Forum UK, a club for senior women in UK, some of whom are in th food and related industries

Comments and Quotes
"Dame Deirdre will serve as non-executive chair, working approximately two days per week at the CAA. Her appointment is for five years and will initially be at a salary of £130,000 per year."
(See Ref-02 below)

When Deirdre was asked about the FSA's culpability for the Credit Crunch, she replied:
"I look back and think what were the things I let go through and where I should have thought a bit harder. What are the things I missed? It's the same with every regulator. You are not floored by the things you know about. You are floored by the things that come in from left-field. It's very difficult in the long run to get it right."
(see Ref-01 below)

Deirdre said this about her CAA appointment
"When I was approached to think about this job my reaction was: 'Why do you want me to get involved in aviation? I don't know anything about aeroplanes.'
But there are a lot of things that are transferable. My main interest, I realise after quite a long time working, is making organisations work properly."
(see Ref-01 below)

Deirdre in full Marxist-Speak mode:
“Conflicts can arise in the pursuit of sustainable development between the short-term interests of consumers, and their longer-term interests as citizens.
The report examines the nature of conflicts and suggests that it is essential that these are identified and explained and that processes are set in place to resolve them”.
Deirdre Hutton CBE Chairman of the Scottish Consumer Council
Monday 24 January 2000
(See Ref-06 below)











  1. Bravo !!

    Looks like OH followed a link to the CAA board in one of my comments (I do like to know who I'm dealing with). I didn't have the time to do the digging you've done - nice big hole - how can we make sure she gets tipped into it?

    The other place I wanted to go digging for Quango jumpers and crony sinecures is British Waterways - the stench of peculation emanating from there is awful. I think they're trying to sell the canals and rivers to Disney.

  2. Disgraceful when you consider properly qualified/and or experienced people cannot get jobs.

  3. To: Gordon the Fence Post Tortoise

    Left wing bias is endemic in all sections of our once near-impartial civil service. It started after the second world war, got worse when all public sector jobs were only advertised in the Guardian and, finally, New Labour killed off any pretence of impartiality when they got in power.

    The other side effects are that these socialist placemen are often incompetent at their jobs and seem to give each other above average pay, gold-plated pensions, free taxi rides home and below average hours.

  4. Once they get inside is hard to smoke them out. Seems today the only way to get rid of mediocre bureaucrats is to promote them - sad!