I WONDER what would have happened if our vaccine programme had been run by the civil service instead of a special task force.

Given most bureaucrats have spent the past year-and-a-half sitting at home playing Fortnite, I suspect millions of us would still be vaccine-free right now.

PAI suspect millions of us would still be vaccine-free right now '/ '

GoffVaccine tsar Dame Kate Bingham said that too often, the civil service is riddled with muddles and delays '/ '

And can you imagine the bureaucracy involved? The boxes to be ticked?

Keeping the civil servants well away from the whole thing meant our vaccine programme was one of the most successful in the world.

Interestingly, it’s not only me that thinks this.

It’s also the view of the ­brilliant woman whose task force was in charge of finding vaccines that might work and buying them up, in vast quantities, so we could lead the world in getting people jabbed.

In a recent speech and article for The Times, vaccine tsar Dame Kate Bingham said that too often, the civil service is riddled with muddles and delays.

If it had been left to manage the programme, it would have been much, much slower.

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She also slammed mandarins and bureaucrats for treating business with hostility and suspicion. Further, they are obsessive about avoiding blame and paranoid about the Press.

She said: “The machinery of government is dominated by process rather than ­outcome, causing delay and inertia.

...There is an obsessive fear of personal error and criticism, a culture of groupthink and risk aversion that stifles initiative and encourages foot-dragging.”

Well said, that woman. Our civil service right now is not fit for purpose — and it is not only in fighting Covid that it’s been revealed as next to useless.Cossetted on huge wages and with enormous public sector pensions, our civil servants are the enemies of change, of getting things done.

The groupthink Dame Kate referred to — these people are largely from the same middle-class, public-school, Oxbridge background — also gives them a political agenda.

They were hugely hostile to Brexit. During negotiations, they seemed at times to be batting for the other side.

Hardly any of them were pro-Brexit and the very few that were remarked on how contemptuous their colleagues were about those who wished to leave the European Union. Every woke agenda is lapped up by these gilded but often dim-witted pen pushers.

When they come across a minister who intends to stand her ground and wants a bit of co-operation, they start crying and claim they are being bullied.

That’s what happened to our Home Secretary, the excellent Priti Patel.

Dame Kate’s words rang very true indeed. They echo the views of Dominic Cummings, once the Prime Minister’s right-hand man.

He, too, was appalled by the stultifying civil service, with its lack of imagination and profusion of “no men”.

We need to drain the swamp, or burst the Blob.

Our Government sure has its faults. But too often their best ideas are stymied by the second-rate brains in the civil service.

Boris and Co should commit to a widescale reform of the bureau- crats, beginning with a review of their manifest inadequacies.

And now that we’ve got our vaccines sorted out, I know just the person to lead that reform: Dame Kate Bingham.

CORB'S BARMY BATTLE

THE important question of the week: Which of the two Corbyns is the most deranged?

Obviously, Jeremy – aka Magic Grandpa – has to be in with a shout.

AlamyThe important question of the week: Which of the two Corbyns is the most deranged? '/ '

Friends with the genocidal terrorists of Hamas. Supporter of the basket-case dictatorship in Cuba.

Woker than a three-month-old baby at two o’clock in the morning. Led the Labour Party to its most disastrous election result in almost a century.

But then you look at bro Piers. Out on his latest demo, disrupting a People’s Question Time event in London.

Leading a bunch of maniacal, shrieking, anti-vaxxer loonies who think Covid is a hoax.

It’s a very close call, isn’t it? Their dad was called David Corbyn. He was an electrical engineer and apparently reasonably sane.

If only he’d kept it in his trousers.

LOSING TRACK OF WINE

NEW research suggests just four glasses of wine a week can hasten the onset of dementia.

AlamyResearch suggests just four glasses of wine a week can hasten the onset of dementia '/ '

Luckily for me, I’m never sure if I’ve had four glasses, or one glass, or 17.

I suppose the ­damage has already been done.

BEEB'S EX-MAS

GOOD for Wills and Kate. They’ve kicked the BBC right where it hurts.

Auntie had expected to broadcast the Cambridges’ charity Christmas carol concert.

But now they’ve told the BBC to get stuffed and given the gig to ITV.

I dare say part of the reason was the BBC’s boring and silly two-part documentary called The Princes And The Press, which kicked off on Monday night.

This was thinly disguised propaganda for Harry and Meghan. Two of the main interviews were with the Sussexes’ official spokesweasels, including the emetic Omid Scobie.

Which brings me to the crucial question: Does anyone, anywhere, give a monkey’s what those two devious, dense and whining royal muppets have to say about anything?

ALMOST BLOWN IT, BOJO

THERE are gerbils who would have made a better job of addressing Britain’s business leaders than Boris Johnson did on Monday.

Incoherent and verging on berserk, Boris rambled away as CBI bigwigs looked on in astonishment.

3It seems Boris has trouble taking anything seriously these days. His days are numbered '/ '

Imitating the sound of a motor car, jabbering mindlessly about Peppa Pig and losing his place in his speech for 20 seconds.

Does any of this matter?

I think so. It is part of the same complacency and arrogance that led to the car-crash decision about Tory MP Owen Paterson trousering money from lobbying.

The same complacency and arrogance that gave Labour – Labour! – an opinion poll lead last week.

The future of industry is a pretty important subject, no? It deserves to be taken seriously.

But it seems Boris has trouble taking anything seriously these days. His days are numbered.

A few more slips like this and the Tories will get rid of him. Rightly.

Because I don’t want to wake up after the next General Election being told what to do by Angela Rayner.

PRICE OF EU PIQUE

COVID is sweeping through continental Europe. Especially Germany, Austria and France.

There are record numbers of infections.  And that means people will die.

Some scientists are now wondering if this is a consequence of those countries deciding the AstraZeneca vaccine was either unsafe or useless.

You may remember that, in a fit of typically anti-British pique, French President Emmanuel Macron described the vaccine as “quasi-ineffective”.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel followed suit. And AstraZeneca doses were restricted on the Continent while we ploughed ahead.

It now seems likely that AstraZeneca provides longer-lasting protection than the Pfizer jab.

All those deaths and illnesses, then, a possible consequence of Brexit bitterness.

MISTRESS MONICA ROLE IS DEEPLY MIS-GUIDED

IN a desperate bid to look woke, the Guide Association appointed a trans woman as one of its commissioners.

Perhaps not surprisingly, some parents were concerned about Monica Sulley’s suitability for the role.

FacebookSome parents were concerned about Monica Sulley’s suitability for the role '/ '

FacebookPhotographs have emerged of bus driver Monica posing with a fake assault rifle '/ '

FacebookIn a desperate bid to look woke, the Guide Association appointed a trans woman as one of its commissioners '/ '

Being trans isn’t the problem.

But photographs have emerged of bus driver Monica, 58, posing with a fake assault rifle and also in dominatrix gear, holding a whip alongside the : “Now behave yourself or Mistress will have to punish you.”

Exactly the right sort of image for the Girl Guides, no?

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