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Getting a grip

The Empire Windrush arrived in Britain in 1948.
The Empire Windrush arrived in Britain in 1948.
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FAILINGS of Government departments are becoming a depressingly familiar feature of Theresa May’s administration. The debacle of our region’s train services being plunged into chaos as a result of the shortcomings of the Department of Transport – and Minister Chris Grayling – has shown that there is a lack of grip on matters of vital importance to the country.

Now the Home Office is also in the dock for failing to carry out its duties properly, following the damning verdict of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, which condemned its “shocking” treatment of the Windrush generation, some of whom were detained unlawfully.

This begs the question of what is happening in the apparatus of Government. Too many of its departments do not appear to be functioning either effectively or efficiently. Mistakes, mismanagement and mistreatment of citizens, whether they be rail passengers or descendants of pioneering migrants, are becoming hallmarks.

There is a growing sense that the Government’s all-consuming focus on Brexit is occupying so much of ministers’ and senior civil servants’ time that they are not paying enough attention to the efficient running of the country. Vital though Brexit is to Britain’s future, the tortuous negotiations and squabbling within the Government must not be allowed to distract from the proper operation of public services like rail, or jeopardise the rights of citizens.

However preoccupied Mrs May is with EU negotiations, it is incumbent upon her to ensure that Government departments stop stumbling and start performing.