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On a crisp autumnal day in the heart of imperial Whitehall, the imposing doors of HM Treasury were opened on Tuesday by the ‘Powers-That-Be’ for a talk on getting legislation through the UK Parliament.
Stephen Kelly, Chief Operating Officer for the Government, opened the discussions.
I have to admit that I was a tad confused by this. I thought—somewhat naively perhaps—that the COO for the government was the Prime Minister or, at the very least, some be-suited and impossibly Machiavellian minion of his. Alas, this wasn’t the case. I suppose the obvious clue was that there wasn’t a great deal of security surrounding Mr Kelly. He looked relaxed, confident and completely devoid of any James Bond-style briefcase containing shiny nuclear buttons (pity really, as I have always wondered what the PM’s ‘emergency satchel’ looks like).
So, what was the COO doing there?
It turns out that Stephen Kelly is responsible for shaking up Civil Service’s operations by trying to improve the way the government operates.
He has also been heavily involved in ‘Parliament Week,’ a programme of events and activities which are all about ‘connecting, inspiring and informing people across the UK about their democracy’
Now this has got to be a tricky task indeed when so many people and businesses seemingly feel dis-engaged with, or cynical about, democracy.
Even our wartime leader,
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