A Conversation for The British Parliamentary System

How to be a bureaucrat

Post 1


1. Hold lots of meetings: pre-meetings, wash-up meetings, working groups, sub-groups, ad-hoc meetings, round table discussions and networking meetings (actually a euphemism for a party.)
2. Use words which make you sound important but don't actually mean anything. A good example is "vibrant local leadership", which sounds like a group of councillors dancing on the village green.
3. Consult everybody you can think of and wait for responses. "Stakeholder engagement" sounds good if you know what a stakeholder is (a person left holding the steak?) but it is actually an excuse to delay for several months.
4. Draft and redraft the documents you produce. If you use lots of sub-paragraphs, bullet points and subordinate clauses, you can lose people in the middle of a sentence.
5. Use lots of acronyms. You can have endless fun confusing people by failing to distinguish between a Passenger Transport Authority (PTA) and a Parent Teacher Association (PTA)
6. Refer constantly to Acts of Parliament, listing the relevant sections and schedules to make yourself sound learned. It is even better to refer to Statutory Instruments, which sound like useful things such as hammers and chisels, but are actually boring bits of secondary legislation.
7. Tell other organisations (local authorities, businesses etc) how to run themselves while your own management wouldn't know how to run the proverbial booze-up in a brewery.

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How to be a bureaucrat

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