Advice for the new ministers in Allan Bell’s government

This column first appeared in the Manx Advertiser.

So the dust is settling after Allan Bell’s changes to his cabinet.
It is rather ironic that David Anderson has lost his job at the helm of the health department, just when he could probably do with some medical attention to the wound in his back.
Sir Humphrey Appleby, Yes Minister, Isle of ManAnd if Sir Humphrey Appleby were around to comment upon Mr Bell’s decision to give two of the largest spending departments to novices, no doubt he would describe it as ‘very brave’.
However, we are all in this together and it is in that spirit that I offer the following advice to the new boys: Infrastructure Minister Laurence Skelly and Health and (soon to be) Social Care Minister Howard Quayle.
• However much you think you know, it is not nearly enough. Learn much and learn it quickly. If you can do that with some humility you may even find the brow-beaten public servants who still have jobs in your departments won’t hate you.
• Don’t get too comfy or too cocky. Your job is at the whim of the chief minister and if it’s expedient, you’ll be out. Just ask Graham Cregeen, the last new minister.
• Any anti-government comments you made from the comfort of the back benches will be remembered by some of your colleagues who will, absolutely, not be tempted to throw them back in your face. Better find a good reason to explain why you’ve changed your mind.
• You’ve been appointed with just enough time to go before the general election for the public to blame you for something. Or, if the glass is half-full, to prove that all those manifesto pledges were not empty rhetoric.
• When using public transport, try to stay awake.
• When getting wound up by provocative point-scoring from the back benches, remember you were doing that a couple of weeks ago.
• Don’t ever upset CoMin colleague and cabinet enforcer Chris Robertshaw. He doesn’t countenance dissent and you may find yourself, fairly quickly, ‘reformed’.
• Remember that, ultimately, you’re still employed by your electorate. It is the voters who pay your wages with their taxes and, perhaps more pertinent to some MHKs, get to give an appraisal in a couple of years’ time.

Follow Paul on Twitter:@Norbertsdad

Related articles:

I’m with a celebrity…get me out of here

How to deal with the dreaded lurgy

Making your mark in the world

Back to Paul Speller Media news page.

 

Advertisements

About Paul Speller

Writer, journalist, husband, dad.
Gallery | This entry was posted in News and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Advice for the new ministers in Allan Bell’s government

  1. Pingback: Getting catty about Facebook | Paul Speller Media

  2. Pingback: The hidden dangers of nappy changing – or how I hurt my shoulder | Paul Speller Media

  3. Pingback: Time to start the Manx television revolution | Paul Speller Media

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s