As part of a radical cost-cutting exercise, Her Majesty’s Home Civil Service is to be outsourced to India, according to plans unveiled today by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. The Civil Service is the bureaucracy of Crown employees that currently supports all branches of Her Majesty’s Government.
Executive decisions, previously the work of the British civil service will now be run out of a call centre in Bangalore by a dedicated team, from 8am till 8pm, Mon-Fri. To ensure consistency of service the call centre team have been trained to give an exasperated sigh whenever called upon to do anything, and to spend much of their time writing reports on what other people can do to be more efficient at their jobs.
Government and Opposition Ministers will continue to sit in Whitehall and Parliament, which will both be considerably slimmed down, with office and lobby space being sold off to private developers and turned into riverside flats or branches of Yo Sushi.
“This is about devolving power,” argues Mr Clegg. “It’s about saying to the people of this country, look, on top of everything else, you shouldn’t have to shoulder the heavy burden of running everything. Here’s a perfectly nice chap from overseas who is willing to shoulder the burden for you, at a fraction of what you would charge us."
Mr Clegg also suggests that outsourcing will have a positive effect on immigration figures. “We will no longer have to worry about foreign workers coming over here and taking our jobs, instead we will take the jobs to them drastically cutting down the number of migrants tempted to here in the first place.”
The coalition has indicated that if civil service outsourcing is successful it may provide the template for further hiving off of other areas of the public sector, for example, policing and nursing.
“We believe in the Big Society," says Mr Clegg, "which means we can no longer think of ourselves as merely the British Isles, we have to think of ourselves as a multinational nation, with a global presence. If that means sending all our jobseeker allowance forms to southern Guangdong province for processing then that's what being a world player is all about.”
The coalition government recently gave UK citizens the opportunity to propose the sort of laws and reforms they would like to see, and promised to tailor subsequent legislation based on these contributions.
Prime Minister David Cameron has praised the initiative. “It was suggested that by letting ordinary people make their own suggestions on how things should be run we would get a lot of dangerous, half-baked, xenophobic, crackpot schemes on the wrong side of blithering nonsense. But already we’ve got an absolutely cracking policy of it.
“I look forward to other top notch suggestions being adopted. I like the one about replacing speed cameras with those cameras from rollercoasters so that they can capture the look on your face as you zoom towards a school crossing."
Mr Clegg adds, “We need to be bold, and sometimes in being bold you need to do things that appear colossally stupid.”