Politics the Original Hostile Environment

Home Secretary is a notoriously impossible position to keep, with some governments going through 6 in 8 years. What makes it such a difficult a position to stay in?

The Home Office is a palace of numbers filled with human stories. One person can not oversee and be expected to know everyones stories, so rules and metrics have to be used to make it manageable. Every single choice made in a department of that size can not go through the Home Secretary, it is physically impossible. When you manage tens of thousands of staff can you ever  be expect to rattle off the stories or KPI’s that each staff member is being measured by or looking after. Should all decisions be passed up the chain? The answer is no and the reality is hell no!

We see it time and time again in the business world, with Barclays or VW execs getting the sack for decisions made much further down the chain by a nameless employee. Yes there is culpability from the exec for not ensuring oversight of important decisions. Ultimately it relies on those underneath informing the exec of those decision. It is a failure of a team and hierarchy that leads to these situations. Execs are now expected to fall on their swords. This is why executive pay has increased so rapidly in recent years. It is danger money, one year in a job and then someone working in an office in another country will make a decision that will cause you to resign.

It is why when MPs call for Mark Zuckerberg to come and answer questions in front of them they will be disappointed. He no longer makes those detailed decisions on how to implement a feature, he simply has the large picture. It is why Facebook sends executives who manage the area on which they are being questioned instead. They are the individuals who manage the smaller teams, who make these decisions.

Amber Rudd is renowned for her competency and detailed, so it is highly unlikely that she intentionally mislead anyone. In fact Sky Data showed last week that the majority of the population support the targets in question. She took all the correct steps to deal with Windrush, which was a mistake made in the 1970’s and never fixed. Once you take these into account it becomes very hard to see a reason for her to resign.