Thursday, 14 October 2010


*definition: quasi-autonomous nongovernmental organization. A semipublic administrative body outside the civil service but with financial support from and senior appointments made by the government.

Today the coalition government announced their long awaited cuts – known until this week as the ‘Bonfire of the Quangos’. The full list is available on the Cabinet Office website.

Tucked away on page 18, under the responsibility of the Foreign Office, I notice the intention to abolish the Government Hospitality Advisory Committee on the Purchase of Wines. Well that must be a blow to all those lucky enough to have benefited from it. Does this mean the government will stop buying wine? Or, is it simply that they will no longer have a committee to advise and will now use Oddbins online? Let’s hope there is time for one last committee meeting, so those officials involved can drown their sorrow in some style.

I see from an answer in the House of Commons two months ago that the government has spent £966,702 on wine, beer and spirits over the last decade. Impressive.

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