Government logo pseudo-scandal: rent a quote, but don’t give credit

Here’s something very annoying. The Telegraph has a story about the new Government Department logos (which I rather like), revealed by Simon Dickson at Puffbox yesterday.

Does the Telegraph credit Simon’s clever spot? No. Does it mention his blog or organisation at all? No.

Instead, it goes to the TaxPayers’ Alliance, the Elton, Pritt or Coughlin of public spending, for a thought-free quote on how evil spending money is:

Robert Oxley, Campaign Manager of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: “Only civil servants could think that simplifying government means flashy new logos for every department.

“Rather than worrying about team colours, bureaucrats should focus on ending the culture of waste that still prevails in Whitehall. The time and endless meetings involved in this pet project could surely have been used more wisely on practical measures to save taxpayers’ money.”

And yet… having a single logo saves money. The design is so simple it could have been done (and was done, according to the Cabinet Office) in-house. The purpose of the work was to save multiple redesigns. The TaxPayers’ Alliance should be delighted – but of course, they never are.

It’s disappointing but not surprising that the Telegraph doesn’t give Simon the credit he deserves. Perhaps it’s also unsurprising that it doesn’t give public debate the credit it deserves, by rushing for a lazy outrage quote, rather than taking the time to make a fair assessment of what’s been done. That’s our “quality press” for you.


Published by Anthony Zacharzewski

Anthony Zacharzewski was one of the founders of Demsoc in 2006. Before starting work for Demsoc in 2010, he was a Whitehall civil servant and a local government officer.