Quangos—Why Bother Counting Them When Whitehall Can't?



‘Mindless’ empiricism rules in British central government, bolstered by the use of prerogative powers and the absence of any ‘court of appeal’ to insist on definitions and uniformities. This gives arguments about quangos—arm's-length bodies—a surreal quality. The Cameron coalition has created many new quangos, while claiming a cull. Unless and until Whitehall acquires, or is forced to acquire, better habits of mind, it may be a waste of time for academics and reformers to prepare taxonomies and call for more administrative rationality.