back to article Coalition axes Central Office of Information, 400 jobs

The coalition government is to close the Central Office of Information with the loss of 400 jobs. The closure is part of government cuts which will see expenditure through the COI cut from £532m in 2009/2010 to nearer £168m in 2010/2011. Individual government departments have cut the number of press officers by about a quarter …

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Anonymous Coward

Charley says

collect your cards on the way out.

At first I thought it was the name of Hacker's old department - then I read the article..

Next stop the "General Assistance Department"....

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Keep Britain Tidy

Isn't that just a logo featuring a stick figure using a dustbin?

If scrapping that saves money, what on earth was it being spent on?!

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Propaganda Central, not so COI now

Is not necessary when any and every NGO, QUANGO and GONGO serves as a dispersed rhizomatic pop-up window for some Bogus Broadcasting Cabal or other.

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Coat

Keep Britain Tidy?

Don't say they've sacked that little stick man who drops the hanky into the mesh basket that you see everywhere.

I shall miss him.

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Bronze badge

Not going anywhere

Nothing to do with central gov so far as I can see

http://www.keepbritaintidy.org/AboutUs/Default.aspx

http://www.keepbritaintidy.org/AboutUs/HowWeOperate/Funding/Default.aspx

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From the department of useless facts

Writing in August 1945, George Orwell reported* the difficulties he had faced finding a publisher for Animal Farm. No-one wanted to hear any bad news about Russia and as one of the publishers he approached wrote:

"I mentioned the reaction I had had from an important official in the Ministry of Information with regard to Animal Farm. I must confess that this expression of opinion has given me seriously to think... I can see now that it might be regarded as something which it was highly ill-advised to publish at the present time. If the fable were addressed generally to dictators and dictatorships at large then publication would be all right, but the fable does follow, as I see now, so completely the progress of the Russian Soviets and their two dictators, that it can apply only to Russia, to the exclusion of the other dictatorships. Another thing: it would be less offensive if the predominant caste in the fable were not pigs. I think the choice of pigs as the ruling caste will no doubt give offence to many people, and particularly to anyone who is a bit touchy, as undoubtedly the Russians are."

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* http://orwell.ru/library/novels/Animal_Farm/english/efp_go

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Thumb Up

Irony?

The link at the end is .ru

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Childcatcher

The "Charley Says" films featuring the creepy cat

I liked the Charlie ads. Just goes to show that if they get you when you're young then you won't even know you're being indoctrinated.

"Learn to Swim" was the best though, can't let this story go without a mention of that...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxnUrCNnzNA

Also strange men talking to children...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdAt5M7McSk

This one should be constantly repeated given the current standard of driving...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mf5d2DP4Pp0

As should the one that taught me a healthy fear of getting my hand blown off by fireworks (sadly I can't find that one at the moment) so little brats these days don't go near them.

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Flame

Hooray! Down with the nanny state!

Up with fecal matter and MRSA and road accidents and expensive avoidable deaths and disabilities!

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>>>Up with fecal matter

Do you need a government information campaign to warn you to avoid poo?

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Unhappy

Sadly,

some people probably do.

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Anonymous Coward

@ I ain't Spartacus

Well, yes. A public health professor and team within the last year made a scientific study of people washing their hands after using motorway service loos, in the south of England. He said on Five Live during the beansprout E Coli outbreak, that a huge number did "some serious business" and did not wash their hands. He thought public hygiene levels are where they were 25 years ago - and a public health awareness campaign is needed. I'm afraid I can't quote you his name or the name of his study but it accords with my experience and if you live in England I imagine yours too.

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Devil

Charlie Says..

Charlie says your dog will die if you break into the power station to get your frisby back. Charlie also says if you don't stop crying he will kill your grandparents while they are sleeping.

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Anonymous Coward

I spent a whole hour with the COI once...

...Deciding when the next meeting should be. We'd finally settled on a date and then a chap who hadn't spoken yet said "I can't make that one." Finally they resolved to have their PAs sort it out later. Bunch of timewasters and a massive waste of public money.

It's not like the COI actually 'ran' government advertising. Each department would still do its own advertising and have its own marketing people on the payroll. The COI just sat as an additional layer of bureacracy on top and needed to approve everything.

Anon because I still work in marketing and some of them might just get re-employed somewhere (though I suspect a large number will struggle...)

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Flame

Re: I spent a whole hour with the COI once...

I can sympathise with you. I was once involved in a COI project where a government department had used COI to provide the advertising aspects. The problem was that COI went ahead and signed contracts with external ad agencies without considering the brief from the department. The end result was many months of wasted effort trying to unpick the mistakes made. Dealing with COI one got the feeling that they were no good at advertising and no good at managing media accounts and were, largely, people who had been passed over by the ad agencies and the press as not fit for purpose.

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Deckchairs

When there are massive savings to be made shuffling 400 from one department into new jobs in other ones really is shuffling deckchairs.

I am willing to put 50 quid up to anyone that wants a bet that by the end of the 'austerity program' the total employees of the state is greater than it was at the end of Labour, thus continuing the upward march of the nonßjobs in order to make the unemployment statistics look good.

The country might be broke, but this lot clearly donät know what to do about it any more than the last lot did. Employing several thousand Germans to build trains for Cross rail while paying unemployment to 6000 people in Derby really isn't going to help either.

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Pint

It's long past time that they were axed

In recent years, the COI have been used by Other Government Departments as a way of obscuring their spend on advertising and promotional work. I can see some advertising agencies in London are going to feel the pinch as a result of the closure of an "easy money" contract. I see getting rid of COI and putting the spend back with the department requesting the work as good for accountability.

There was a lot more to COI than the "Charley Says sort of thing. The one concern that I do have is the potential loss of the archive of material produced during WWII/1950s that forms an interesting record of those days. Sadly, because of the way government works in the UK. very little of this material has been published. In the US the view would be taken that the public paid for it, therefore the public has the right to access the information, free.

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