Re: Government technocrats
The problem with the Civil Service and the politicians that "drive" them is that there is very little domain knowledge. Many people working there are "well educated" and by no means stupid, but there is a functional ignorance in anything remotely technical or scientific. Worse, many decision makers do not have the background or skill in the domains they are administrating to come to a view that will stand scrutiny by outside, informed, opinion. So they use consultants, whom have seen them coming...
The Civil Service then really doesn't help itself by rotating out the people that the contractors have trained up. The contractors have to start all over again with new ones every couple or three years. This appears to be an out of date hangup from colonial days about officials "going native".
To give the Government credit, they have recognised that big ticket projects are likely to equal gigantic (and expensive) failure - so they tried something else. The result has had some modest success (for at least 2 orders of magnitude less cost). It is by no means perfect, and some of the bad habits of old are creeping in, but by banging on at them in the technical press we can hold them to account because, at the very least, they actually understand the questions and the proffered answers.