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Ending the quango farce

Once again we have to look across the water to the UK to see how political decisions can not just be made quickly but acted upon with real speed and purpose.

In this case it is quangos, the quasi autonomous non-governmental organisations that dot our political, social, economic and cultural landscape.

Many do an excellent job. Indeed we need them. Many, sadly, are no more than the reserve of the political appointee who has little or nothing to bring to the job.

Yesterday, at one fell swoop, British prime minister David Cameron announced severe prunings of such organisations.

The casualties ranged from such well-established organisations as the Agricultural Wages Board and the Youth Justice Board through to obscure Whitehall bodies like the Government Hospitality Advisory Committee on the Purchase of Wines.

In all, 192 bodies will be abolished, 118 merged down to 57, while a further 171 will be "substantially" reformed. The future of another 40 remains under consideration.

Following Mr Cameron's decision -- and no doubt arrived at separately -- Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny came up with the promise to bring in a ministerial car pool to cut the €5m bill for the perk.

Mr Cameron told his ministers to "take the Tube" (the London Underground). Mr Kenny will also tell ministers to take public transport or drive their own cars.

The only problem is Mr Kenny is not in power and Mr Cameron is. Furthermore Mr Cameron has done something about it. We have heard a lot of talk on the issue from our Government but little by way of real action.

There is really no excuse for this. If they are serious about cutting costs and reducing vast wastes of time and energy, then the decision should be made here. It is not acceptable that the farce is allowed to run and run. And Mr Cameron can be consulted if needs be.