by RAY FLEMING
DAVID Cameron's invitation to Sir Philip Green to look into government departments to identify inefficiencies and potential savings is a piece of political window dressing in the style that is used so effectively in Sir Philip's high street stores -- Arcadia, Topshop and Dorothy Perkins. Whether it has any real meaning in relation to the efficient running of the government is another matter entirely. The billionaire businessman has been given until the end of September to deliver his findings, presumably so that they can be taken into account in George Osborne's major statement on cuts in government services in October. But is such a timetable realistic? Sir Philip whose reputation for running a tight ship is legendary prides himself on micromanaging my stores down to the clothes hangers. Yesterday he said in an interview on BBC Radio's Today programme that his inquiry will focus on departments where most money is spent. So will the Ministry of Defence be one of those? He will have difficulty getting to the coat hangers there in the time available to him. If the prime minister wanted a serious report why did he not go to the independent National Audit Office which spends all its time on the task given to Sir Philip and knows where the bodies are buried in Whitehall? What he will probably get instead is something relatively superficial but good for a few headlines.
by RAY FLEMING