Labour, in Mandelson's words, is intensely relaxed about senior public sector managers making themselves wealthy at the taxpayer's expense.
Since 1997 the salary spread between admin staff at the base of the bureaucratic pyramids and the boss at the apex has changed out of all recognition. In 1997 you could reckon that a Chief Constable or Chief Executive would earn perhaps 5 or 6 times the salary of a base level employee. Labour have widened the gap to 10 or 12 times or more by ensuring that those at the very top of the tree have enjoyed above inflation salary increases and fake bonus schemes, and every time an incumbent boss retires with a massive multi million pound pension pot, they hike the salary for the next one on the basis that they need to 'attract the most able candidates'.
On 13th January the Standard ran a piece that revealed that almost 400 London council bosses pay themselves over £100k each. Hackney paid up to £320k to former Chief Executive Penny Thompson. Ita O'Donovan at Baby-P / Climbie Haringey gets up to £180k.
Today the Times reveals that Chief police officers are also on the 'greed is good' bandwagon, awarding themselves massive bonuses. Presumably for overseeing such massive increases in burglary and knife crime. Ian Blair awarded himself a £25k bonus on top of his £247k salary in his last full year, for what?
And why, you may ask, has this been allowed to happen? Well, for two related reasons, I think. One is because they can. They have no effective democratically elected governing bodies that regulate their pay. Town hall bosses and police chiefs take their orders directly from Whitehall these days; councillors and police authority members are an inconvenient irrelevance.
Secondly, the old management consultant con. A public sector boss who wants a pay rise engages a management consultant to advise on modernising, streamlining, making more efficient, effective and responsive the organisation that they govern. Inevitably the first recommendation is to increase the boss' salary by 25%. The management consultant picks up a six-figure fee, the boss pockets the wedge and the whole thing was done on the basis of 'independent, external expert advice'. All very NuLabour and transparent.
And a central Statist government has no incentive to interfere. They want a compliant cabal of obedient council and police bosses, and these rewards are a small price, especially as the taxpayer bears the cost.
The answer, of course, is not legislation or greater State regulation or a new senior pay quango. It is to empower local citizens to have real control over their own local services and policing. But you all knew that, didn't you?