Revolving door politics

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The industry has a new Secretary of State – 26 weeks after welcoming the last one. So, asks Olly Gully, is this what the government meant by ‘strong stable leadership’?

You wait ages for a bus and then three come along at the same time.

The first was so slow and stuttery it took over half a decade for it to work out how to print your Triennial Review pass; the second has just raced past the stop spraying waiting passengers with grimy water as he sped over the legislatory potholes; and the third, well it hasn’t got a destination on the front yet, but maybe this will be the Wright one.


None of the others have been, which explains why the amusements industry, and the UK gaming sector as a whole, cannot gain any of the momentum it desperately needs to change the pace and direction for its future.

The lack of long term leadership and stability at the DCMS helm has created avoid; how appropriate, then, that we have a departmental bureaucracy and a reinless regulator stepping in to fill it.

The old 1980s series Yes Minister wasn’t just funny, it was the first reality TV programme.

This is exactly how things operate – even 40 years on.

Every new change at the helm of a government department seems to almost immediately succumb to the comforting wisdom of their strong and stable team of bureaucrats and technocrats.

The ones we elect to do the job hand it over to the ones no-one wants to do the job.

That isn’t the strong and stable leadership we anticipated.

Roll the clock back a decade, and you’d probably not see much difference for the industry. Except it’s far smaller, more fiercely regulated, eyes spinning from watching the revolving door of departmental secretaries and operating in an economic and technological landscape that has moved ten years on while we’re still forced to work with tools from the last century.

The industry needs a secretary of state to deliver a strong and stable arena for us to operate and drive prosperity for our business and local communities.

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