Tony Benn NHS boatrace story - allegory of the British "management" issue

The NHS held a boat race against a Japanese crew and Japan won by a mile.

A working party found the winners had 18 people rowing and one steering while the NHS had eighteen steering and one rowing. So the NHS spent £5 million on consultants, forming a restructured crew of four assistant steering managers; three deputy managers and a director of steering services. The rower was given an incentive to row harder.

They held another race and lost by two miles.

So the NHS fired the rower for poor performance, sold the boat and used the proceeds to pay a bonus to the director of steering services.

(transcribed / copied as webpage 21Jan2023)