Now we all see the Home Office for the costly shambles it is, what about the police? According to the Policeman's Blog, our boys and girls in blue spend most of their time filling in forms and undergoing diversity training. But from time to time they do get rostered to put on a show of strength. It could be a brief appearance on our streets, or perhaps a spot of overtime at a footie match.
A couple of nights ago it was civil liberties suppression: the removal of anti-war protestor Brian Haw from most of his pitch in Parliament Square. Fair enough you might say- he was creating a dreadfully messy spectacle for tourists. Not to mention our MPs.
So what would you reckon it would take? A quiet word from a junior PC?
It actually took a 2am visit from 78 officers to remove Haw's fearsome posters and deckchairs. 78! At a cost of £7,200:
"The raid ran up a bill of £3,000 in overtime and £4,200 for "transport, catering and erection of road barriers", said Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan police commissioner."
So now we know.