Letter: Chairman's brief

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The Independent Online
From Mr Basil Dewing

Sir: Polly Toynbee's tirade against the appointment of Sir Thomas Boyd Carpenter to chair the Government's Social Security Advisory Committee ("Eminently qualified - for some other job", 30 August) shows her lack of understanding of the function of a chairman. The chairman's job is to listen to the specialists and guide those whom he is chairing to reach the best consensus. When the chairmen are specialists in their own right, there is a danger that they have preconceived ideas and a closed mind which inhabits them from doing the job effectively. I am sure that Sir Thomas has the intellect and the training in analytical thinking to make an admirable chairman.

Yours faithfully,

Basil Dewing

Great Malvern,


30 August