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Brexit: give me a positive effect... III

Discussion in 'off topic' started by stevec67, May 30, 2020.

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  1. farfromthesun

    farfromthesun pfm Member

  2. SteveS1

    SteveS1 I heard that, pardon?

    TheDecameron and MikeMA like this.
  3. farfromthesun

    farfromthesun pfm Member

    Those alarm bells are getting louder.
    MikeMA likes this.
  4. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr Staying alert

    We’re going to need a lot more popcorn in our Brexit cupboard...
    Kirk likes this.
  5. Markyb

    Markyb pfm Member

    Which one of their (Cummings) mates will get the juicy and expensive contract to cock this up i wonder?
    TheDecameron likes this.
  6. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK Waiting for the streetcar..

    It's hard to recognise or accept impartial, evidence-based assessment that challenges an entrenched view. Google the 'Semmelweis effect'.

    I encourage you to a look at Civil Service Code. Regardless of who you are, or what level you are within the CS, you are expected to abide by the four core values of integrity, honesty, objectivity and impartiality. Breaches of the code are taken very seriously and dealt with. Had there been clear evidence in a breach with regards to providing assessment on the likely economic effects of exiting the EU, there would have been disciplinary action and I'm almost certain it would have made the press as it would have been of public interest.

    One final thought. During the referendum, it was clear from my limited viewpoint, that the CS was not made up exclusively of 'remainers'. So even if, as you suggest, people have followed their dogma and ignored the Code on this one, uniquely emotive subject, it wouldn't have resulted in an entirely 'remain' stance across the CS.

    And again, to make sure there is no misunderstanding, this is my view as someone who works in the CS. I am not speaking on its behalf.
  7. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK Waiting for the streetcar..

    Better get it before the ports stack up.
    TheDecameron likes this.
  8. Joe Hutch

    Joe Hutch Mate of the bloke

    It's a long time since I was a Civil Servant (getting on for 30 years ago), so my knowledge may be out-dated, but I think I'm free from bias/prejudice, having been out of the loop for so long. There's no doubt the Civil Service is imperfect, and could be improved. The problem is that the current 'solution' of politicising it will not only fail to improve it, but will make it worse.

    The advantage of a non-party political Civil Service is that it provides stability as Government changes hands. The alternative is the US approach, where officials change as one party replaces another party in Government. It also results in an 'echo-chamber' effect where advisers are unable or unwilling to offer advice that goes against what the minister wants; to point out the pitfalls and risks, rather than just asking 'how high?' when told to jump.

    From my experience, most Civil Servants were soft-left rather than extreme left- or right-wingers, but all did the best they could to carry out the policies of the ruling party, however much they disagreed with such policies. Clearly, there's a point at which an individual might regard a policy as beyond the pale on either moral or legal grounds. Most people in such situations will be tempted to think of their responsibilities towards their dependants ahead of those of society in general; what's been lacking has been a reliable, trustworthy 'whistle-blowing' system, whereby such concerns can be raised without fear of reprisal.

    The other advantage of a non-partisan, permanent Civil Service as with an independent Judiciary, is that it is essentially incorruptible. For all its undoubted inefficiency and waste, the UK Civil Service is regarded by other countries as the Gold Standard in this regard. When I dealt with people from other countries in one of my roles, they were often surprised that, not only would I refuse to accept direct bribes, I would refuse to accept even the most token of gifts, which in their own countries they would gladly provide as a means of speeding things along. We have seen from several recent cases that politicians are less scrupulous in such matters, and I fear that a politicised Civil Service would be a much less honest one.
    TheDecameron, SteveS1, MikeMA and 4 others like this.
  9. SteveS1

    SteveS1 I heard that, pardon?

    The attempts by Cummings and his admirers on here to portray the CS as biased and obstructive as opposed to inefficient or somehow more cumbersome than for countless previous administrations is all to do with ideology. If Labour had won the election and set about this course of action, the same people would have been screaming and howling. The GOP enabling of Trump has obviously impressed Cummings and his backers and this is part of replicating it here. Nothing to do with wanting an unbiased or honest CS, everything to do with having a more compliant one.
    MikeMA and Sue Pertwee-Tyr like this.
  10. Colin L

    Colin L pfm Member

    Johnson and Cummings will soon be claiming they are "draining the swamp", no doubt.
  11. Joe Hutch

    Joe Hutch Mate of the bloke

    And even much of the Civil Service's cumbersomeness and inefficiency has to do with Governmental meddling. There's essentially two things you can do with any sort of administrative system; centralise and de-centralise. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Centralising provides a one-stop shop, so people aren't sent from pillar to post when, for example, claiming benefits. De-centralising means you can target resources to where they're most needed, and tailor what's provided to different communities.

    The trouble is (or was when I was a Civil Servant) that Governments switch from one to the other, even if the same party stays in power. On a trivial level, that means changing letterheads every other year. On a less-trivial level, it means demoralisation and confusion as people are shuffled around between agencies, and to different parts of the country,
  12. eternumviti

    eternumviti Bloviating Brexiter

    Masques, high-minded pretensions? What tf are you on about now? The only mask that's slipped is the one behind which you conceal some vapid and partisan-at-any-cost thought processes.

    You won't find me defending May. She was an appalling Home Secretary, and a hopeless PM. But this conversation wasn't about May, it was about the Civil Service.

    Read the bloody report, or otherwise perhaps consider keeping it zipped. Sometimes it's more dignified.
  13. SteveS1

    SteveS1 I heard that, pardon?

    I have read it and you trying to make it something it's not - doesn't change it. It isn't simply about the CS, it's about the policy decisions, the culture of disbelief, the lack of concern for consequences, the populating of the HO with staff more likely to be onboard with the government's increasingly anti-immigration policies and communications. It's not just about what happened in there, it's about what drove, enabled and then encouraged that culture and the subsequent ignoring of the very real concerns that were already being raised.
  14. eternumviti

    eternumviti Bloviating Brexiter

    OK, sure, that's all more measured and reasonable. You have an axe to grind with the tories, which is fine. I'm happy to debate these things on the terms you've set out above, but not amidst barely veiled accusations of racism.
    SteveS1 likes this.
  15. droodzilla

    droodzilla pfm Member

    I agree Steve and I dislike that Twitter thread. It drips the kind of sneering condecension towards Leave voters that is part of the problem. If people have been fed shite about the EU 24/7 for decades, you can't blame (some of) them if they believe it. That said, I'd hope this experience would make the individuals pause, reflect and put the blame where it belongs - with Farage and all the other people who lied to them for years.
    PhilofCas and SteveS1 like this.
  16. roman

    roman pfm Member

    I make an allowance for the drip drip brainwashing. Certainly the peddlers of that crap have most to answer for but I have doubt about the scales falling from people's eyes and the correct apportioning of blame.

    Much more likely is a readiness to be misled once again. Doubling down on prejudice or fresh scapegoating.
    Graham B likes this.
  17. SteveS1

    SteveS1 I heard that, pardon?

    I didn't and never would accuse you of racism. It's the overlooking of what comes with the Brexit package that frustrates me and racisim is definitely in there big time. Witness the huge amount of anti-immigration and xenophobic campaigning around it.

    But so is a highly politicised CS and however frustrating the size and organisation of any government support services to any administration, allowing political rather than professional appointees is a very slippery slope. It's transparently a power grab in many areas off the back of one single issue and too many Brexiteers seem so wedded to their Brexit they are starting to resemble the GOP and rolling over for every minor and not so minor corruption of our systems, checks and balances.
    ff1d1l, eternumviti and Nick_G like this.
  18. Kirk

    Kirk pfm Member

    Tetchy as well.
    wyjsar likes this.
  19. SteveS1

    SteveS1 I heard that, pardon?

    I think the trouble was that UK governments were very happy for years for the EU to take the blame for many things that were national problems or certainly within their gift, never thinking of where it might lead. A lot of criticism of the Remain campaign ignores that proving negatives or warning of adverse effects is not as easy or popular and more importantly, the out campaign had in effect been running for years.

    Nobody was much interested in hearing the benefits of EU membership because they were the norm. When it was pointed out that we would lose them - it was "project fear" and they were assured that life would not change negatively. The worry is that even when confronted with the negatives in reality, they will somehow becomes the EU's fault for not being more 'reasonable', never the fault of those who dealt in such misinformation.
    TheDecameron, KrisW, Kirk and 2 others like this.
  20. tuga

    tuga European

    I find it upsetting, actually, makes my stomach turn.
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