Tag Archives: servant

As others see us: King Charles satirised by US radio host for berating ‘servant’

This being a bank holiday weekend, This Writer is either otherwise occupied or almost totally incapacitated, so I’m putting up material that has interested me – and I hope it interests you. Make of it what you will.

This one has to do with a moment when King Charles appeared to become angry about something on a desk where he was to sign the proclamation making him the UK monarch. He motioned for somebody to move it:

The episode was quickly characterised as the new King picking on his “servants” – and this is how the US talk show host Jimmy Dore tackled it (with an impersonation by Mike MacRae, I hasten to add):

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Chaotic scenes at Education Department as civil servants outnumber desks

Jacob Rees-Mogg, making a gesture that well defines him.

Is this Jacob Rees-Mogg’s comeuppance after he went around leaving nasty notes on empty civil service desks, for them to see after they returned from home working?

In notes left for civil servants, he wrote: “Sorry you were out when I visited. I look forward to seeing you in the office very soon.”

Nadhim Zahawi took Rees-Mogg’s demand for a return to the office seriously, and told officials at the Department for Education to “immediately” return to “pre-Covid working” after an audit found that the DfE had the lowest attendance of any Government department, at a quarter capacity.

Well, unless pre-Covid working took place in corridors and canteens, he didn’t get his wish!

It turns out that, before the pandemic, the DfE only had an occupancy rate of 60 to 70 per cent because of the department’s flexible working policy.

And changes to the department’s estate, such as giving up space at the DfE’s London headquarters, has meant there are fewer desks than previously – 4,200 to accommodate 8,009 staff.

So after the department’s top civil servant, permanent secretary Susan Acland-Hood, was joined by ministers to tell officials to work 80 per cent of their week in the office, chaos ensued:

Civil servants at the Department for Education have been forced to work in corridors and canteens.

Whole teams have been turned away from some offices because of overcrowding.

According to Schools Week, staff were sent home from the department’s Sheffield office after a mass return earlier this month, despite some staff already working from the canteen.

Online meetings were also forced to take place with staff perched on the end of shared seating because meeting rooms were full.

The Tories have insisted that having more people than desks was the practice at the department.

Were they saying that chaos is supposed to be the practice at the Department for Education and that it was the intended result of Rees-Mogg’s interference. How revealing!

And isn’t it curious that, while DfE staff – and presumably other civil servants – scrabble for desk space, another government department looks set to spend £20 million on a luxury townhouse for a single, privileged representative – so she can hold lavish parties?

Source: Department for Education descends into chaos as civil servants can’t find desks after returning to office

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Rees-Mogg has been leaving ‘demeaning’ notes for civil servants working from home

Jacob Rees-Mogg: he reckons it’s inefficient for civil servants to work from home and not in the office – but seems happy to have a nap in his own place of work.

Here’s another Tory who wants to make the people who do the actual work of government look bad, while distracting attention away from his colleagues and their lockdown-busting rave-ups.

Jacob Rees-Mogg has been leaving nasty little notes on the desks of civil servants who have been working from home – because he refuses to accept that they are capable of providing a better quality of work if they’re not tied to an office.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet Office minister has been merrily defending prime minister Boris Johnson’s attendance at parties in Downing Street – that break the rules Johnson himself announced to the public.

He said the fact that Johnson had been fined for disobeying his own rules in order to attend parties was “fundamentally trivial” “fluff”. That’s even though Johnson is also accused of the extremely serious offence of lying to Parliament about what he did.

What a hypocrite. If anything is “fundamentally trivial” “fluff”, it’s his determination to leave creepy little notes for the civil servants who make him look competent.

Source: Jacob Rees-Mogg criticised for leaving ‘demeaning’ notes for civil servants working from home

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Priti Patel is a ‘moron’ and Boris Johnson is worse, say officials and Tory MPs

Priti Patel and Boris Johnson: she’s a moron and he’s a c**t – and that’s according to their own civil service officials and Tory MPs.

Home Secretary Priti Patel is a “moron” and an “idiot”. That’s not This Writer’s opinion but the words of her own officials.

And Boris Johnson is receiving a worse hammering from Conservative MPs.

Patel, frustrated by her failure to turn back boats of refugees seeking asylum in the UK, is reported to have privately accused civil servants in her department as “not fit for purpose”.

In response – and probably mindful of Patel’s bullying of former Permanent Secretary Sir Philip Rutnam (along with officials in the DWP and International Development) – her officers have retaliated:

One told [the Mail on Sunday]: “She comes into meetings and her suggestions are erratic and outlandish.

“Officials come out of the meetings and the texts start flying, describing her as a “moron” and an “idiot”.”

Another said: “What’s become clear is that she [the Home Secretary] is out for herself and only interested in how this plays out publicly.

“If we worked collaboratively then we could get things done but instead we just have cloud cuckoo land public statements.”

And one said bluntly: “She hates us and we all hate her.”

Boris Johnson, meanwhile, has pitched himself into an even worse position, with his own MPs openly speaking out against him:

“Things can only get worse,” one MP half-jokes, in a deliberate inversion of the anthem that propelled Tony Blair’s 1997 victory.

One former minister puts it bluntly: “What’s the mood? I’ll tell you: there’s been a big increase in the number of people who think Boris is a c**t.”

That’s only on the Tory benches of the House of Commons, I hasten to remind readers. The vast majority of the general public have considered him to be that for many years.

“We’re like a herd of elephants smelling danger,” a senior backbencher tells me. “There’s been a distinct stirring, we’re anxious and distressed. There’s some trumpeting. But the real shift is we’re slowly on the move – away from Boris.”

How sad for the UK that the only genuine movement to remove Boris Johnson and his mixture of incompetence and malice from government comes from his own party, whose members are preparing once more to stab a leader in the back.

Labour leader Keir Starmer appears to be a more staunch supporter of Johnson than any Tory MP, doing everything he can to ensure that nobody but the most mindless tribalist will vote for the alleged “Opposition” party in any future election.

And the general public? Deprived of any hope for real change, most find themselves cast into limbo. The Tory government is still engaged in a project to deprive us of our health, our rights and – thanks to Patel again – our citizenship.

A deceitful election campaign by Johnson and his Tory client press in 2019 has deprived us of any power to prevent it – by fooling millions of people into voting to harm themselves.

You are entirely at the mercy of Tory MPs – many of them the same MPs who have stood accused of shocking corruption over the last few weeks.

So it isn’t just Johnson’s followers who have a right to feel betrayed.

But the voters have only themselves to blame for allowing notorious gang of known liars to make utter imbeciles of them no fewer than four times in a row since 2010.

Source: Priti Patel’s officials ‘brand her a moron’ over ‘erratic and outlandish ideas’ – Mirror Online

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Dementia patient deported by Patel; Labour councillor wants ‘anti-migrant militia’ [Also in the news]

Border Force: while a Labour councillor calls for the creation of migrant vigilante groups, Priti Patel has deported a dementia patient.

Lots to get through tonight and no time for commentary:

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The social care system is being ruined by profiteers [Also in the news]

This window-writing may have been by a child in care, but it might equally have been written by an adult – or by one of the people employed to care for either of them.

The demand for profit is causing huge harm to the private care system, it has been claimed.

Investor returns have become more important than quality care and workers’ pay, according to research.

Private equity, hedge funds and real estate investment trusts have brought in predatory financial techniques, justified in the name of enticing capital into a sector that the government has persistently failed to adequately fund.

Boris Johnson promised to overhaul the system, more than two years ago. He has yet to lift a finger.

That’s unless you include his government’s Covid-19 strategy that killed – what – 30,000 care home residents, at least?

Also in the news:

Charities are warning that foodbank use will rocket if the Universal Credit cut goes ahead

But the Tories have been pushing more and more people into food poverty. It is their policy.

So why would they care?

Iain Duncan Smith wants civil servants to go back to working in the office

The former Tory leader thinks it’s necessary “because there’s an ecosystem around them made up of cafes, restaurants bars, even theatres and other areas that give people jobs and without people back in their offices, going out for sandwiches, you know, coffees, etcetera that ecosystem will collapse and people will lose their jobs”.

Business chief asks Johnson to save firms from the damage done by Brexit – and goes unanswered

In response, Richard Murphy of Tax Research UK has asked why business leaders are putting up with Johnson.

A reader responded that they are probably waiting for the Tories to further reduce workers rights and financial reporting standards, while another pointed out that Johnson made his position clear three years ago when he said, “F*ck business.”

Abbott calls for end to Patel’s cruel mass deportation flights

The fourth mass deportation flight to Jamaica since the Windrush Scandal will leave the UK today (August 11), showing that Home Secretary Priti Patel and her boss Boris Johnson have learned nothing from it.

The excuse is that the deportees are all dangerous criminals – except they aren’t, according to Labour’s Diane Abbott. And they have served the sentence for their crime.

In fact, they are being subjected to double jeopardy, which should be illegal in UK law – penalising people twice for the same crime. It is imposed because the deportees are not white.

And finally:

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Greensill: civil servants told to declare unauthorised second jobs while independent inquiry move is rejected

David Cameron: he could almost be saying, “Don’t look at me! There’s a civil servant over there who stacks shelves at a supermarket because I froze her pay in 2011!”

The latest developments in the Greensill scandal show typical Tory attitudes – one rule for them and a different rule for the ‘help’.

So – as predicted by This Site – Conservative MPs have rejected a Labour plan for a full Parliamentary inquiry into lobbying by former MPs on behalf of their current employers. Instead, the government has commissioned a review, to be run by a friend of the Tories. It will be a whitewash.

Meanwhile, civil servants are being ordered to declare second jobs they have that “might conflict” with their rules. This is after repeated assertions that former procurement chief Bill Crothers’s second job with Greensill was thoroughly vetted and above-board.

It seems to This Writer that Boris Johnson is looking for someone to blame; trying to take the heat off his school chum and former colleague, David Cameron.

Of course, civil servants shouldn’t have second jobs at all, let alone second jobs that may create a conflict of interests with their duties in the interests of the nation.

But I wonder how anyone has the time. And it also seems to me that if they have managed to get away with this, then we still have to question the behaviour of government ministers who devised the rules on outside employment.

So if any civil servants – especially those in top jobs – are found to have broken the rules… and if serious conflicts of interest are discovered… then Boris Johnson is still going to have a lot of explaining to do.

Source: Greensill row: Civil servants ordered to declare second jobs – BBC News

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High Court urged to overturn Johnson’s decision to overlook Priti Patel’s bullying

Do you ever wonder whether High Court judges get frustrated that any serious work they do is delayed by the misdeeds of government ministers (not to mention the bleatings of sensitive celebs – but that’s another matter)?

Civil service union the FDA is demanding a judicial review of Boris Johnson’s decision not to sack Priti Patel for breaking the Ministerial Code by bullying officers at the Home Office, Department for International Development and the Department for Work and Pensions.

Johnson rejected the findings of a report by Alex Allan that found Patel was guilty of bullying civil servants while a minister in three government departments.

He defiantly backed her to continue as Home Secretary when, according to the rules, she should have been sacked – and said he had “full confidence” in her.

The decision provoke Allan to resign as government adviser on ministerial standards last November, immediately after the prime minister announced his decision.

It also emerged that Johnson had spent considerable effort trying to rally support for Patel among other ministers. This became even more questionable when it was revealed that Patel’s loathsome behaviour appeared to have pushed one employee into attempting suicide.

Now the FDA is taking the matter to the courts – and about time too:

In a written submission, general secretary Dave Penman told the High Court that “civil servants should expect to work with ministers without fear of being bullied or harassed”.

Mr Johnson’s actions had “fundamentally undermined” the disciplinary process, he added, and the prime minister had “misinterpreted” the definition of bullying in the Ministerial Code.

Mr Penman said there was “bewilderment, dismay and anger among our membership” and there had been “serious detrimental effects to workplace relations and confidence in the process for dealing with complaints against ministers”.

He added that, if Mr Johnson’s decision was not “corrected” by the court, “his interpretation of the Ministerial Code will result in that document failing to protect workplace standards across government”.

This is a row that has been simmering for a year – since the resignation of Sir Philip Rutnam as Home Office permanent secretary in February 2020.

He said he had been the target of a “vicious and orchestrated briefing campaign” ringled by Patel.

And he is pursuing an employment tribunal claim for constructive dismissal.

This action can only be strengthened if the High Court supports the FDA’s application.

Source: High Court urged to overturn PM’s decision to stand by Priti Patel – BBC News

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Web of lies around Priti Patel bullying report: why is she protected if she pushes people to suicide?

I don’t like it when people in my government lie to me.

I have a feeling I share that opinion with many people.

Priti Patel seized on the part of Alex Allan’s report into bullying allegations against her, that said she had not been warned that her behaviour towards civil service employees exceeded the bounds of acceptability.

But it seems that this was because Sir Alex was prevented from interviewing Sir Philip Rutnam, the former Permanent Secretary to the Home Office, who is suing the government for constructive dismissal.

According to The Guardian,

sources say Allan was informed he could not interview Rutnam because of the legal action. Allan, however, felt that his inquiry was being denied potentially crucial evidence.

Rutnam… said she was clearly advised not to shout and swear at staff the month after her appointment in 2019 and that he told her to treat staff with respect “on further occasions”.

The indication that Sir Alex was prevented from interviewing Sir Philip suggests that his claim is correct. Priti Patel – as the person who was given the advice – would therefore have known she had it.

So it seems she lied, in order to make herself look better. That in itself is despicable.

Worse still, we hear that the prime minister – Boris Johnson – himself asked for the report on Patel to be “palatable”. Doesn’t this suggest that he didn’t want the facts – just something he could use to deflect criticism?

Is it any wonder that Sir Alex resigned after Johnson ignored even the findings of his report as it eventually appeared?

Finally, there is the odious spectacle of Tory MPs and ministers rallying to support Patel – a colleague whose loathsome behaviour appears to have pushed one employee into attempting suicide:

Mr Khan attempted to endorse it because his boss told him to help “form a square around the Prittster”.

So now we have an increasing number of Conservative MPs – and, presumably, other Tories – trying to deceive us all into accepting that there’s no reason for Priti Patel to be removed from office.

It seems one bad apple really can spoil the whole barrel. Or were they already spoiled and this episode just showed us the extent of it?

Source: Boris Johnson ‘asked for Patel report to be palatable’, source claims – BBC News

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It’s civil servants v Boris Johnson over Priti Patel’s bullying. Who’s going to believe the known liar?

Priti Patel: smug as ever – perhaps because she’s got Boris Johnson making sure she’ll remain as Home Secretary no matter what is said against her.

Civil servants are now lining up to condemn Home Secretary Priti Patel, while she has support from liars like Boris Johnson and other former – disgraced – ministers like Liam Fox.

A civil servant writing in The Guardian tells us: “Civil servants are supposed to silently get on with it while ministers take the flak… But this very British convention of public life… is now being shredded by an emboldened administration still flexing its muscular majority.

“More colleagues are now coming forward with further allegations against Patel during her time as an employment minister in 2015. That’s in addition to claims that she, as international development secretary, openly called her staff “fucking useless”.

“So it might not be a stretch to say that this feels like like a sort of #MeToo moment for the civil service. Those who, like me, have been around government for several years reckon more allegations are on the way. There may be blood.”

But the writer says it probably won’t be Ms Patel’s.

Yes, there will be a Cabinet Office investigation – but the minister for the Cabinet Office, Michael Gove, has already given her his support.

Not only that: Boris Johnson told MPs he was “sticking by” Ms Patel during Prime Minister’s Questions, saying she was “delivering change, putting police out on the street, cutting crime, and delivering a new immigration system”. He is a known liar, of course.

Oh, and how about this endorsement?

Liam Fox was, if I recall correctly, the very first member of the Conservative government from 2010 onwards who was forced to resign in disgrace.

That is the kind of support she is getting.

Ms Patel may stay on as Home Secretary – let’s face it, it seems clear that Johnson is rigging any investigation in her favour – but she’ll never live down the scandal.

Civil servants don’t make this kind of fuss about nothing.

And she has already been forced to resign from a previous Cabinet job after she tried to carry out her own foreign policy, independent of even the Tory government’s.

As far as This Writer is concerned, she is poison. If she stays, she’ll become a symbol of Tory government bullying, lies and corruption.

Source: The Priti Patel allegations are turning into a #MeToo moment for the civil service | The civil servant | Opinion | The Guardian

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