It seems that the government can never get enough of power and control, with the latest revelations by Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, allowing ministers to choose their top civil service officials and permanent secretaries.
At present, civil servants are politically neutral and impartial permanent employees of the state and advise whichever party is in power.
The proposals will mean that ministers will be employing sycophants who will do as they are told without offering any balance in the decision making process, or implementation of government policy.
According to Maude’s proposals, ministers would choose their top civil servants who will be employed on a 5 year contract. Speaking on the BBC News channel, Maude said that the move is meant to ensure that ministerial instructions are carried out quickly and in-line with ministerial decisions.
Maude said “It has to be the case that ministers need to feel that their offices are their offices, not the department’s office, and that’s the change that we will put in place. You don’t want to have a sense, which some ministers have mentioned to me, that sometimes it feels like the department’s office is being leant to the minister.”
Well, the civil service IS being ‘leant’ to the ministers in power because ministers come and go with each general election, and the reason the civil service remains as an independent service is to ensure consistency and that the country can continue to operate in the event that a government cannot be formed. It is also some safeguard against illegal and unconstitutional actions by the government in power.
Maude’s proposals will make ministerial offices much larger, with a reduction in the number of other civil servants. So in effect, the pool of sycophants will dominate each civil service department – there will no longer be any impartiality.
Rather than the civil service remaining a fairly neutral entity, it will become a political tool to force through policies and legislation, which (judging by recent experience with this government) will inevitably be to the detriment of the majority of the population, but will significantly benefit those in favour with the Conservative party.
The general secretary of FDA, the senior public officials union, Dave Penman said “We remain very concerned that the danger is that it will lead to politicisation rather than personalisation. We see that it is a good idea giving ministers more support, but we see real dangers in personal appointment by ministers of an extended group of civil servants.”
Penman is right. What little democracy is left in the UK will be wiped away and replaced with a fascist regime that will manoeuvre itself into a position of doing whatever it wants to do with little or no alternative input to ensure legality or balance.
The civil service does need to be reformed, but it should not be reformed to the benefit of the political party in power – which is what Maude is proposing.
These kind of ‘under the table’ changes to the way government operates may seem of little importance to the majority of the general public. But it is this kind of tactic that the government uses to control more and more of what the public can and cannot do, and to choose who benefits.
This change will lead to corruption and underhand dealings, and will become a closed ring of protection to those engaged in it. ‘Hand-picked’ by – and under the control of – ministers will make those employed in the ‘inner-circle’ only able to function if they comply, and will inevitably attract those who lean towards the current psychopathic principles of the current government.
Make no mistake, this is a dangerous change.