19 October 2011

Thinking Paper #164: The Civil Servants fight back‏

By Ron Ford Golightly


The neo-ancient war between politicians (and their proxies - the dreaded spad!!!) and civil servants is an exciting one. Remember the Battle of the Bureaucratic Bulge in 1998? Thought so.
The Civil Servants fight back‏

The latest chapter is yet to be named by historians, but the IIPBA would like to get in there first (skip to concluding comments if you hate reading).

Now, as you read on the pages of your favourite think-tank the other day, the Head of the Civil Service, Gus O'Donnell is on his way out. His final hurrah, it seems, is to have persuaded the Prime Minister that civil servants should be given the power to "shop" those pesky Ministers for having runny noses, sharing hotel rooms with "self styled advisors" and drinking tea at their desk (this goes against Health and Safety Rule number 23a; 1b - x). Good work Gus.

The Whitehall rumour is that the Prime Minister accepted this call from O'Donnell after being told off for not doing "joined up writing" in his jotter. An insider told us "Dave is quite petrified of Sir Gus. He reminds him of old Spanky McGuinness, his headteacher at Eton".

However, these changes have not been welcomed by all. Step up "ministerial concerns". "Ministerial concerns" were quoted in the paper today as being worried about one Jeremy (Jezzer) Heywood, the Downing Street permanent secretary, who has been named as O'Donnell's successor. Heywood is said to be building an empire to rival the Ottomans, with his very own policy unit and massage suite. Some are said to be "scared" of Heywood, others "nervous", but mostly people are "in awe of the way he floats through the corridors of Downing Street".

Concluding Comments

Welcome to the Civil Service Age of Jezza H.

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