One of the hallmarks of Government Planning Policy is no-one agrees with it in its entirety. Its eternally and inevitably contested space. Even exceptionally well connected SW1 dumbtanks with Govy on speed dial spend all their time writing reports criticising government policy.
Across Whitehall there are many ‘networks’ of civil servants – for Economists, Planners, LGBT civil servants, Jewish Civil Servants etc. They provide a vital means of cutting through departments silos and allowing staff to keep up with the latest ideas.
Hence the widespread alarm at the following memo from a ‘senior cabinet office official’ banning ‘woke’ speakers. ‘Officials have been told to carry out due diligence checks and examine the social media posts of anyone invited to speak at internal events’
So those groups campaigning against government policy be a breach of impartiality whereas those campaigning for it are not? This is partisanship dressed up as ‘neutrality’, the further orbanisation of public bodies; which can be defined as political projects to undermine the he institutional quality of democracies by denying independent non ruling party voices access to public jobs, the media and access to public funding, so as to deligimise all arguments against ruling party dictats.
What is worst is there now appears to be a cabinet office starzi set up to trawl through social media posts of government critics, and what is full on east German Communism, trawling in the whole of the civil service to spy on their contacts to look for social media criticisms.
This memo is clearly contrary to the civil service code. Did the cabinet secretary see it and approve it? If they did the hard won independence of the civil service is over and the cabinet secretary should resign.
This is particularly chilling in the Planning sphere where there isn’t a single group that hasn’t criticized government planning policy in one way or another.