Bindweed roots …
These are the last few days where most people are still on their prolonged Christmas & New Year break. Some of our Party leaders believe though that now is the time where they can make some headline-grabbing announcements about Brexit. Some in the MSM have ‘discovered’ a certain blog, making the blog owner into ‘Enemy No 1’, the devil incarnate, especially now that he’s published some thoughts about the civil service. And then there’s RemainCentral which is addicted to running at least one poll every week, the latest being about the BBC.
On the surface, neither Mr Cummings’ thoughts on the civil service nor the poll on the BBC are about Brexit – but readers here know better. But let’s first look at the strictly Brexit-related items before we look at the BBC poll and the Cummings blog.
First up is the interim co-leader of the LibDems, Ed Davey. It’s reported that he will table an amendment to the WAIB which is getting its 3rd Reading next week, demanding an inquiry about the whole Brexit campaign and Referendum result – and demanding a 2nd Referendum (link). In the Red corner, Jeremy Corbyn will table an amendment which demands that the negotiations must go on until 2023 – read it all here, it’s not paywalled.
These last attempts of Remain are obviously futile, given the majority of the Johnson government. But at least, Davey and Corbyn have shown that they are still alive. There’s one other amendment which might have some chance of success, given the screeching and hysterics of the opposition laydee MPs at the 2nd reading of that Bill before Christmas when they used this item to paint the whole of the government benches as a bunch of mean, heartless bastards:
“Other amendments tabled by Labour include a bid to protect the right for unaccompanied child refugees to be reunited with their family after Brexit. The revised wording of the Bill removed a Government commitment to strike a deal with the European Union so child refugees can be reunited with their family in the UK, even after free movement ends.” (link)
All you need to know is that this demand to ‘reunite children’ is an EU attempt to empty the migrant camps in Greece. It’s also being considered by the governments in EU member states. It would seem that Labour’s connections to Brussels are still strong and that, moreover, the EU will make use of them to get their laws and directives onto our statute books even after Brexit. The metaphor which came to my mind comes from gardening: it’s like trying to get rid of bindweed – the roots are everywhere and even a tiny piece left in the soil will sprout again.
Let’s now take a quick look at the poll in The Times (link, paywalled), also reported in the DM (non-paywalled, here). It won’t surprise you that 50% want the BBC Tax scrapped. There are some very interesting details:
“Conservative voters were the least supportive of the licence fee. The poll found that 21 per cent of those who said they voted Tory at the last election chose the licence fee model, compared to 38 per cent of Labour voters and 43 per cent of Lib Dems. Remainers were more likely than Leavers to support the licence fee — 40 per cent compared to 18 per cent.” (link, paywalled)
It seems the brainwashed want to keep their favourite brain shampoo going, in the hope that it’ll finally have some effect on us unwashed Leave peasants. Obviously, the BBC won’t take this lying down even though nothing can be done until their Royal Charter runs out in 2027. Decriminalisation of the BBC Tax can however be achieved for 2022. Meanwhile the BBC will try their utmost to ‘reach out’ for those most susceptible to their brand of brainwash:
“Lord Hall of Birkenhead, the director-general, pledged yesterday to “refocus content spending” on young audiences to try to win them back from streaming rivals, after Ofcom warned that the BBC risked losing a generation of potential licence-fee payers. The strategy is likely to mean that tens of millions of pounds is stripped from the general programming budget to create shows specifically aimed at 16-24-year-olds, such as the BBC Three reality series RuPaul’s Drag Race UK.” (link, paywalled)
Yeah, that’ll work … especially when we can stop paying the BBC Tax without fear of going to prison. After all, the generations older than 24 years must learn about that ‘drag race’ and all the trans- and whatever gender issues which interest nobody but the Islington Champagne socialists.
As we all know, having lived through the post-EU Referendum years, the BBC is one of the key Remain pillars. As we also know, the other, major Remain player was Whitehall, especially the Mandarins – naming no names. Before the Christmas break there were rumblings in the MSM that Dominic Cummings was thinking out loud about a reform of the civil service. Now he has done so, and published his thoughts on his blog which you can read here. I highly recommend reading it, especially as Cummings links to some previous blog posts – this one is most interesting! – which furnish the background to this ‘job advert’.
The MSM are of course in uproar, with two prongs to their attack. One is displayed fully in their headlines, about Cummings wanting ‘weirdos’ to apply: “Wanted: weirdos to shake up Whitehall” (link, paywalled), or: “Calling all ‘weirdos and misfits’: Dominic Cummings begins extraordinary No10 recruitment shake up” (paywalled link). Here’s a non-paywalled report. The astonishing thing is that they’re all fixated on ‘weirdo’ but never look at the other people Cummings want to recruit. It’s as if they’ve not read his blog, nor do they ask what made Cummings write it.
For them, Whitehall is nearly as sacrosanct as the NHS, it’s ‘the Rolls-Royce’ of all services, untouchable. Never mind that we’ve all lived through the May BRINO debacle, created by Whitehall and their top henchman, a certain Mr O. Robbins, now gone to a rather lucrative job! However, they found immediately the usual suspects, howling:
“Dave Penman, general secretary of the FDA, formerly the Association of First Division Civil Servants, said […] many issues the civil service faces were “of the Government’s own creation. Churn in senior civil service roles is a result of a decade of pay stagnation, with movement between jobs the only route to a pay rise’. […] Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union, said: “Comments by Dominic Cummings that imply he wants to hire-and-fire at will reveal an anti-trade union mentality and will be strenuously resisted by PCS.” (paywalled link)
The Express has a full industrial-strength title about this reform: “Boris Johnson faces WAR with union barons as they vow to ‘resist’ PM’s radical reforms” – the report is somewhat less belligerent, it’s not paywalled (here) so you can have a look. RemainCentral has more, reporting what the two top civil service union bosses told them. Unsurprisingly, they tell us that it’s all the government’s fault, and anyway it’s due to ‘pay restraint’:
“Mark Serwotka, of the PCS union which represents 200,000 government staff, said that the main problem in the civil service was pay restraint and bad government policy” (link, paywalled)
He doesn’t tell us what these bad government policies are, but never mind: it’s all due to “Toree austerity” …! The arguments against Cummings’ proposals coming from Mr Penman, secretary of the ‘senior civil servants’, are along the lines of ‘we’re good already’:
“Dave Penman […] said that officials would find it harder to give independent advice “if they rely for their employment on a guru or a minister”. He insisted that good civil servants would already “go out and find people with radical ideas and test them against evidence — rather than ideology — and see what stacks up”. Surrounding ministers with teams of the “like- minded” risked destroying institutional memory when politicians changed.” (link, paywalled)
Does that mean that Mr O. Robbins as he was then was not ‘like-minded’ with his PM? We’ve reported time and time again about the monolithic adherence to ‘Brussels Rulz’ in our ministries and departments. Many of the Tory eurosceptics have seen the results of EU directives in real life. Just ask Owen Paterson … or recall the repeated replies given to ministers that something cannot be changed ‘because the EU won’t like it’.
After we’re free of the main EU shackles on January 31st Whitehall must get rid of the ‘institutional memory’ of being led by Brussels. Perhaps they might dig deep and find the buried institutional memories from the times when Whitehall ran that Empire which the Left so hates …
Brexit, getting back our Sovereignty, also means getting rid of the EU’s bindweed roots which have infested Whitehall and the MSM. A huge field, that, you will agree! So
Photo by urbanwild