Christmas Repeats: Whitehall Union Boss Fills Empty Papers

Today’s papers went big on a whinge from Dave Penman, general secretary of the trade union of senior civil servants, complaining that Whitehall needs more resources because of Brexit. Easy copy for struggling on-duty reporters in the dead week before the New Year. But it really isn’t news…

Today Penman says: “The civil service is going to have to be given more resources to deal with Brexit”. The same point he made on November 23: “With no additional funding, departments will once again be asked to deliver ever more with ever less”. And November 15: “there is a deafening silence from Ministers over whether any additional resources will be provided to deliver this momentous task”. And October 12: “the Government needs to provide the civil service with the capability and capacity necessary to deliver a successful EU exit”. And September 2. And August 31. And July 5. And June 24. You get the idea.

It’s hardly a surprise that the boss of a trade union wants more cash. It’s not even new information either, he’s said the same thing every month since the vote. That’s the problem with the Christmas period: full of repeats…




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Quote of the Day

Jeremy Corbyn in the Evening Standard

“… we must also face the uncomfortable fact that a small number of our members and supporters hold anti-Semitic views and attitudes, which need to be confronted and dealt with more rapidly and effectively.

The evidence is clear enough. Labour staff have seen examples of Holocaust denial, crude stereotypes of Jewish bankers, conspiracy theories blaming 9/11 on Israel, and even one member who appeared to believe that Hitler had been misunderstood.

So let me be clear. People holding those views have no place in the Labour Party.

… we have not done enough to get to grips with the problem, and the Jewish community and our Jewish members deserve an apology. My party and I are sorry for the hurt and distress caused. … We must strive to understand why anti-Semitism has surfaced in our party…

… when criticism of or opposition to the Israeli government uses anti-Semitic ideas — attributing its injustices to Jewish identity, demanding that Jews in Britain or elsewhere answer for its conduct, or comparing Israel to the Nazis — then a line must be drawn.  Anti-Zionism is not in itself anti-Semitic and many Jews themselves are not Zionists. But there are also a very few who are drawn to the Palestinian question precisely because it affords an opportunity to express hostility to Jewish people in a “respectable” setting. Our movement must not be a home for such individuals.

Second, there are people who have come to see capitalism and imperialism as the product of conspiracy by a small shadowy elite rather than a political, economic, legal and social system. That is only a step from hoary myths about “Jewish bankers” and “sinister global forces”.

These views do no service to the struggle for a just society.”

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