Clash Over Civil Service’s Woke Guest Vetting

Last night Guido’s editor appeared on Newsnight to discuss our ongoing campaign to stop the civil service inviting sorcerers and obsessives to give lectures to staff during working hours. Up against the Times columnist Edward Lucas, who had yesterday morning complained about our influence in his column, referencing us no less than three times.  Our public service journalism getting credit for kicking the government into action… 

Newsnight’s Kirst Wark asked about the ramifications of expecting some basic due diligence by Whitehall mandarins:

“You’ve called these out, in a sense by calling attention to them, haven’t you ramped up the government’s antennae… to look for anything as some kind of problem?”

As Guido pointed out, over a matter of months, civil servants were being invited to lessons in crystal healing, Q&As with witches, and lectures from Green socialists. It was clearly egregious and worth reporting. Lucas suggested perhaps the social media accounts of those uninvited in the future could be of impersonators. This has never been the case for any of the subjects of Guido’s stories. If it was, we would have corrected our reporting.

The guidance was intended to clamp down on informal Civil Service Diversity Networks inviting cranks and extremists to lecture them in working hours at the taxpayers’ expense – when they could perhaps have been doing what they are paid to do. Despite the guidance blocking actual witches, it is not intended to be a witch hunt for experts who don’t take the government’s line on everything. 

Ultimately, there needs to be some common sense thinking when sending out these invitations. The last two years or so have shown that’s been sorely lacking… 

mdi-tag-outline Civil Service Culture War Newsnight Whitehall
mdi-account-multiple-outline Edward Lucas Paul Staines
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