Treasury Mandarins Welcome Chinese Influence in Whitehall With Flags and Bunting

As Rishi faces backbench criticism for easing his rhetoric on China, Guido can reveal yet more incidences of warming relations with the authoritarian state. The Treasury today rolled out the red carpet to Chinese influence. Iain Duncan Smith should avert his gaze now.

In a special themed meal, the department displayed Chinese flags and oriental decorations. Knowing Whitehall, someone’s going down for cultural appropriation.

Co-conspirators won’t be surprised to see that the tofu-eating wokerati are making themselves at home in the Treasury, with “tofu, water chestnut and mushroom in black bean sauce” one of the meals on offer – for a modest £5.02. The meal went down well. A source claims the queue was the longest they’ve seen, adding that the dumplings “looked peng”. Guido’s just glad the Chancellor wasn’t behind the move. The coffers couldn’t handle the strain of subsidised sushi.

mdi-timer 19 January 2023 @ 17:16 19 Jan 2023 @ 17:16 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Treasury Civil Servants Told to Advocate Woke Values to Get Promoted

The Treasury’s threat yesterday to rain hell on anyone caught leaking stories to the media is, as they should have expected, being ignored. Guido’s also got his hands on the latest edition of the Treasury’s “Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Action Plan“, the woke bible handed to every incoming nascent mandarin when they join the department. This is the same document Treasury staff were encouraged to pore over in the internal memo Guido revealed last week. It’s 32 pages long, and includes all the predictable promises, like flying more flags and convincing more staff to “share diversity data” so managers can measure just how wonderfully inclusive they are. There’s yet another reminder that “we are all accountable” for this stuff, and “everyone’s contribution counts.” “We all understand what we need to do, and do more of it”, staff are told…

It’s also made explicit that managers and senior civil servants (SCS) are reviewed based on their ability to implement “diversity, inclusion and belonging”. Directors are told they are “answerable for diversity, inclusion and belonging outcomes” in their teams and told to attend “Diversity panels“. Staff at every level are expected to “hold each other to account” in promoting all this…

A civil service source tells Guido that, as a result, senior mandarins have a habit of loudly “paying lip service” to gender and identity politics, and that prioritising it as a performance review objective can distract staff from the bread and butter of their actual work:

“there’s actual, quantifiable problems they need to deal with, now that inflation is going to go through the roof. Not [messing] about with diversity and inclusion luxury virtue signalling.”

What do these mandarins care about more? Inflation being at 10%, or the number of LGBTQUIA+ employees being at 7.4%?

mdi-timer 1 June 2022 @ 10:13 1 Jun 2022 @ 10:13 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
John McDonnell Defends Comrade Sunak’s Inflationary Cash Splashing from Labour Criticism

If Tory MPs weren’t comfortable with Comrade Sunak’s £21 billion cost of living package announced last week, they should check out the bizarre through-the-looking-glass situation on Twitter this morning, as John McDonnell defends the Tory chancellor’s spending plans against attacks from Labour that it might cause greater inflation. Last night The Guardian was briefed that Labour is urging the OBR to assess the impact of Rishi’s spending splurge. It’s a fair criticism, just not from Labour who a week ago were hailing Rishinomics as proof they are “winning the battle of ideas”…

Owen Jones then led the charge pointing out how this opposition for the sake of opposition by Rachel Reeves paints Labour into a massive corner on spending. Jones tweeted, “This is reheated George Osborne-ism, not progressive politics.” Following in his steps this morning was Jeremy Corbyn’s former policy chief Andrew Fisher, who responded to the Guardian article with “WTAF?!”, while pointing out the Shadow Treasury Secretary, who wrote to the OBR, himself said Labour “welcomes [Rishi’s] announcements”. Tying himself into a knot the Scouts would be proud of…

Now John McDonnell – a man who, as the PM often reminds the Commons, was sacked by Ken Livingstone for being too left wing – has also leapt to the chancellor’s defence. McDonnell tweets:

Looks like both the Tories and Labour don’t have a clue what either they, or their opponents, stand for anymore…

mdi-timer 31 May 2022 @ 11:47 31 May 2022 @ 11:47 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Treasury Civil Servants Warned “Seemingly Nice People” Can Be Appallingly Unwoke

While the Treasury might struggle with old computers and recouping the billions lost to Covid loan fraud, at least their staff still have time to focus on the real issues. In a lengthy new internal memo to Treasury civil servants this week, the department’s head of Ethnic Diversity Network (EDN) shared a series of helpful pointers for staff to become “critical friends” of the Treasury and remind them “we are all a work in progress“. Along with the stern warning: “seemingly “nice” people can exhibit appalling behaviour: make sure that’s not you”…

The post also encourages mandarins to refresh their memories of the “Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Action Plan“:

“Being an ally means making intentional choices and actions that make clear to everyone around you about where you stand. If you get that right, then you help change the norms of what is and isn’t acceptable and you will empower others to be heard and to participate.”

This basically amounts to staff self-policing each other Maoist-style. It’s important to “make [it] clear to everyone around you about where you stand”, sounds like ritual denunciations for deviations from woke ideology are being advocated.

“The Ethnic Diversity Network (EDN) plays an important role as critical friends of the department. It’s a role that we don’t shy away from… You can read the Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Action Plan, and the personal commitment and kindness I have experienced from many of its members over the years… Anyone can be a critical friend — for example we all have access to our Group D&I plans and performance data via the diversity dashboard. You can ask your Group D&I Champion about how your Group is doing against its goals, share your ideas and get involved in making things happen.

If staff struggle with any of this, they’re in luck: apparently there’s still time to book onto the department’s mandatory diversity workshops which, as usual, take place during working hours…

mdi-timer 27 May 2022 @ 11:13 27 May 2022 @ 11:13 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Treasury Officials Splashed Thousands on Luxury Venetian Hotels

As the Treasury prepares to raid your pockets over the next year, just bear in mind how quickly they’re willing to splash the cash when looking after themselves. New government transparency documents show HMT spent £4,578.38 on two luxury Venetian hotel stops in July 2021 – one four star and one five star – between the 6th-8th July. Il conto, per favore…

The four star stop, Hotel Bonvecchiati, describes itself as “one of Venice’s oldest” hotels, with “elegant surroundings that are continually updated in line with the latest tendencies”, even allowing guests to arrive via gondola directly from the canal. Hopefully the mandarin that approved this unwarranted cash splash will be here today, gondola tomorrow…

As if that wasn’t luxurious enough for the Treasury, they also enjoyed a stay at the 5 star Hotel Danieliwhich consists of three palaces and “dominates the Venetian lagoon with a spectacular view of the Grand Canal and islands.” The perfect spot to relax in that scorching July heat…

John O’Connell, Chief Executive at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, reacted to the investigation saying, “Taxpayers struggling to stay afloat don’t want to see swanky Treasury officials enjoying 5 star hotels at their expense.”

The transparency document doesn’t reveal who was lucky enough to enjoy these resorts, although the dates do align quite nicely with one senior minister’s trip to the city…

mdi-timer 4 February 2022 @ 14:11 4 Feb 2022 @ 14:11 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Downing Street Backs Kwasi in Energy Crisis Briefing Spat with Treasury

The blue-on-blue briefing battle over the energy crisis has now taken another turn, with Downing Street coming out in support of BEIS Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng in his department’s ongoing feud with the Treasury. Despite the Treasury’s insistence that they’re “not involved in any talks” over support plans for businesses (not to mention essentially calling Kwarteng a liar), a Number 10 spokesperson claimed in a lobby briefing this morning that they actually are working “very closely” with BEIS “as the public would expect“:

“As you would expect, ministers from BEIS (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) are working across government, including with Treasury, on this important issue, the challenges that are currently facing industry in light of global gas prices, and that will continue.”

Treasury officials were “crystal clear” that this wasn’t happening. They can’t all be right…

mdi-timer 11 October 2021 @ 13:54 11 Oct 2021 @ 13:54 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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