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%?
Whitehall mandarins are once again mobilising to thwart the government’s Rwanda immigration policy. Having already faced internal outrage from Home Office civil servants, the Independent Advisory Group on Country Information (IAGCI) has now announced it is inviting tenders for a body to “review” government documents on the policy and scour it for “specific errors or omissions of fact”. Here we go again…
The review will involve:
“Assessing the extent to which information from source documents has been appropriately and accurately reflected in the… reports” and “noting and correcting any specific errors or omissions of fact”.
This follows the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration (IAGCI), David Neal, demanding the Home Office proves that Rwanda is a safe country – now they’ve submitted those documents, there’s still apparently a need for a quango review. In fairness, the ICIBI’s team insists it follows the “Civil Service Values” of integrity, honesty, objectivity, and impartiality. Just like all those Home Office quislings who plotted to “organise and resist” the plans…
The scale of Whitehall opposition to government policy is far from limited to Home Office mandarins threatening to ‘resist’ Priti’s Rwanda plans. Civil Service union chiefs have already voiced their displeasure at having to work from the office again, and now, it turns out the opposition is coming directly from the top of No. 10. This morning a co-conspirator spotted that Helen Lederer, Downing Street’s Head of Corporate Services, recently liked a post on LinkedIn – for all her 1,234 LinkedIn followers to see – bemoaning how awful not working from home is:
Compare this to the brouhaha over Jacob Rees-Mogg’s “sorry I missed you” leaflets, which instantly made headlines on Friday evening. Despite the mass coverage, Guido hears Mogg actually printed just three of these notices; the speed one of them was leaked tells you the scale of opposition civil servants are mounting to what is officially-stated government policy. Guido’s already pontificated about the ideological rot within the increasingly rebellious Civil Service, he won’t labour the point…
The fallout from Priti’s Rwanda policy continues in earnest over in Woke Whitehall. After Guido revealed Home Office civil servants had slammed the immigration plan as “racist” on a private forum with Permanent Secretary Matthew Rycroft – with some mandarins even threatening to “organise and resist” – this morning both the Times and the Guardian follow up with claims that Rycroft erupted at staff for leaking the discussion to Guido and told them to get on with the job. Rycroft even had to remind them what that actually means: ministers decide, and officials implement. Unelected bureaucrats don’t have the authority to dictate policy based on what their liberal friends will think of them.
One of the four supposed ‘core values‘ of the civil service is impartiality. All staff are supposed to “serve equally well governments of different political persuasions.” Yet time and again, stories emerge of Whitehall mandarins hosting radical, anti-government activists, sending departments on pointless woke workshops, and insisting staff add pronouns to their emails. It’s not just that Whitehall is wasteful; there is a deep ideological rot within it that, for all the ministerial talk, still hasn’t been addressed.
A civil service source warns Guido of the extent of the problem, claiming there is a “complete institutional capture” throughout, and that while not every employee is a lentil-munching Guardianista, the “mouthy ones are“. Those who are sceptical of the woke orthodoxy, particularly at a more junior level, often stay quiet just to avoid landing on “the wrong side of peers and superiors“. The Home Office debacle is just the tip of the iceberg – this is a bigger problem that will only get worse unless ministers take it seriously, and quickly. Universities are pumping out woke-minded graduates who are taking the warped mores and norms of the student union into the civil service…
Jacob Rees-Mogg’s efforts to rein in wasteful Whitehall are continuing in earnest, with a new league table published today revealing the percentage of civil servants working from the office during the week beginning April 4. Naming and shaming the worst performers…
Mogg is asking Ministers to send him new data every fortnight, so these figures will be updated regularly with the hope of pulling every department back up to near-full capacity. The Department for International Trade and DHSC are at the top end, with nearly three-quarters back in the office, while Education and DWP are way down at the bottom, barely managing to take back a quarter of the workforce. Guido can’t help noticing the departments with the biggest blunders over the last two years are, coincidentally, down in the relegation zone…
Read the full list below:
Department for International Trade – 73%
Department for Health and Social Care – 72%
Cabinet Office 70 Whitehall – 69%
Ministry of Defence – 67%
Ministry of Justice – 48%
Department for Transport – 48%
Her Majesty’s Treasury – 48%
Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities – 46%
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport – 43%
Home Office – 42%
Northern Ireland Office – 36%
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – 35%
Wales Office – 33%
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs – 33%
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – 33%
Scotland Office – 32%
Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office – 31%
Department for Work and Pensions – 27%
Department for Education – 25%
Two Whitehall departments have confirmed they held a series of panicked meetings debating how to quit Stonewall’s controversial (and lucrative) Diversity Champions programme. Rather than solving the housing crisis or reducing the NHS backlog, new FoI responses reveal both the Department for Levelling Up and the Department for Health had a total of seven meetings – two at DLUHC, five at DHSC – trying to hash out the terms of their divorce with the group before eventually announcing they were pulling out. A Civil Service source described the discussions to Guido as “crisis meetings”…
FoIs were also sent to the Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Justice, BEIS, and the BBC. The Cabinet Office and the Ministry of Justice both issued Section 12 notices, claiming it would simply take too long to determine how much time they spent debating the issue. BEIS and the BBC ignored the requests altogether. Guido can only assume it was because the meetings were so brief they just forgot to record any minutes.
TaxPayers’ Alliance research director Duncan Simpson said:
“Civil servants should be spending their time delivering high quality but cost-effective public services, not on navel-gazing discussions about the minute details of the diversity agenda.”
This all emerges in the wake of the government’s new Civil Service Diversity & Inclusion Strategy, which is supposedly designed to “ensure value for taxpayers money.” Although the MoD was still busy tweeting definitions of ‘queer’ and ‘questioning’ as Russian tanks rolled into Ukraine…