The Cost of Serfdom

The culture of totalitarianism and paranoia in Whitehall (the generic term for the executive branch of government, regardless of the actual address of any department in question) has exposed itself. They have managed to make bigger fools of themselves than the Civil Serf blogger ever did.

The Civil Serf has been identified as a middle manager in the Department for Work and Pension. Because of her anonymity, it wasn’t easy to track down the person who exposed the ineptitude of bureaucrats in London and incompetence of Government ministers. However, the Government decided to dedicate a team of computer experts to the sole task of finding her. That was their sole responsibility. A more traditional media source at DWP called it an extraordinary outlay of resources.

In case you need a translation, “extraordinary outlay of resources” in NewLabourspeak means “lots of taxpayer money” in Realspeak, i.e., words that actually mean something.

So let me put it this way: the Government just spent a lot my money to find out who is telling the public how badly the Government is spending my money. Seems to me the Civil Serf was providing much more value for money than anyone else at DWP or in Whitehall generally, or perhaps in 10 Downing Street.

She’s been suspended from her job, stripped of her laptop, and had her security clearance revoked, but was the Civil Serf doing anything wrong by Whitehall’s own rules? As the Mail on Sunday noted: “Although civil servants must abide by a code of conduct, it is unclear what, if any, rules have been broken by the blogger.” Yes, that’s right. In the tradition of British bureaucracy, it’s shoot first and ask questions later. They are acting just like the Civil Serf said they act, only now it is in the public eye.

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