Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Project Fear meets Yes, Minister

The announcement by Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood that there will be an inquiry into the memo that was leaked - oh the surprise - to the Telegraph means only one thing. The memo DOES say something damning, so the powers that be have decided to let it run on a bit, to continue to attempt to derail the SNP campaign. We can expect further "news" about the memo, claims that it is a true record of what was said behind closed doors, and the continuing suggestion that the SNP is not to be trusted. Whether it was a memo written by someone who was not at the meeting, or whether the memo says that the moon is made of cheese - it does not matter. It's a piece of paper with nasty words about the SNP on it.

What the Government does not realise is that we have been through all of this before. This is Project Fear all over again. Project Fear driven from the Treasury and the Cabinet Office just as it was in September 2014. Remember what happened then: Sir Jeremy Heywood was the architect of a statement from the Queen just before the Referendum expressing her worries. And Sir Jeremy Heywood spent the days before the Referendum "on the phone to business leaders asking them to speak up about their concerns” over independence, according to Financial Times editor Lionel Barber.

And now that same Sir Jeremy has set up an inquiry into a leaked memo. Sir Jams is someone we can trust, in the sense that he is someone we can trust to support his friends in Government.

But this time round the Government is dealing with a case-hardened Scottish electorate who know that mainstream news - especially when it appears in the Barclay twins' newsrag - is propaganda.

Which means that they will have to up their game, to produce something really shocking, if they want to bring the Scottish electorate back to heel. So we can expect schlock-horror stories involving cuddly toys and rude photos and politicians' dark pasts and so on. Look out for "lost" emails being rediscovered and more "secret" memos being released. 

Bring it on. We won't believe a word of it.

One day this will blow up in Civil Service faces. Because we need a Civil Service that is truly impartial, to balance the very partial politicians. We don't have that in Whitehall. We are learning that we cannot trust the Civil Service any more than we can trust the politicians.

That has to change. The values expressed in the Civil Service Code ("integrity, honesty, objectivity and impartiality") should be strengthened and enforced and the mandarins reminded that they are servants of the people, not of the Tory party nor of the Establishment. Sir Jams and his mates in the rotten top of the Service must go.

No comments:

Post a Comment