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The worst political bet on the market today? – politicalbetting.com

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  • IshmaelZIshmaelZ Posts: 11,975
    Dura_Ace said:

    kle4 said:

    IanB2 said:

    LauraK's latest:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-60003805

    TLDR: It's not at all clear how No 10 believes they can get through this crisis.

    It is clear - play for time, offer up some sacrificial lambs, and hope it fizzles out.

    The effectiveness of that is another matter. I think it buys them to at least May .
    Unless Sue Grey, P.I. demonstrates Johnson gave NutNut a Dirty Sanchez while wearing a giant foam cowboy hat, swigging Strongbow and singing Wonderwall the anger will burn out soon.
    ....and normal service will resume, is how that ends. There is no normal service with the FLSOJ though. He will do something else. Unless you think he has now, ha ha, learned his lesson
  • JonathanJonathan Posts: 17,094
    If you consider Tory government proper to have started in 2015, after the coalition when the lost the Lib Dems, the record is astonishingly bad.

    Potentially four leaders in only seven years. Can’t think of a comparable disjointed administration. Russia after Brezhnev?
  • IshmaelZ said:

    Cyclefree said:

    One question I have is this: who formally is in charge of staff at No 10? There will be political advisors appointed by the PM. But the rest will be permanent civil servants, no? Reporting to whom?

    I do not seek to excuse the PM's responsibility but surely there are serious questions to be asked about the behaviour of those in charge of the civil servants.

    Why did no-one try and stop these regular drinking sessions? Or remind them of the lockdown requirements? Or seek to take disciplinary action? Who authorised the payment for the fridge etc etc?

    I appreciate that the hypocrisy is what grates but there also seems to be a failure of management and leadership and, yes, hypocrisy, too within parts of the civil service. It is not enough to clear out one or two politicians. Parts of the civil service do not appear to be fit for purpose either.

    Fridge was a whip round
    @Cyclefree makes a very good point

    Just who is in charge of the civil service in Whitehall
  • MoonRabbitMoonRabbit Posts: 2,004

    IshmaelZ said:

    Cyclefree said:

    One question I have is this: who formally is in charge of staff at No 10? There will be political advisors appointed by the PM. But the rest will be permanent civil servants, no? Reporting to whom?

    I do not seek to excuse the PM's responsibility but surely there are serious questions to be asked about the behaviour of those in charge of the civil servants.

    Why did no-one try and stop these regular drinking sessions? Or remind them of the lockdown requirements? Or seek to take disciplinary action? Who authorised the payment for the fridge etc etc?

    I appreciate that the hypocrisy is what grates but there also seems to be a failure of management and leadership and, yes, hypocrisy, too within parts of the civil service. It is not enough to clear out one or two politicians. Parts of the civil service do not appear to be fit for purpose either.

    Fridge was a whip round
    @Cyclefree makes a very good point

    Just who is in charge of the civil service in Whitehall
    Weren’t they trying something different, take back control and appoint their own Sir Humphrey’s like in US?
  • dixiedeandixiedean Posts: 17,281

    IshmaelZ said:

    Cyclefree said:

    One question I have is this: who formally is in charge of staff at No 10? There will be political advisors appointed by the PM. But the rest will be permanent civil servants, no? Reporting to whom?

    I do not seek to excuse the PM's responsibility but surely there are serious questions to be asked about the behaviour of those in charge of the civil servants.

    Why did no-one try and stop these regular drinking sessions? Or remind them of the lockdown requirements? Or seek to take disciplinary action? Who authorised the payment for the fridge etc etc?

    I appreciate that the hypocrisy is what grates but there also seems to be a failure of management and leadership and, yes, hypocrisy, too within parts of the civil service. It is not enough to clear out one or two politicians. Parts of the civil service do not appear to be fit for purpose either.

    Fridge was a whip round
    @Cyclefree makes a very good point

    Just who is in charge of the civil service in Whitehall
    Boris Johnson.
  • DecrepiterJohnLDecrepiterJohnL Posts: 11,471
    TimS said:

    Andy_JS said:

    Article in The Times: ‘We’re swapping a £40k nanny for a £10k au pair: preparing for the cost of living squeeze.’

    How the other half live.
    Classic clickbait that article, and it’s worked.
    Except it was probably not written as clickbait.
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 38,321
    Jonathan said:

    If you consider Tory government proper to have started in 2015, after the coalition when the lost the Lib Dems, the record is astonishingly bad.

    Potentially four leaders in only seven years. Can’t think of a comparable disjointed administration. Russia after Brezhnev?

    Coalition is more stable than majority government; who'd have thought?
  • MoonRabbitMoonRabbit Posts: 2,004
    It takes a while to inspect fog because the fogstick is two miles long.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 44,985
    Cyclefree said:

    The fact that the woman who was in charge of drawing up the restrictions simply ignored them makes me even more angry than what the PM did or did not do.

    She has done an apology but as ever she has failed upwards and is now on a huge 6-figure salary elsewhere. Why?

    She ought to be fined and and not some piddly fine either. At the very least.

    And what about all the other people in her unit attending her party? What did they do or did they like everyone else think that the rules didn't apply to them.

    These people were busy micromanaging everyone's lives, busy telling people like my Daughter where she could put tables and chairs in her venue 286 miles away from their lovely offices, telling people how many could go into the loos at any one time and what they had to wear when they went there and any number of other arbitrary and pettifogging instructions. But they couldn't be arsed to follow them themselves.

    Why the fuck are any of them still in their jobs?

    You can't fire civil servants for incompetence. There would be none left.

    And while that would be good for the country, it would be suboptimal for the civil servants - and they're the ones making the decision on whether to fire themselves.
  • ChrisChris Posts: 7,779
    edited January 15

    Scott_xP said:

    As Boris has found out , having petty or puritanical rules in the workplace is not a good idea as somebody will break then at some point and usually the top brass even if they just get into a unplanned scenario. Then what do you do , sack yourself or your main man/woman? Of course not but then you are just a fking hypocrite . So bosses everywhere treat staff with the respect adults deserve and dont go all puritanical and petty

    BoZo's problem is not a puritanical workplace.

    His problem is he imposed puritanical rules on the whole country, except his own house.

    And then he is just a fking hypocrite
    There's another aspect.

    Downing Street gives the impression of being full of thick poshos who alternate between hammering social media and hammering alcohol.

    Without anyone ever doing any actual work.

    I suspect Boris's "I didn't realise it was a social meeting" doesn't do him any good here.

    Because anyone who has done some actual work is very aware of the difference between working and a social meeting.
    Surely no-one thinks he thinks it was a work meeting? He is simply saying it as the equivalent of taking the fifth, to avoid admitting to a criminal offence.
    To be fair, if your "work" consists of just talking to people, the distinction probably isn't so clear-cut. Especially if the work of the people you talk to also just consists of talking to people. The kind of thing that most people would consider work probably takes place at several removes from the people concerned.
  • JonathanJonathan Posts: 17,094
    IanB2 said:

    Jonathan said:

    If you consider Tory government proper to have started in 2015, after the coalition when the lost the Lib Dems, the record is astonishingly bad.

    Potentially four leaders in only seven years. Can’t think of a comparable disjointed administration. Russia after Brezhnev?

    Coalition is more stable than majority government; who'd have thought?
    The reputation of the Lib Dems has recovered steadily since 2015. They were mistaken to let the genie out of the bottle and should have gone for a looser arrangement. They might have escaped with some integrity.
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 26,108
    Jonathan said:

    IanB2 said:

    Jonathan said:

    If you consider Tory government proper to have started in 2015, after the coalition when the lost the Lib Dems, the record is astonishingly bad.

    Potentially four leaders in only seven years. Can’t think of a comparable disjointed administration. Russia after Brezhnev?

    Coalition is more stable than majority government; who'd have thought?
    The reputation of the Lib Dems has recovered steadily since 2015. They were mistaken to let the genie out of the bottle and should have gone for a looser arrangement. They might have escaped with some integrity.
    It was tuition fees what done it!
  • I wonder how many civil servants and politicians turn up at their first Cobra meeting only to be severely disappointed to find out there is no beer?

    Reminds me of the time as a Fresher at Cambridge. Turned up at the KEG Society Freshers' event in the expectation of free beer. Imagine our disappointment when we discovered it was the Kembriĝa Esperanto Grupo. Learning a putative universal language was not quite what my 18 year old self had in mind.
  • MoonRabbitMoonRabbit Posts: 2,004
    *Betting Post because it’s *Horse Racing 🐎. Yey!

    Kempton clerk of the course Barney Clifford: “We’re giving it the go-ahead but we’re going to have to monitor things through the day.”

    Difficult watch for us all last week in the wet conditions 🌧 But Malc had a winner. Dry this week, though going stick says soft.

    I appreciate not every gambler loves sharing and sharing publicly. I suspect though some reading PB may be betting on horse racing regular particularly the Saturday coverage, I will be placing bets today and means a degree of “due diligence” on my choices - I’m a open and honest girl and don’t mind sharing what led to my choices 🙂

    Warwick - 13:50 - THREEUNDERTHRUFIVE (NAP)
    Career littered with wins over this distance, over all types of conditions.

    Kempton - 14:05 - Eldorado Allen
    For this race I am backing the form horse in the field.

    Warwick 14:25 - Stag Horn
    Flat career shows this horse is capable on soft and won its only hurdle start over similar distance.

    Kempton 14:40 - Foster's island (long shot)
    I’m going for likes the distance for my long shot. That I have more long shot than NAP winners (grand total of 2) recently should put a smile on this horses face

    Whatever you are on, enjoy the day. 🙂
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 44,985
    edited January 15

    I wonder how many civil servants and politicians turn up at their first Cobra meeting only to be severely disappointed to find out there is no beer?

    Reminds me of the time as a Fresher at Cambridge. Turned up at the KEG Society Freshers' event in the expectation of free beer. Imagine our disappointment when we discovered it was the Kembriĝa Esperanto Grupo. Learning a putative universal language was not quite what my 18 year old self had in mind.
    I bet there were plenty of boos when you all realised your mistake though. The wining alone should have covered it...
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 93,284
    Jonathan said:

    If you consider Tory government proper to have started in 2015, after the coalition when the lost the Lib Dems, the record is astonishingly bad.

    Potentially four leaders in only seven years. Can’t think of a comparable disjointed administration. Russia after Brezhnev?

    Australia had Labor PMs Rudd, Gillard, Rudd from 2007 to 2013 and has now had Coalition PMs Abbott, Turnbull, Morrison since 2013.

    Italy used to change its PM virtually every year and Japan has changed its PMs frequently recently as well
  • rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 46,526
    Cyclefree said:

    The fact that the woman who was in charge of drawing up the restrictions simply ignored them makes me even more angry than what the PM did or did not do.

    She has done an apology but as ever she has failed upwards and is now on a huge 6-figure salary elsewhere. Why?

    She ought to be fined and and not some piddly fine either. At the very least.

    And what about all the other people in her unit attending her party? What did they do or did they like everyone else think that the rules didn't apply to them.

    These people were busy micromanaging everyone's lives, busy telling people like my Daughter where she could put tables and chairs in her venue 286 miles away from their lovely offices, telling people how many could go into the loos at any one time and what they had to wear when they went there and any number of other arbitrary and pettifogging instructions. But they couldn't be arsed to follow them themselves.

    Why the fuck are any of them still in their jobs?

    The question is did they ignore their own rules because they just don't give a flying fuck, or did they know that the rules were petty and pointless?

    Could be one for the inquiry.
  • CyclefreeCyclefree Posts: 21,298
    ydoethur said:

    Cyclefree said:

    The fact that the woman who was in charge of drawing up the restrictions simply ignored them makes me even more angry than what the PM did or did not do.

    She has done an apology but as ever she has failed upwards and is now on a huge 6-figure salary elsewhere. Why?

    She ought to be fined and and not some piddly fine either. At the very least.

    And what about all the other people in her unit attending her party? What did they do or did they like everyone else think that the rules didn't apply to them.

    These people were busy micromanaging everyone's lives, busy telling people like my Daughter where she could put tables and chairs in her venue 286 miles away from their lovely offices, telling people how many could go into the loos at any one time and what they had to wear when they went there and any number of other arbitrary and pettifogging instructions. But they couldn't be arsed to follow them themselves.

    Why the fuck are any of them still in their jobs?

    You can't fire civil servants for incompetence. There would be none left.

    And while that would be good for the country, it would be suboptimal for the civil servants - and they're the ones making the decision on whether to fire themselves.
    I'm happy to take on the burden of firing them all for incompetence.
  • dixiedean said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    Cyclefree said:

    One question I have is this: who formally is in charge of staff at No 10? There will be political advisors appointed by the PM. But the rest will be permanent civil servants, no? Reporting to whom?

    I do not seek to excuse the PM's responsibility but surely there are serious questions to be asked about the behaviour of those in charge of the civil servants.

    Why did no-one try and stop these regular drinking sessions? Or remind them of the lockdown requirements? Or seek to take disciplinary action? Who authorised the payment for the fridge etc etc?

    I appreciate that the hypocrisy is what grates but there also seems to be a failure of management and leadership and, yes, hypocrisy, too within parts of the civil service. It is not enough to clear out one or two politicians. Parts of the civil service do not appear to be fit for purpose either.

    Fridge was a whip round
    @Cyclefree makes a very good point

    Just who is in charge of the civil service in Whitehall
    Boris Johnson.
    Is he or indeed any PM

    I am not saying the PM of the day is not the ultimate authority but the question is being asked and it is fair to do so

    Remember Boris will be gone sooner or later so the question is not about him in particular

  • IshmaelZIshmaelZ Posts: 11,975

    dixiedean said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    Cyclefree said:

    One question I have is this: who formally is in charge of staff at No 10? There will be political advisors appointed by the PM. But the rest will be permanent civil servants, no? Reporting to whom?

    I do not seek to excuse the PM's responsibility but surely there are serious questions to be asked about the behaviour of those in charge of the civil servants.

    Why did no-one try and stop these regular drinking sessions? Or remind them of the lockdown requirements? Or seek to take disciplinary action? Who authorised the payment for the fridge etc etc?

    I appreciate that the hypocrisy is what grates but there also seems to be a failure of management and leadership and, yes, hypocrisy, too within parts of the civil service. It is not enough to clear out one or two politicians. Parts of the civil service do not appear to be fit for purpose either.

    Fridge was a whip round
    @Cyclefree makes a very good point

    Just who is in charge of the civil service in Whitehall
    Boris Johnson.
    Is he or indeed any PM

    I am not saying the PM of the day is not the ultimate authority but the question is being asked and it is fair to do so

    Remember Boris will be gone sooner or later so the question is not about him in particular

    PM is always also Minister for the Civil Service
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 93,284


    Taz said:

    Carnyx said:

    Farooq said:

    Farooq said:

    Sandpit said:

    ydoethur said:

    DavidL said:

    Billings goes, caught on the boundary hooking. I mean, what is the thinking of this (I use the word generously, of course)?
    Woakes nearly got caught the same way earlier in the over but he is a bowling all rounder, even if he puts most of the top order to shame. There is absolutely no excuse for a supposedly top order batsman playing shots like that in this situation. Its undisciplined.

    I suspect he calculated 'one hook and I've saved the follow on.' Would be quite typical of Billings' mindset in his years at Kent.
    Sigh. They’re chasing 300, following-on should be the last thing on their silly minds.
    Farooq said:

    Taz said:

    Both Scotland and Wales are rolling back their unnecessary measures to tackle Omicron. The leader of the Welsh regime even tried making political capital out of the difference between their measures and England’s. Wales and Scotland needlessly damaged their hospitality sector at the time they most needed the custom just to play politics. Shame on them.

    Decisions I don't agree with = "playing politics". Childish stuff from you.
    Drakeford accused the U.K. government of being risky, and dangerous. He should keep to discussions of his own moronic policies, such as cancelling park runs.
    By the same token, should all English commentators be silent on that which happens outwith England?
    That’d be half of PB’s content culled in a oner.
    We'd have to have a forum Speaker who would decide whether marginal policy discussions are devolved or reserved.
    E.g. Leon's ALIEN ROCKET story from yesterday. Defence is reserved so I'm allowed to speak. Mental health services are devolved, so I get the ban hammer. Tricky.
    And just imagine, no Scottish PBer would ever be allowed to comment on Scottish constitutional matters such as independence.
    HYUFD’s ‘doesn’t matter what Scotland thinks, no Tory government will ever allow another referendum’ stamping on a human face, forever.
    If the will of the Scottish people is another referendum then Westminster would be wise to grant it. Brexit changed things. It is not unreasonable to hold another voter.
    Absolutely reasonable to have another vote. I think it would be prudent to have a generation clause it the formal vote this time round... It seems damaging to be in a situation of trying to get lucky by voting every few years.
    The GFA allows NI a vote on the border every 7 years, if they want it.
    GFA does not apply to Scotland.

    The Scotland Act 1998 reserves the future of the Union entirely to the UK government and Westminster. Whereas under the GFA the Irish government also has a say in the future of Northern Ireland as well as the UK government and the main parties in Northern Ireland
  • darkagedarkage Posts: 1,330
    Cyclefree said:

    The fact that the woman who was in charge of drawing up the restrictions simply ignored them makes me even more angry than what the PM did or did not do.

    She has done an apology but as ever she has failed upwards and is now on a huge 6-figure salary elsewhere. Why?

    She ought to be fined and and not some piddly fine either. At the very least.

    And what about all the other people in her unit attending her party? What did they do or did they like everyone else think that the rules didn't apply to them.

    These people were busy micromanaging everyone's lives, busy telling people like my Daughter where she could put tables and chairs in her venue 286 miles away from their lovely offices, telling people how many could go into the loos at any one time and what they had to wear when they went there and any number of other arbitrary and pettifogging instructions. But they couldn't be arsed to follow them themselves.

    Why the fuck are any of them still in their jobs?

    The fact that she drew up the rules and appears to have broken them in such an egregious way is a significant aggravating factor.

    There was a home office civil servant who joked about a bag containing a bomb on the tube whilst drunk, who was sentenced to a year in prison for 'communicating false information', this happened back in 2008.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-563044/Civil-service-chief-jailed-drunken-bomb-hoax-Tube.html
  • noneoftheabovenoneoftheabove Posts: 12,649
    Cyclefree said:

    dixiedean said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    Cyclefree said:

    One question I have is this: who formally is in charge of staff at No 10? There will be political advisors appointed by the PM. But the rest will be permanent civil servants, no? Reporting to whom?

    I do not seek to excuse the PM's responsibility but surely there are serious questions to be asked about the behaviour of those in charge of the civil servants.

    Why did no-one try and stop these regular drinking sessions? Or remind them of the lockdown requirements? Or seek to take disciplinary action? Who authorised the payment for the fridge etc etc?

    I appreciate that the hypocrisy is what grates but there also seems to be a failure of management and leadership and, yes, hypocrisy, too within parts of the civil service. It is not enough to clear out one or two politicians. Parts of the civil service do not appear to be fit for purpose either.

    Fridge was a whip round
    @Cyclefree makes a very good point

    Just who is in charge of the civil service in Whitehall
    Boris Johnson.
    Is that correct though? When I worked in the civil service I reported up to the top legal bod in my department and through him to the Head of the Government Legal Service. I served the Minister. But he was not my boss.

    Permanent civil servants at no 10 and the Cabinet Office etc report up through the civil service chain of command.

    There is an issue here and it is one which outlasts the departure of the PM. How well managed and disciplined is the civil service? Because it appears - at the very least - that many of them had the same "we don't need to follow the rules" approach.

    And if they did I do not see why they should be excused the consequences of this any more than all the other people fined for breaking the rules.
    Simon Case is head the of the civil service. Had to recuse himself from the initial investigations as he held parties in his private office. Some people say Case is a typical suit.
  • IshmaelZ said:

    dixiedean said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    Cyclefree said:

    One question I have is this: who formally is in charge of staff at No 10? There will be political advisors appointed by the PM. But the rest will be permanent civil servants, no? Reporting to whom?

    I do not seek to excuse the PM's responsibility but surely there are serious questions to be asked about the behaviour of those in charge of the civil servants.

    Why did no-one try and stop these regular drinking sessions? Or remind them of the lockdown requirements? Or seek to take disciplinary action? Who authorised the payment for the fridge etc etc?

    I appreciate that the hypocrisy is what grates but there also seems to be a failure of management and leadership and, yes, hypocrisy, too within parts of the civil service. It is not enough to clear out one or two politicians. Parts of the civil service do not appear to be fit for purpose either.

    Fridge was a whip round
    @Cyclefree makes a very good point

    Just who is in charge of the civil service in Whitehall
    Boris Johnson.
    Is he or indeed any PM

    I am not saying the PM of the day is not the ultimate authority but the question is being asked and it is fair to do so

    Remember Boris will be gone sooner or later so the question is not about him in particular

    PM is always also Minister for the Civil Service
    Boris Johnson is also Minister for the Union.
  • IshmaelZ said:

    dixiedean said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    Cyclefree said:

    One question I have is this: who formally is in charge of staff at No 10? There will be political advisors appointed by the PM. But the rest will be permanent civil servants, no? Reporting to whom?

    I do not seek to excuse the PM's responsibility but surely there are serious questions to be asked about the behaviour of those in charge of the civil servants.

    Why did no-one try and stop these regular drinking sessions? Or remind them of the lockdown requirements? Or seek to take disciplinary action? Who authorised the payment for the fridge etc etc?

    I appreciate that the hypocrisy is what grates but there also seems to be a failure of management and leadership and, yes, hypocrisy, too within parts of the civil service. It is not enough to clear out one or two politicians. Parts of the civil service do not appear to be fit for purpose either.

    Fridge was a whip round
    @Cyclefree makes a very good point

    Just who is in charge of the civil service in Whitehall
    Boris Johnson.
    Is he or indeed any PM

    I am not saying the PM of the day is not the ultimate authority but the question is being asked and it is fair to do so

    Remember Boris will be gone sooner or later so the question is not about him in particular

    PM is always also Minister for the Civil Service
    Do you have a link for that as it does seem contrary to @Cyclefree comments
  • CarnyxCarnyx Posts: 17,875

    dixiedean said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    Cyclefree said:

    One question I have is this: who formally is in charge of staff at No 10? There will be political advisors appointed by the PM. But the rest will be permanent civil servants, no? Reporting to whom?

    I do not seek to excuse the PM's responsibility but surely there are serious questions to be asked about the behaviour of those in charge of the civil servants.

    Why did no-one try and stop these regular drinking sessions? Or remind them of the lockdown requirements? Or seek to take disciplinary action? Who authorised the payment for the fridge etc etc?

    I appreciate that the hypocrisy is what grates but there also seems to be a failure of management and leadership and, yes, hypocrisy, too within parts of the civil service. It is not enough to clear out one or two politicians. Parts of the civil service do not appear to be fit for purpose either.

    Fridge was a whip round
    @Cyclefree makes a very good point

    Just who is in charge of the civil service in Whitehall
    Boris Johnson.
    Is he or indeed any PM

    I am not saying the PM of the day is not the ultimate authority but the question is being asked and it is fair to do so

    Remember Boris will be gone sooner or later so the question is not about him in particular

    I rather think the idea is to blame the civil servants so Mr Johnson stays.

    However, there is a point to be stressed - the political advisors were disrupting the clear chain of responsibility. Making hire and fire decisions which were not theirs to do and (in at least one case) breaching HR law and civil service procedures (which last itself means you lose in the ensuing court case). With them running riot, it wouldn't have been at all clear who was de facto in charge, and de jure was obviously being thrown out of the window and drowned in the garden. The one thing that is clear is that the spads were responsible to their tame politicians.
  • CyclefreeCyclefree Posts: 21,298

    Cyclefree said:

    The fact that the woman who was in charge of drawing up the restrictions simply ignored them makes me even more angry than what the PM did or did not do.

    She has done an apology but as ever she has failed upwards and is now on a huge 6-figure salary elsewhere. Why?

    She ought to be fined and and not some piddly fine either. At the very least.

    And what about all the other people in her unit attending her party? What did they do or did they like everyone else think that the rules didn't apply to them.

    These people were busy micromanaging everyone's lives, busy telling people like my Daughter where she could put tables and chairs in her venue 286 miles away from their lovely offices, telling people how many could go into the loos at any one time and what they had to wear when they went there and any number of other arbitrary and pettifogging instructions. But they couldn't be arsed to follow them themselves.

    Why the fuck are any of them still in their jobs?

    The question is did they ignore their own rules because they just don't give a flying fuck, or did they know that the rules were petty and pointless?

    Could be one for the inquiry.
    Those petty pointless rules damaged businesses, lost them money.

    They had consequences.

    If they were needed, then they should bloody well have followed them. If they weren't needed then Daughter and many many other businesses would like the money they lost because of them back please. They can start from being paid from these peoples' pensions and bonuses.

    And if they didn't give a flying fuck then they need disciplining and in many cases sacking.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 44,985
    Cyclefree said:

    ydoethur said:

    Cyclefree said:

    The fact that the woman who was in charge of drawing up the restrictions simply ignored them makes me even more angry than what the PM did or did not do.

    She has done an apology but as ever she has failed upwards and is now on a huge 6-figure salary elsewhere. Why?

    She ought to be fined and and not some piddly fine either. At the very least.

    And what about all the other people in her unit attending her party? What did they do or did they like everyone else think that the rules didn't apply to them.

    These people were busy micromanaging everyone's lives, busy telling people like my Daughter where she could put tables and chairs in her venue 286 miles away from their lovely offices, telling people how many could go into the loos at any one time and what they had to wear when they went there and any number of other arbitrary and pettifogging instructions. But they couldn't be arsed to follow them themselves.

    Why the fuck are any of them still in their jobs?

    You can't fire civil servants for incompetence. There would be none left.

    And while that would be good for the country, it would be suboptimal for the civil servants - and they're the ones making the decision on whether to fire themselves.
    I'm happy to take on the burden of firing them all for incompetence.
    I'll cheerfully join you for ten grand.*

    But unfortunately it is not our decision.

    *Can't do it for more, that's all the spare cash I could raise.
  • IshmaelZ said:

    dixiedean said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    Cyclefree said:

    One question I have is this: who formally is in charge of staff at No 10? There will be political advisors appointed by the PM. But the rest will be permanent civil servants, no? Reporting to whom?

    I do not seek to excuse the PM's responsibility but surely there are serious questions to be asked about the behaviour of those in charge of the civil servants.

    Why did no-one try and stop these regular drinking sessions? Or remind them of the lockdown requirements? Or seek to take disciplinary action? Who authorised the payment for the fridge etc etc?

    I appreciate that the hypocrisy is what grates but there also seems to be a failure of management and leadership and, yes, hypocrisy, too within parts of the civil service. It is not enough to clear out one or two politicians. Parts of the civil service do not appear to be fit for purpose either.

    Fridge was a whip round
    @Cyclefree makes a very good point

    Just who is in charge of the civil service in Whitehall
    Boris Johnson.
    Is he or indeed any PM

    I am not saying the PM of the day is not the ultimate authority but the question is being asked and it is fair to do so

    Remember Boris will be gone sooner or later so the question is not about him in particular

    PM is always also Minister for the Civil Service
    Do you have a link for that as it does seem contrary to @Cyclefree comments
    Here you go.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/ministers/minister-for-the-civil-service
  • RobDRobD Posts: 56,655

    IshmaelZ said:

    dixiedean said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    Cyclefree said:

    One question I have is this: who formally is in charge of staff at No 10? There will be political advisors appointed by the PM. But the rest will be permanent civil servants, no? Reporting to whom?

    I do not seek to excuse the PM's responsibility but surely there are serious questions to be asked about the behaviour of those in charge of the civil servants.

    Why did no-one try and stop these regular drinking sessions? Or remind them of the lockdown requirements? Or seek to take disciplinary action? Who authorised the payment for the fridge etc etc?

    I appreciate that the hypocrisy is what grates but there also seems to be a failure of management and leadership and, yes, hypocrisy, too within parts of the civil service. It is not enough to clear out one or two politicians. Parts of the civil service do not appear to be fit for purpose either.

    Fridge was a whip round
    @Cyclefree makes a very good point

    Just who is in charge of the civil service in Whitehall
    Boris Johnson.
    Is he or indeed any PM

    I am not saying the PM of the day is not the ultimate authority but the question is being asked and it is fair to do so

    Remember Boris will be gone sooner or later so the question is not about him in particular

    PM is always also Minister for the Civil Service
    Do you have a link for that as it does seem contrary to @Cyclefree comments
    https://www.gov.uk/government/ministers/minister-for-the-civil-service
  • CarnyxCarnyx Posts: 17,875
    HYUFD said:


    Taz said:

    Carnyx said:

    Farooq said:

    Farooq said:

    Sandpit said:

    ydoethur said:

    DavidL said:

    Billings goes, caught on the boundary hooking. I mean, what is the thinking of this (I use the word generously, of course)?
    Woakes nearly got caught the same way earlier in the over but he is a bowling all rounder, even if he puts most of the top order to shame. There is absolutely no excuse for a supposedly top order batsman playing shots like that in this situation. Its undisciplined.

    I suspect he calculated 'one hook and I've saved the follow on.' Would be quite typical of Billings' mindset in his years at Kent.
    Sigh. They’re chasing 300, following-on should be the last thing on their silly minds.
    Farooq said:

    Taz said:

    Both Scotland and Wales are rolling back their unnecessary measures to tackle Omicron. The leader of the Welsh regime even tried making political capital out of the difference between their measures and England’s. Wales and Scotland needlessly damaged their hospitality sector at the time they most needed the custom just to play politics. Shame on them.

    Decisions I don't agree with = "playing politics". Childish stuff from you.
    Drakeford accused the U.K. government of being risky, and dangerous. He should keep to discussions of his own moronic policies, such as cancelling park runs.
    By the same token, should all English commentators be silent on that which happens outwith England?
    That’d be half of PB’s content culled in a oner.
    We'd have to have a forum Speaker who would decide whether marginal policy discussions are devolved or reserved.
    E.g. Leon's ALIEN ROCKET story from yesterday. Defence is reserved so I'm allowed to speak. Mental health services are devolved, so I get the ban hammer. Tricky.
    And just imagine, no Scottish PBer would ever be allowed to comment on Scottish constitutional matters such as independence.
    HYUFD’s ‘doesn’t matter what Scotland thinks, no Tory government will ever allow another referendum’ stamping on a human face, forever.
    If the will of the Scottish people is another referendum then Westminster would be wise to grant it. Brexit changed things. It is not unreasonable to hold another voter.
    Absolutely reasonable to have another vote. I think it would be prudent to have a generation clause it the formal vote this time round... It seems damaging to be in a situation of trying to get lucky by voting every few years.
    The GFA allows NI a vote on the border every 7 years, if they want it.
    GFA does not apply to Scotland.

    The Scotland Act 1998 reserves the future of the Union entirely to the UK government and Westminster. Whereas under the GFA the Irish government also has a say in the future of Northern Ireland as well as the UK government and the main parties in Northern Ireland
    Do you think it was wrong to give the NIrish a say in their constitutional future?
  • Alphabet_SoupAlphabet_Soup Posts: 1,258
    Chris said:

    Scott_xP said:

    As Boris has found out , having petty or puritanical rules in the workplace is not a good idea as somebody will break then at some point and usually the top brass even if they just get into a unplanned scenario. Then what do you do , sack yourself or your main man/woman? Of course not but then you are just a fking hypocrite . So bosses everywhere treat staff with the respect adults deserve and dont go all puritanical and petty

    BoZo's problem is not a puritanical workplace.

    His problem is he imposed puritanical rules on the whole country, except his own house.

    And then he is just a fking hypocrite
    There's another aspect.

    Downing Street gives the impression of being full of thick poshos who alternate between hammering social media and hammering alcohol.

    Without anyone ever doing any actual work.

    I suspect Boris's "I didn't realise it was a social meeting" doesn't do him any good here.

    Because anyone who has done some actual work is very aware of the difference between working and a social meeting.
    Surely no-one thinks he thinks it was a work meeting? He is simply saying it as the equivalent of taking the fifth, to avoid admitting to a criminal offence.
    To be fair, if your "work" consists of just talking to people, the distinction probably isn't so clear-cut. Especially if the work of the people you talk to also just consists of talking to people. The kind of thing that most people would consider work probably takes place at several removes from the people concerned.
    Yes. At a certain level the distinction between work and not-work dissolves away. People talk about golf at work and they talk about work on the golf course, for example. Maybe they shouldn't, but that's the 'culture'.

    At the other end of the scale, I visited the Google UK offices pre-pandemic and was amazed by the standard of comfort, even for other ranks. Free, hot nourishing food was available 24/7 and a well-stocked drinks cabinet was, apparently, unlocked on Friday evenings. Clearly the plan was to induce young people to stay in the office instead of going home at night, and clearly many of them were perfectly happy with that arrangement.

    Maybe the civil service would function better if it was more like Google?
  • JonathanJonathan Posts: 17,094
    HYUFD said:

    Jonathan said:

    If you consider Tory government proper to have started in 2015, after the coalition when the lost the Lib Dems, the record is astonishingly bad.

    Potentially four leaders in only seven years. Can’t think of a comparable disjointed administration. Russia after Brezhnev?

    Australia had Labor PMs Rudd, Gillard, Rudd from 2007 to 2013 and has now had Coalition PMs Abbott, Turnbull, Morrison since 2013.

    Italy used to change its PM virtually every year and Japan has changed its PMs frequently recently as well
    Thanks. Leaving party aspects aside, I do not think that our politics can now be compared to Italian politics is a positive development.
  • EabhalEabhal Posts: 709

    Cyclefree said:

    The fact that the woman who was in charge of drawing up the restrictions simply ignored them makes me even more angry than what the PM did or did not do.

    She has done an apology but as ever she has failed upwards and is now on a huge 6-figure salary elsewhere. Why?

    She ought to be fined and and not some piddly fine either. At the very least.

    And what about all the other people in her unit attending her party? What did they do or did they like everyone else think that the rules didn't apply to them.

    These people were busy micromanaging everyone's lives, busy telling people like my Daughter where she could put tables and chairs in her venue 286 miles away from their lovely offices, telling people how many could go into the loos at any one time and what they had to wear when they went there and any number of other arbitrary and pettifogging instructions. But they couldn't be arsed to follow them themselves.

    Why the fuck are any of them still in their jobs?

    The question is did they ignore their own rules because they just don't give a flying fuck, or did they know that the rules were petty and pointless?

    Could be one for the inquiry.
    Because they knew enough plebs would take the restrictions seriously (including me) for cases to drop.

    The behavioural scientists suggested a significant minority wouldn't care, and they decided that included them.

    The core scandal is that they quickly realised that their exception to working from home could be extended to socialising under that weird Crown property rule. And that the PM let them.
  • MexicanpeteMexicanpete Posts: 13,753
    Sandpit said:

    Taz said:

    Both Scotland and Wales are rolling back their unnecessary measures to tackle Omicron. The leader of the Welsh regime even tried making political capital out of the difference between their measures and England’s. Wales and Scotland needlessly damaged their hospitality sector at the time they most needed the custom just to play politics. Shame on them.

    Is Drakeford going to let a full crowd into the Arms Park for the 6 Nations?
    To keep the Principality Stadium next door free of spectators?

    Sounds like Drakeford genius.
  • CyclefreeCyclefree Posts: 21,298
    ydoethur said:

    Cyclefree said:

    ydoethur said:

    Cyclefree said:

    The fact that the woman who was in charge of drawing up the restrictions simply ignored them makes me even more angry than what the PM did or did not do.

    She has done an apology but as ever she has failed upwards and is now on a huge 6-figure salary elsewhere. Why?

    She ought to be fined and and not some piddly fine either. At the very least.

    And what about all the other people in her unit attending her party? What did they do or did they like everyone else think that the rules didn't apply to them.

    These people were busy micromanaging everyone's lives, busy telling people like my Daughter where she could put tables and chairs in her venue 286 miles away from their lovely offices, telling people how many could go into the loos at any one time and what they had to wear when they went there and any number of other arbitrary and pettifogging instructions. But they couldn't be arsed to follow them themselves.

    Why the fuck are any of them still in their jobs?

    You can't fire civil servants for incompetence. There would be none left.

    And while that would be good for the country, it would be suboptimal for the civil servants - and they're the ones making the decision on whether to fire themselves.
    I'm happy to take on the burden of firing them all for incompetence.
    I'll cheerfully join you for ten grand.*

    But unfortunately it is not our decision.

    *Can't do it for more, that's all the spare cash I could raise.
    I would expect to be paid for this brutal but necessary job. If I have to do it for free I may become even more brutal.

    We can spend the money on celebrating afterwards. I know a good pub ..... 😉
  • TheuniondivvieTheuniondivvie Posts: 31,040
    Carnyx said:

    dixiedean said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    Cyclefree said:

    One question I have is this: who formally is in charge of staff at No 10? There will be political advisors appointed by the PM. But the rest will be permanent civil servants, no? Reporting to whom?

    I do not seek to excuse the PM's responsibility but surely there are serious questions to be asked about the behaviour of those in charge of the civil servants.

    Why did no-one try and stop these regular drinking sessions? Or remind them of the lockdown requirements? Or seek to take disciplinary action? Who authorised the payment for the fridge etc etc?

    I appreciate that the hypocrisy is what grates but there also seems to be a failure of management and leadership and, yes, hypocrisy, too within parts of the civil service. It is not enough to clear out one or two politicians. Parts of the civil service do not appear to be fit for purpose either.

    Fridge was a whip round
    @Cyclefree makes a very good point

    Just who is in charge of the civil service in Whitehall
    Boris Johnson.
    Is he or indeed any PM

    I am not saying the PM of the day is not the ultimate authority but the question is being asked and it is fair to do so

    Remember Boris will be gone sooner or later so the question is not about him in particular

    I rather think the idea is to blame the civil servants so Mr Johnson stays.

    However, there is a point to be stressed - the political advisors were disrupting the clear chain of responsibility. Making hire and fire decisions which were not theirs to do and (in at least one case) breaching HR law and civil service procedures (which last itself means you lose in the ensuing court case). With them running riot, it wouldn't have been at all clear who was de facto in charge, and de jure was obviously being thrown out of the window and drowned in the garden. The one thing that is clear is that the spads were responsible to their tame politicians.
    BJ: the buck stops there.
  • dixiedeandixiedean Posts: 17,281
    edited January 15
    The head of the Civil Service is Simon Case, the Cabinet Secretary.
    Who appoints him?
    The PM.
    So. Who is ultimately in charge?
    Boris Johnson.
    Who is responsible for a shambolic, dysfunctional Civil Service?
    Three Tory PMs over nearly 12 years.
    It really isn't good enough just to blame Civil Servants. The culture is set from the very top.
  • kinabalukinabalu Posts: 26,660
    edited January 15
    Cyclefree said:

    One question I have is this: who formally is in charge of staff at No 10? There will be political advisors appointed by the PM. But the rest will be permanent civil servants, no? Reporting to whom?

    I do not seek to excuse the PM's responsibility but surely there are serious questions to be asked about the behaviour of those in charge of the civil servants.

    Why did no-one try and stop these regular drinking sessions? Or remind them of the lockdown requirements? Or seek to take disciplinary action? Who authorised the payment for the fridge etc etc?

    I appreciate that the hypocrisy is what grates but there also seems to be a failure of management and leadership and, yes, hypocrisy, too within parts of the civil service. It is not enough to clear out one or two politicians. Parts of the civil service do not appear to be fit for purpose either.

    That the whole place stinks is what might play for the Big Dog. I truly hope not - he's brought most of the pong in with him - but it might. I think that's the plan actually. Blame diffused all over the shop.
  • RobD said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    dixiedean said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    Cyclefree said:

    One question I have is this: who formally is in charge of staff at No 10? There will be political advisors appointed by the PM. But the rest will be permanent civil servants, no? Reporting to whom?

    I do not seek to excuse the PM's responsibility but surely there are serious questions to be asked about the behaviour of those in charge of the civil servants.

    Why did no-one try and stop these regular drinking sessions? Or remind them of the lockdown requirements? Or seek to take disciplinary action? Who authorised the payment for the fridge etc etc?

    I appreciate that the hypocrisy is what grates but there also seems to be a failure of management and leadership and, yes, hypocrisy, too within parts of the civil service. It is not enough to clear out one or two politicians. Parts of the civil service do not appear to be fit for purpose either.

    Fridge was a whip round
    @Cyclefree makes a very good point

    Just who is in charge of the civil service in Whitehall
    Boris Johnson.
    Is he or indeed any PM

    I am not saying the PM of the day is not the ultimate authority but the question is being asked and it is fair to do so

    Remember Boris will be gone sooner or later so the question is not about him in particular

    PM is always also Minister for the Civil Service
    Do you have a link for that as it does seem contrary to @Cyclefree comments
    https://www.gov.uk/government/ministers/minister-for-the-civil-service
    Thanks

    So the PM is responsible for regulating the civil service, but is that the same as being responsible for the behaviour of civil servants
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 44,985
    dixiedean said:

    The head of the Civil Service is Simon Case, the Cabinet Secretary.
    Who appoints him?
    The PM.
    So. Who is ultimately in charge?
    Boris Johnson.
    Who is responsible for a shambolic, dysfunctional Civil Service?
    Three Tory PMs over nearly 12 years.
    It really isn't good enough just to blame Civil Servants. The culture is set from the very top.

    The Civil Service has a Head, Case.

    File under 'no shit, Sherlock...'
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 35,331

    Nigelb said:

    Q, any insight into betting opportunity for the next San Marinese general election? (Have already got Liechtenstein covered!)

    Slightly more seriously, your article is interesting (as per usual) and informative (ditto). My own view has always been, that when the Koreas reunify, it will be sudden and surprising. Akin to the last major national reunification - Germany.

    So putting a few bucks (or bob if you prefer) on One Korea by 2024 is like buying a lottery ticket at the gas station next time you fill 'er up. Less likely than getting crushed to death by a falling piano (or is it, you tell me!) But with a HUGE payoff IF it does happen.

    Not at 2/1 !

    Though I agree that reunification within a decade or so isn’t extremely unlikely. Terror regimes can fall very rapidly given the right precipitating event, and reunification in those circumstances would be very much on the agenda.

    Not that Xi’s China would like it.
    If China was vaguely subtle about it, re-unification could be massively to their advantage.

    Lend the unified Korea the hundreds of billions to rebuild the North, at low interest. Or none. One one condition - no foreign troops or bases in Korea.

    This would gratify Korean nationalists, and make the unified Korea a friendly country to China. Plus would play well internationally.

    Because of size, a unified Korea can never be a threat to China anyway. Kicking the US out of the South would be a big win for the Chinese policy of pushing the US out of South East Asia..

    Xi isn't smart enough to do that - I think he would try and use money etc to make the unified Korea a vassal state.
    A reunified Korea would be a real concern for paranoid China.
    The prospects for economic growth in the resource rich north would be huge, and Korea could well become a larger economy than the UK.
    The one thing the two Koreas have in common is a fierce streak of independence. They wouldn't be a vassal of either China or the US.
  • CyclefreeCyclefree Posts: 21,298
    Carnyx said:

    dixiedean said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    Cyclefree said:

    One question I have is this: who formally is in charge of staff at No 10? There will be political advisors appointed by the PM. But the rest will be permanent civil servants, no? Reporting to whom?

    I do not seek to excuse the PM's responsibility but surely there are serious questions to be asked about the behaviour of those in charge of the civil servants.

    Why did no-one try and stop these regular drinking sessions? Or remind them of the lockdown requirements? Or seek to take disciplinary action? Who authorised the payment for the fridge etc etc?

    I appreciate that the hypocrisy is what grates but there also seems to be a failure of management and leadership and, yes, hypocrisy, too within parts of the civil service. It is not enough to clear out one or two politicians. Parts of the civil service do not appear to be fit for purpose either.

    Fridge was a whip round
    @Cyclefree makes a very good point

    Just who is in charge of the civil service in Whitehall
    Boris Johnson.
    Is he or indeed any PM

    I am not saying the PM of the day is not the ultimate authority but the question is being asked and it is fair to do so

    Remember Boris will be gone sooner or later so the question is not about him in particular

    I rather think the idea is to blame the civil servants so Mr Johnson stays.

    However, there is a point to be stressed - the political advisors were disrupting the clear chain of responsibility. Making hire and fire decisions which were not theirs to do and (in at least one case) breaching HR law and civil service procedures (which last itself means you lose in the ensuing court case). With them running riot, it wouldn't have been at all clear who was de facto in charge, and de jure was obviously being thrown out of the window and drowned in the garden. The one thing that is clear is that the spads were responsible to their tame politicians.
    But that shows how weak Simon Case and others were and raises a question about whether they should be continuing in their positions.

    A man who sends out an instruction which is serially ignored by many of his staff is utterly weak and unfit to be in office. If he was being undermined by the PM or Spads he should have spoken up and if nothing changed resigned.
  • RobD said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    dixiedean said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    Cyclefree said:

    One question I have is this: who formally is in charge of staff at No 10? There will be political advisors appointed by the PM. But the rest will be permanent civil servants, no? Reporting to whom?

    I do not seek to excuse the PM's responsibility but surely there are serious questions to be asked about the behaviour of those in charge of the civil servants.

    Why did no-one try and stop these regular drinking sessions? Or remind them of the lockdown requirements? Or seek to take disciplinary action? Who authorised the payment for the fridge etc etc?

    I appreciate that the hypocrisy is what grates but there also seems to be a failure of management and leadership and, yes, hypocrisy, too within parts of the civil service. It is not enough to clear out one or two politicians. Parts of the civil service do not appear to be fit for purpose either.

    Fridge was a whip round
    @Cyclefree makes a very good point

    Just who is in charge of the civil service in Whitehall
    Boris Johnson.
    Is he or indeed any PM

    I am not saying the PM of the day is not the ultimate authority but the question is being asked and it is fair to do so

    Remember Boris will be gone sooner or later so the question is not about him in particular

    PM is always also Minister for the Civil Service
    Do you have a link for that as it does seem contrary to @Cyclefree comments
    https://www.gov.uk/government/ministers/minister-for-the-civil-service
    Thanks

    So the PM is responsible for regulating the civil service, but is that the same as being responsible for the behaviour of civil servants
    Yes, especially for his political appointees and those that work directly for him.
  • CarnyxCarnyx Posts: 17,875

    RobD said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    dixiedean said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    Cyclefree said:

    One question I have is this: who formally is in charge of staff at No 10? There will be political advisors appointed by the PM. But the rest will be permanent civil servants, no? Reporting to whom?

    I do not seek to excuse the PM's responsibility but surely there are serious questions to be asked about the behaviour of those in charge of the civil servants.

    Why did no-one try and stop these regular drinking sessions? Or remind them of the lockdown requirements? Or seek to take disciplinary action? Who authorised the payment for the fridge etc etc?

    I appreciate that the hypocrisy is what grates but there also seems to be a failure of management and leadership and, yes, hypocrisy, too within parts of the civil service. It is not enough to clear out one or two politicians. Parts of the civil service do not appear to be fit for purpose either.

    Fridge was a whip round
    @Cyclefree makes a very good point

    Just who is in charge of the civil service in Whitehall
    Boris Johnson.
    Is he or indeed any PM

    I am not saying the PM of the day is not the ultimate authority but the question is being asked and it is fair to do so

    Remember Boris will be gone sooner or later so the question is not about him in particular

    PM is always also Minister for the Civil Service
    Do you have a link for that as it does seem contrary to @Cyclefree comments
    https://www.gov.uk/government/ministers/minister-for-the-civil-service
    Thanks

    So the PM is responsible for regulating the civil service, but is that the same as being responsible for the behaviour of civil servants
    Crichel Down affair refers. Or it would do if ministers were still honourable.
  • darkagedarkage Posts: 1,330

    Cyclefree said:

    dixiedean said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    Cyclefree said:

    One question I have is this: who formally is in charge of staff at No 10? There will be political advisors appointed by the PM. But the rest will be permanent civil servants, no? Reporting to whom?

    I do not seek to excuse the PM's responsibility but surely there are serious questions to be asked about the behaviour of those in charge of the civil servants.

    Why did no-one try and stop these regular drinking sessions? Or remind them of the lockdown requirements? Or seek to take disciplinary action? Who authorised the payment for the fridge etc etc?

    I appreciate that the hypocrisy is what grates but there also seems to be a failure of management and leadership and, yes, hypocrisy, too within parts of the civil service. It is not enough to clear out one or two politicians. Parts of the civil service do not appear to be fit for purpose either.

    Fridge was a whip round
    @Cyclefree makes a very good point

    Just who is in charge of the civil service in Whitehall
    Boris Johnson.
    Is that correct though? When I worked in the civil service I reported up to the top legal bod in my department and through him to the Head of the Government Legal Service. I served the Minister. But he was not my boss.

    Permanent civil servants at no 10 and the Cabinet Office etc report up through the civil service chain of command.

    There is an issue here and it is one which outlasts the departure of the PM. How well managed and disciplined is the civil service? Because it appears - at the very least - that many of them had the same "we don't need to follow the rules" approach.

    And if they did I do not see why they should be excused the consequences of this any more than all the other people fined for breaking the rules.
    Simon Case is head the of the civil service. Had to recuse himself from the initial investigations as he held parties in his private office. Some people say Case is a typical suit.
    I would guess that Case won't survive this. He's supposedly the head of the civil service, closely connected to Johnson, and so much of this was going on oestensibly under his watch. He is the obvious scapegoat, if the conclusion is the civil service is to take the blame.

  • Beibheirli_CBeibheirli_C Posts: 5,411
    ydoethur said:

    dixiedean said:

    The head of the Civil Service is Simon Case, the Cabinet Secretary.
    Who appoints him?
    The PM.
    So. Who is ultimately in charge?
    Boris Johnson.
    Who is responsible for a shambolic, dysfunctional Civil Service?
    Three Tory PMs over nearly 12 years.
    It really isn't good enough just to blame Civil Servants. The culture is set from the very top.

    The Civil Service has a Head, Case.

    File under 'no shit, Sherlock...'
    So it is a case of Case not being on the case then...?

    (I have not even got my hat and coat off yet! :open_mouth: )
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 44,985
    On a serious note, Case was appointed at the time Cummings was leaking to the press he wanted a weak and ineffective head of the CS so he could dominate it and drive through a major reform agenda with his, ummmm, interesting recruits (the racists and the failures).

    He even considered Christopher Wormald, whom I have corresponded with and who is in my judgement not functionally literate.

    But equally, looking at the current civil service and seeing how much dross there is in it, I don't think shuffling the leadership is going to make much difference.
  • StuartDicksonStuartDickson Posts: 6,849
    Alistair said:

    Taz said:

    Both Scotland and Wales are rolling back their unnecessary measures to tackle Omicron. The leader of the Welsh regime even tried making political capital out of the difference between their measures and England’s. Wales and Scotland needlessly damaged their hospitality sector at the time they most needed the custom just to play politics. Shame on them.

    Making political capital out of different COVID measures? Shocking stuff. Well done for making a political point about different COVID measures in Wales and Scotland btw.
    I see "Scottish Cases are higher than in England according to OFFICIAL FIGURES" lasted all of 2 days.
    Unionists never learn. It is one of their most endearing features.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 44,985

    ydoethur said:

    dixiedean said:

    The head of the Civil Service is Simon Case, the Cabinet Secretary.
    Who appoints him?
    The PM.
    So. Who is ultimately in charge?
    Boris Johnson.
    Who is responsible for a shambolic, dysfunctional Civil Service?
    Three Tory PMs over nearly 12 years.
    It really isn't good enough just to blame Civil Servants. The culture is set from the very top.

    The Civil Service has a Head, Case.

    File under 'no shit, Sherlock...'
    So it is a case of Case not being on the case then...?

    (I have not even got my hat and coat off yet! :open_mouth: )
    This is an open and shut case.
  • Beibheirli_CBeibheirli_C Posts: 5,411
    kinabalu said:

    Cyclefree said:

    One question I have is this: who formally is in charge of staff at No 10? There will be political advisors appointed by the PM. But the rest will be permanent civil servants, no? Reporting to whom?

    I do not seek to excuse the PM's responsibility but surely there are serious questions to be asked about the behaviour of those in charge of the civil servants.

    Why did no-one try and stop these regular drinking sessions? Or remind them of the lockdown requirements? Or seek to take disciplinary action? Who authorised the payment for the fridge etc etc?

    I appreciate that the hypocrisy is what grates but there also seems to be a failure of management and leadership and, yes, hypocrisy, too within parts of the civil service. It is not enough to clear out one or two politicians. Parts of the civil service do not appear to be fit for purpose either.

    That the whole place stinks is what might play for the Big Dog. I truly hope not - he's brought most of the pong in with him - but it might. I think that's the plan actually. Blame diffused all over the shop.
    Perhaps we need to drain the swamp and Make Britain Great Again? The only problem is that MBGA is a lousy acronym, but Make England Great Again could work for Boris. Hats with MEGA written on them :D:D
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 36,073
    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    dixiedean said:

    The head of the Civil Service is Simon Case, the Cabinet Secretary.
    Who appoints him?
    The PM.
    So. Who is ultimately in charge?
    Boris Johnson.
    Who is responsible for a shambolic, dysfunctional Civil Service?
    Three Tory PMs over nearly 12 years.
    It really isn't good enough just to blame Civil Servants. The culture is set from the very top.

    The Civil Service has a Head, Case.

    File under 'no shit, Sherlock...'
    So it is a case of Case not being on the case then...?

    (I have not even got my hat and coat off yet! :open_mouth: )
    This is an open and shut case.
    Of course it was shut. Otherwise the wine might fall out.
  • ydoethur said:

    On a serious note, Case was appointed at the time Cummings was leaking to the press he wanted a weak and ineffective head of the CS so he could dominate it and drive through a major reform agenda with his, ummmm, interesting recruits (the racists and the failures).

    He even considered Christopher Wormald, whom I have corresponded with and who is in my judgement not functionally literate.

    But equally, looking at the current civil service and seeing how much dross there is in it, I don't think shuffling the leadership is going to make much difference.

    I used to take the piss out of Simon Case at university.

    Astonishing that rowing obsessed teenager would become head of the Civil Service, I would have thought there was more chance of me becoming head of the Max Verstappen fan club.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 35,331
    .
    Cyclefree said:

    dixiedean said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    Cyclefree said:

    One question I have is this: who formally is in charge of staff at No 10? There will be political advisors appointed by the PM. But the rest will be permanent civil servants, no? Reporting to whom?

    I do not seek to excuse the PM's responsibility but surely there are serious questions to be asked about the behaviour of those in charge of the civil servants.

    Why did no-one try and stop these regular drinking sessions? Or remind them of the lockdown requirements? Or seek to take disciplinary action? Who authorised the payment for the fridge etc etc?

    I appreciate that the hypocrisy is what grates but there also seems to be a failure of management and leadership and, yes, hypocrisy, too within parts of the civil service. It is not enough to clear out one or two politicians. Parts of the civil service do not appear to be fit for purpose either.

    Fridge was a whip round
    @Cyclefree makes a very good point

    Just who is in charge of the civil service in Whitehall
    Boris Johnson.
    Is that correct though? When I worked in the civil service I reported up to the top legal bod in my department and through him to the Head of the Government Legal Service. I served the Minister. But he was not my boss.

    Permanent civil servants at no 10 and the Cabinet Office etc report up through the civil service chain of command.

    There is an issue here and it is one which outlasts the departure of the PM. How well managed and disciplined is the civil service? Because it appears - at the very least - that many of them had the same "we don't need to follow the rules" approach.

    And if they did I do not see why they should be excused the consequences of this any more than all the other people fined for breaking the rules.
    Which does raise the question of whether the current administration is one we really want to trust with reforming the Civil Service.
    The thought is both laughable, and extremely worrying.
  • CyclefreeCyclefree Posts: 21,298
    dixiedean said:

    The head of the Civil Service is Simon Case, the Cabinet Secretary.
    Who appoints him?
    The PM.
    So. Who is ultimately in charge?
    Boris Johnson.
    Who is responsible for a shambolic, dysfunctional Civil Service?
    Three Tory PMs over nearly 12 years.
    It really isn't good enough just to blame Civil Servants. The culture is set from the very top.

    I do not just blame them. But I do not think they can be excused either.

    "But everyone else is doing it" is no better an excuse for misbehaviour than "I was following orders".

    What I take from this is that parts of the civil service are as shit and second-rate as elsewhere. Serial incompetence now seems to be in the DNA of many of our organizations, private and public.
  • CarnyxCarnyx Posts: 17,875

    RobD said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    dixiedean said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    Cyclefree said:

    One question I have is this: who formally is in charge of staff at No 10? There will be political advisors appointed by the PM. But the rest will be permanent civil servants, no? Reporting to whom?

    I do not seek to excuse the PM's responsibility but surely there are serious questions to be asked about the behaviour of those in charge of the civil servants.

    Why did no-one try and stop these regular drinking sessions? Or remind them of the lockdown requirements? Or seek to take disciplinary action? Who authorised the payment for the fridge etc etc?

    I appreciate that the hypocrisy is what grates but there also seems to be a failure of management and leadership and, yes, hypocrisy, too within parts of the civil service. It is not enough to clear out one or two politicians. Parts of the civil service do not appear to be fit for purpose either.

    Fridge was a whip round
    @Cyclefree makes a very good point

    Just who is in charge of the civil service in Whitehall
    Boris Johnson.
    Is he or indeed any PM

    I am not saying the PM of the day is not the ultimate authority but the question is being asked and it is fair to do so

    Remember Boris will be gone sooner or later so the question is not about him in particular

    PM is always also Minister for the Civil Service
    Do you have a link for that as it does seem contrary to @Cyclefree comments
    https://www.gov.uk/government/ministers/minister-for-the-civil-service
    Thanks

    So the PM is responsible for regulating the civil service, but is that the same as being responsible for the behaviour of civil servants
    PS The point aboiut the Crichel Down affair was that the Minister himself had done absolutely nothing wrong. It was his middle level staff that had caused a scandal (over the compulsory takeover of some farmland in Dorset). But he resigned as a matter of the most fundamental principle, that he was indeed responsible for his Department and its staff.
  • another_richardanother_richard Posts: 22,308

    Scott_xP said:

    As Boris has found out , having petty or puritanical rules in the workplace is not a good idea as somebody will break then at some point and usually the top brass even if they just get into a unplanned scenario. Then what do you do , sack yourself or your main man/woman? Of course not but then you are just a fking hypocrite . So bosses everywhere treat staff with the respect adults deserve and dont go all puritanical and petty

    BoZo's problem is not a puritanical workplace.

    His problem is he imposed puritanical rules on the whole country, except his own house.

    And then he is just a fking hypocrite
    There's another aspect.

    Downing Street gives the impression of being full of thick poshos who alternate between hammering social media and hammering alcohol.

    Without anyone ever doing any actual work.

    I suspect Boris's "I didn't realise it was a social meeting" doesn't do him any good here.

    Because anyone who has done some actual work is very aware of the difference between working and a social meeting.
    Surely no-one thinks he thinks it was a work meeting? He is simply saying it as the equivalent of taking the fifth, to avoid admitting to a criminal offence.
    Given Downing Street doesn't seem to be like any workplace I've been in its possible that a Downing Street social meeting isn't distinguishable from a Downing Street work meeting.

    I almost get the impression that Downing Street is run like some old 70s/80s TV drama about business where the first thing people do after walking into an office is to go to the drinks cabinet.
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 36,073

    ydoethur said:

    On a serious note, Case was appointed at the time Cummings was leaking to the press he wanted a weak and ineffective head of the CS so he could dominate it and drive through a major reform agenda with his, ummmm, interesting recruits (the racists and the failures).

    He even considered Christopher Wormald, whom I have corresponded with and who is in my judgement not functionally literate.

    But equally, looking at the current civil service and seeing how much dross there is in it, I don't think shuffling the leadership is going to make much difference.

    I used to take the piss out of Simon Case at university.

    Astonishing that rowing obsessed teenager would become head of the Civil Service, I would have thought there was more chance of me becoming head of the Max Verstappen fan club.
    There was a Max Verstappen fan club at your university?
  • TimSTimS Posts: 993

    TimS said:

    Andy_JS said:

    Article in The Times: ‘We’re swapping a £40k nanny for a £10k au pair: preparing for the cost of living squeeze.’

    How the other half live.
    Classic clickbait that article, and it’s worked.
    Except it was probably not written as clickbait.
    I really hope you’re wrong there. The way it’s written looks cynically calculated to troll. The case study is a hedge fund manager. If it’s in earnest, then someone on the money section is a shit journalist. And the editor is equally away with the fairies. If it’s designed as clickbait then it’s very effective. Like the Sun’s masterful “lioness at zoo wants to play with baby dressed as zebra” last week.
  • Carnyx said:

    RobD said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    dixiedean said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    Cyclefree said:

    One question I have is this: who formally is in charge of staff at No 10? There will be political advisors appointed by the PM. But the rest will be permanent civil servants, no? Reporting to whom?

    I do not seek to excuse the PM's responsibility but surely there are serious questions to be asked about the behaviour of those in charge of the civil servants.

    Why did no-one try and stop these regular drinking sessions? Or remind them of the lockdown requirements? Or seek to take disciplinary action? Who authorised the payment for the fridge etc etc?

    I appreciate that the hypocrisy is what grates but there also seems to be a failure of management and leadership and, yes, hypocrisy, too within parts of the civil service. It is not enough to clear out one or two politicians. Parts of the civil service do not appear to be fit for purpose either.

    Fridge was a whip round
    @Cyclefree makes a very good point

    Just who is in charge of the civil service in Whitehall
    Boris Johnson.
    Is he or indeed any PM

    I am not saying the PM of the day is not the ultimate authority but the question is being asked and it is fair to do so

    Remember Boris will be gone sooner or later so the question is not about him in particular

    PM is always also Minister for the Civil Service
    Do you have a link for that as it does seem contrary to @Cyclefree comments
    https://www.gov.uk/government/ministers/minister-for-the-civil-service
    Thanks

    So the PM is responsible for regulating the civil service, but is that the same as being responsible for the behaviour of civil servants
    PS The point aboiut the Crichel Down affair was that the Minister himself had done absolutely nothing wrong. It was his middle level staff that had caused a scandal (over the compulsory takeover of some farmland in Dorset). But he resigned as a matter of the most fundamental principle, that he was indeed responsible for his Department and its staff.
    I should say that in raising the question I do not exonerate Boris who must resign

    However, so must the high profile civil servants caught up in this disgrace
  • another_richardanother_richard Posts: 22,308
    Cyclefree said:

    dixiedean said:

    The head of the Civil Service is Simon Case, the Cabinet Secretary.
    Who appoints him?
    The PM.
    So. Who is ultimately in charge?
    Boris Johnson.
    Who is responsible for a shambolic, dysfunctional Civil Service?
    Three Tory PMs over nearly 12 years.
    It really isn't good enough just to blame Civil Servants. The culture is set from the very top.

    I do not just blame them. But I do not think they can be excused either.

    "But everyone else is doing it" is no better an excuse for misbehaviour than "I was following orders".

    What I take from this is that parts of the civil service are as shit and second-rate as elsewhere. Serial incompetence now seems to be in the DNA of many of our organizations, private and public.
    There might be a tipping point with serial incompetence.

    Once it is reached it becomes endemic as those who are competent / hard working / have integrity are unable to put up with the serial incompetence and leave.

    There is in some, not all, of the private sector the natural safety valve of ultimate business failure if the incompetence becomes too great and/or lasts too long.
  • JonathanJonathan Posts: 17,094
    edited January 15
    Boris is undoubtedly unfit to be PM, but Tories agitating for him to go need to reflect on whether he is still the best leader they have.

    Is there any reason to expect a successor to command as much deference in the party? Major did not have the respect of his peers or rivals.

    Somehow I expect neither Sunak nor Truss will be able to command the party in the same way as Boris. It could be majoresque.

    I would not be surprised if there were not another round of leadership rumours before 2024. Boris should go, but the grass may not be greener.
  • kinabalukinabalu Posts: 26,660
    edited January 15
    dixiedean said:

    The head of the Civil Service is Simon Case, the Cabinet Secretary.
    Who appoints him?
    The PM.
    So. Who is ultimately in charge?
    Boris Johnson.
    Who is responsible for a shambolic, dysfunctional Civil Service?
    Three Tory PMs over nearly 12 years.
    It really isn't good enough just to blame Civil Servants. The culture is set from the very top.

    It helps Johnson a lot to get distracted onto civil servants. Point is, the laxity there flourished in the culture he created around him and in government more generally. This is a Boris Johnson scandal and (for picking him when they knew what he was) a Conservative Party scandal. He should pay with his job and diminished prospects thereafter following a disgraced exit. The party should pay with a resounding defeat at the next GE followed by at least a decade in opposition.
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 27,139

    Isn't it rather odd that not a single member of the Cabinet thinks that Johnson's behaviour is sufficiently bad that they can't serve under him? Do none of them have an ounce of self respect or respect for the dignity of ministerial office? Not a shred of decency between them. Shocking, really.

    You could apply the same for those in Labour who worked and stayed in the shadow cabinet under anti-Semite Jeremy Corbyn.

    Like Kier Starmer...
  • Isn't it rather odd that not a single member of the Cabinet thinks that Johnson's behaviour is sufficiently bad that they can't serve under him? Do none of them have an ounce of self respect or respect for the dignity of ministerial office? Not a shred of decency between them. Shocking, really.

    Give it time
  • FrankBoothFrankBooth Posts: 5,083

    ydoethur said:

    On a serious note, Case was appointed at the time Cummings was leaking to the press he wanted a weak and ineffective head of the CS so he could dominate it and drive through a major reform agenda with his, ummmm, interesting recruits (the racists and the failures).

    He even considered Christopher Wormald, whom I have corresponded with and who is in my judgement not functionally literate.

    But equally, looking at the current civil service and seeing how much dross there is in it, I don't think shuffling the leadership is going to make much difference.

    I used to take the piss out of Simon Case at university.

    Astonishing that rowing obsessed teenager would become head of the Civil Service, I would have thought there was more chance of me becoming head of the Max Verstappen fan club.
    He's got good academic credentials, no? However I said at the time that running Prince William's private office was no preparation for running the civil service so not much surprise how things turned out.
  • CyclefreeCyclefree Posts: 21,298
    Carnyx said:

    RobD said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    dixiedean said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    Cyclefree said:

    One question I have is this: who formally is in charge of staff at No 10? There will be political advisors appointed by the PM. But the rest will be permanent civil servants, no? Reporting to whom?

    I do not seek to excuse the PM's responsibility but surely there are serious questions to be asked about the behaviour of those in charge of the civil servants.

    Why did no-one try and stop these regular drinking sessions? Or remind them of the lockdown requirements? Or seek to take disciplinary action? Who authorised the payment for the fridge etc etc?

    I appreciate that the hypocrisy is what grates but there also seems to be a failure of management and leadership and, yes, hypocrisy, too within parts of the civil service. It is not enough to clear out one or two politicians. Parts of the civil service do not appear to be fit for purpose either.

    Fridge was a whip round
    @Cyclefree makes a very good point

    Just who is in charge of the civil service in Whitehall
    Boris Johnson.
    Is he or indeed any PM

    I am not saying the PM of the day is not the ultimate authority but the question is being asked and it is fair to do so

    Remember Boris will be gone sooner or later so the question is not about him in particular

    PM is always also Minister for the Civil Service
    Do you have a link for that as it does seem contrary to @Cyclefree comments
    https://www.gov.uk/government/ministers/minister-for-the-civil-service
    Thanks

    So the PM is responsible for regulating the civil service, but is that the same as being responsible for the behaviour of civil servants
    PS The point aboiut the Crichel Down affair was that the Minister himself had done absolutely nothing wrong. It was his middle level staff that had caused a scandal (over the compulsory takeover of some farmland in Dorset). But he resigned as a matter of the most fundamental principle, that he was indeed responsible for his Department and its staff.
    Lord Carrington who resigned over the Falklands was a junior Minister in that department and offered his resignation. It was not accepted.

    I wrote this on my work blog about him and taking responsibility when he died.

    https://barry-walsh.co.uk/taking-responsibility/

    It could equally well apply now.

  • TresTres Posts: 680

    Isn't it rather odd that not a single member of the Cabinet thinks that Johnson's behaviour is sufficiently bad that they can't serve under him? Do none of them have an ounce of self respect or respect for the dignity of ministerial office? Not a shred of decency between them. Shocking, really.

    They all lost whatever integrity they possessed when they agreed to work for Johnson in the first place
  • MrEdMrEd Posts: 4,253

    Isn't it rather odd that not a single member of the Cabinet thinks that Johnson's behaviour is sufficiently bad that they can't serve under him? Do none of them have an ounce of self respect or respect for the dignity of ministerial office? Not a shred of decency between them. Shocking, really.

    Two types in the Cabinet:

    1. Those who want the job eg Rishi - well aware that the person who wields the knife doesn’t get the job;

    2. Those who know they would be out under another PM eg Mogg
  • Jonathan said:

    Boris is undoubtedly unfit to be PM, but Tories agitating for him to go need to reflect on whether he is still the best leader they have.

    Is there any reason to expect a successor to command as much deference in the party? Major did not have the respect of his peers or rivals.

    Somehow I expect neither Sunak nor Truss will be able to command the party in the same way as Boris. It could be majoresque.

    I would not be surprised if there were not leadership rumours before 2024. Boris should go, but the grass may not be greener.

    It is possible that a new leader may not win the next GE, but we are at the tipping point for Boris and he must go
  • dixiedeandixiedean Posts: 17,281
    Cyclefree said:

    dixiedean said:

    The head of the Civil Service is Simon Case, the Cabinet Secretary.
    Who appoints him?
    The PM.
    So. Who is ultimately in charge?
    Boris Johnson.
    Who is responsible for a shambolic, dysfunctional Civil Service?
    Three Tory PMs over nearly 12 years.
    It really isn't good enough just to blame Civil Servants. The culture is set from the very top.

    I do not just blame them. But I do not think they can be excused either.

    "But everyone else is doing it" is no better an excuse for misbehaviour than "I was following orders".

    What I take from this is that parts of the civil service are as shit and second-rate as elsewhere. Serial incompetence now seems to be in the DNA of many of our organizations, private and public.
    Oh indeed.
    "One rule for them" isn't the catchiest political slogan of the past few years.
    But it may prove to have been the most perceptive.
  • MJWMJW Posts: 728

    ydoethur said:

    On a serious note, Case was appointed at the time Cummings was leaking to the press he wanted a weak and ineffective head of the CS so he could dominate it and drive through a major reform agenda with his, ummmm, interesting recruits (the racists and the failures).

    He even considered Christopher Wormald, whom I have corresponded with and who is in my judgement not functionally literate.

    But equally, looking at the current civil service and seeing how much dross there is in it, I don't think shuffling the leadership is going to make much difference.

    I used to take the piss out of Simon Case at university.

    Astonishing that rowing obsessed teenager would become head of the Civil Service, I would have thought there was more chance of me becoming head of the Max Verstappen fan club.
    What teenager is obsessed with rowing?
  • Sandpit said:

    ydoethur said:

    On a serious note, Case was appointed at the time Cummings was leaking to the press he wanted a weak and ineffective head of the CS so he could dominate it and drive through a major reform agenda with his, ummmm, interesting recruits (the racists and the failures).

    He even considered Christopher Wormald, whom I have corresponded with and who is in my judgement not functionally literate.

    But equally, looking at the current civil service and seeing how much dross there is in it, I don't think shuffling the leadership is going to make much difference.

    I used to take the piss out of Simon Case at university.

    Astonishing that rowing obsessed teenager would become head of the Civil Service, I would have thought there was more chance of me becoming head of the Max Verstappen fan club.
    There was a Max Verstappen fan club at your university?
    Is a relative thing, then and now.
  • AnabobazinaAnabobazina Posts: 12,499
    stodge said:

    13% swing Conservative-Labour with Find Out Now, 11% with ComRes.

    Dreadful numbers by any measure and after months of defying gravity, mid term has hit the Government hard and fast (I'll leave @TSE to add analogies to being shellacked like a dockside hooker).

    Is there a way back? Well, to a point, as the cobbler reminds us, time wounds all heels so a period of masterly inactivity (nothing going wrong) will do wonders but the next election is for the first time looking like a real fight and the corollary of that is people may or will start looking to what a Labour Government might look like.

    I wonder if Starmer will be more about playing the managerialist, technocratic card than anything too radical. Wilson and Blair won without "frightening the horses" (Attlee's victory was in unique circumstances). People will be put off by radical Labour but managerialist centrist "sensible" Labour will start to look a refreshing change.

    Whatever you may think of him, it's hard to imagine Starmer comporting himself in office the way Johnson has and that's a huge advantage for him at this time.

    How about you and he give over with the dockside stuff? PB at its misogynistic worst.
  • JonathanJonathan Posts: 17,094
    MrEd said:

    Isn't it rather odd that not a single member of the Cabinet thinks that Johnson's behaviour is sufficiently bad that they can't serve under him? Do none of them have an ounce of self respect or respect for the dignity of ministerial office? Not a shred of decency between them. Shocking, really.

    Two types in the Cabinet:

    1. Those who want the job eg Rishi - well aware that the person who wields the knife doesn’t get the job;

    2. Those who know they would be out under another PM eg Mogg
    Thatcher wielded the knife and got the job.
  • MrEdMrEd Posts: 4,253

    Isn't it rather odd that not a single member of the Cabinet thinks that Johnson's behaviour is sufficiently bad that they can't serve under him? Do none of them have an ounce of self respect or respect for the dignity of ministerial office? Not a shred of decency between them. Shocking, really.

    You could apply the same for those in Labour who worked and stayed in the shadow cabinet under anti-Semite Jeremy Corbyn.

    Like Kier Starmer...
    You are going to be accused of ‘whataboutery’ by the SKS fan club in here aka pointing out an inconvenient truth that can’t really be rebuffed
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 26,108
    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Q, any insight into betting opportunity for the next San Marinese general election? (Have already got Liechtenstein covered!)

    Slightly more seriously, your article is interesting (as per usual) and informative (ditto). My own view has always been, that when the Koreas reunify, it will be sudden and surprising. Akin to the last major national reunification - Germany.

    So putting a few bucks (or bob if you prefer) on One Korea by 2024 is like buying a lottery ticket at the gas station next time you fill 'er up. Less likely than getting crushed to death by a falling piano (or is it, you tell me!) But with a HUGE payoff IF it does happen.

    Not at 2/1 !

    Though I agree that reunification within a decade or so isn’t extremely unlikely. Terror regimes can fall very rapidly given the right precipitating event, and reunification in those circumstances would be very much on the agenda.

    Not that Xi’s China would like it.
    If China was vaguely subtle about it, re-unification could be massively to their advantage.

    Lend the unified Korea the hundreds of billions to rebuild the North, at low interest. Or none. One one condition - no foreign troops or bases in Korea.

    This would gratify Korean nationalists, and make the unified Korea a friendly country to China. Plus would play well internationally.

    Because of size, a unified Korea can never be a threat to China anyway. Kicking the US out of the South would be a big win for the Chinese policy of pushing the US out of South East Asia..

    Xi isn't smart enough to do that - I think he would try and use money etc to make the unified Korea a vassal state.
    A reunified Korea would be a real concern for paranoid China.
    The prospects for economic growth in the resource rich north would be huge, and Korea could well become a larger economy than the UK.
    The one thing the two Koreas have in common is a fierce streak of independence. They wouldn't be a vassal of either China or the US.
    AIUI, the Koreans have quite a long history of being abused by both their 'big neighbours'.... Japan as well as China. The Japanese had a mixed record as Imperial Power.
  • IshmaelZIshmaelZ Posts: 11,975
    Jonathan said:

    Boris is undoubtedly unfit to be PM, but Tories agitating for him to go need to reflect on whether he is still the best leader they have.

    Is there any reason to expect a successor to command as much deference in the party? Major did not have the respect of his peers or rivals.

    Somehow I expect neither Sunak nor Truss will be able to command the party in the same way as Boris. It could be majoresque.

    I would not be surprised if there were not leadership rumours before 2024. Boris should go, but the grass may not be greener.

    What? WTAF?

    That was then. This is now.

    Never mind that the deference was never there, they went along with him because he was electable. You seriously think he commands anyone or anything any more?
  • NickPalmerNickPalmer Posts: 17,920
    Cyclefree said:

    Carnyx said:

    RobD said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    dixiedean said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    Cyclefree said:

    One question I have is this: who formally is in charge of staff at No 10? There will be political advisors appointed by the PM. But the rest will be permanent civil servants, no? Reporting to whom?

    I do not seek to excuse the PM's responsibility but surely there are serious questions to be asked about the behaviour of those in charge of the civil servants.

    Why did no-one try and stop these regular drinking sessions? Or remind them of the lockdown requirements? Or seek to take disciplinary action? Who authorised the payment for the fridge etc etc?

    I appreciate that the hypocrisy is what grates but there also seems to be a failure of management and leadership and, yes, hypocrisy, too within parts of the civil service. It is not enough to clear out one or two politicians. Parts of the civil service do not appear to be fit for purpose either.

    Fridge was a whip round
    @Cyclefree makes a very good point

    Just who is in charge of the civil service in Whitehall
    Boris Johnson.
    Is he or indeed any PM

    I am not saying the PM of the day is not the ultimate authority but the question is being asked and it is fair to do so

    Remember Boris will be gone sooner or later so the question is not about him in particular

    PM is always also Minister for the Civil Service
    Do you have a link for that as it does seem contrary to @Cyclefree comments
    https://www.gov.uk/government/ministers/minister-for-the-civil-service
    Thanks

    So the PM is responsible for regulating the civil service, but is that the same as being responsible for the behaviour of civil servants
    PS The point aboiut the Crichel Down affair was that the Minister himself had done absolutely nothing wrong. It was his middle level staff that had caused a scandal (over the compulsory takeover of some farmland in Dorset). But he resigned as a matter of the most fundamental principle, that he was indeed responsible for his Department and its staff.
    Lord Carrington who resigned over the Falklands was a junior Minister in that department and offered his resignation. It was not accepted.

    I wrote this on my work blog about him and taking responsibility when he died.

    https://barry-walsh.co.uk/taking-responsibility/

    It could equally well apply now.

    Another great article written in your trademark style - thanks for the link.
  • IshmaelZIshmaelZ Posts: 11,975
    Jonathan said:

    MrEd said:

    Isn't it rather odd that not a single member of the Cabinet thinks that Johnson's behaviour is sufficiently bad that they can't serve under him? Do none of them have an ounce of self respect or respect for the dignity of ministerial office? Not a shred of decency between them. Shocking, really.

    Two types in the Cabinet:

    1. Those who want the job eg Rishi - well aware that the person who wields the knife doesn’t get the job;

    2. Those who know they would be out under another PM eg Mogg
    Thatcher wielded the knife and got the job.
    As did Johnson. that is a bit of cod nonsense dating back to, oooh, Gavin Esler I think is generally credited as author
  • rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 46,526

    Julia Hartley-Brewer
    @JuliaHB1
    ·
    3h
    It's not about the parties...

    If No10 thought it was vital for us all to be locked down, businesses closed, schools shut & unable to see our families, WHY DID THEY THINK IT WAS SAFE FOR THEM TO HAVE PARTIES?

    Because they knew it WAS safe.

    Yet they locked all of US down anyway.
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 70,303
    Dura_Ace said:

    kle4 said:

    IanB2 said:

    LauraK's latest:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-60003805

    TLDR: It's not at all clear how No 10 believes they can get through this crisis.

    It is clear - play for time, offer up some sacrificial lambs, and hope it fizzles out.

    The effectiveness of that is another matter. I think it buys them to at least May .
    Unless Sue Grey, P.I. demonstrates Johnson gave NutNut a Dirty Sanchez while wearing a giant foam cowboy hat, swigging Strongbow and singing Wonderwall the anger will burn out soon.
    Anger burning out is not really the issue I think. It's whether that leaves behind deep scars, or if upcoming problems (eg cost of living) will cause the fire to flare up again by leaving behind a lot of brush.
  • MJW said:

    ydoethur said:

    On a serious note, Case was appointed at the time Cummings was leaking to the press he wanted a weak and ineffective head of the CS so he could dominate it and drive through a major reform agenda with his, ummmm, interesting recruits (the racists and the failures).

    He even considered Christopher Wormald, whom I have corresponded with and who is in my judgement not functionally literate.

    But equally, looking at the current civil service and seeing how much dross there is in it, I don't think shuffling the leadership is going to make much difference.

    I used to take the piss out of Simon Case at university.

    Astonishing that rowing obsessed teenager would become head of the Civil Service, I would have thought there was more chance of me becoming head of the Max Verstappen fan club.
    What teenager is obsessed with rowing?
    The President of the Cambridge Lightweight Rowing Team.
  • MJW said:

    ydoethur said:

    On a serious note, Case was appointed at the time Cummings was leaking to the press he wanted a weak and ineffective head of the CS so he could dominate it and drive through a major reform agenda with his, ummmm, interesting recruits (the racists and the failures).

    He even considered Christopher Wormald, whom I have corresponded with and who is in my judgement not functionally literate.

    But equally, looking at the current civil service and seeing how much dross there is in it, I don't think shuffling the leadership is going to make much difference.

    I used to take the piss out of Simon Case at university.

    Astonishing that rowing obsessed teenager would become head of the Civil Service, I would have thought there was more chance of me becoming head of the Max Verstappen fan club.
    What teenager is obsessed with rowing?
    As a teenager I was obsessed with canoeing along with most other sports
  • Beibheirli_CBeibheirli_C Posts: 5,411

    Isn't it rather odd that not a single member of the Cabinet thinks that Johnson's behaviour is sufficiently bad that they can't serve under him? Do none of them have an ounce of self respect or respect for the dignity of ministerial office? Not a shred of decency between them. Shocking, really.

    I am not surprised. Boris's cabinet consists of a lot of the non-entities of the party - people like Raaaab, Truss, Dorries, JRM, Patel, Useless Eustace, etc, etc. All appear to be excellent at playing to the gallery, but I seriously doubt that any of them have an ounce of organisational ability or common sense.

    As for the quieter ones, do they actually do anything?
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 26,108
    Carnyx said:

    RobD said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    dixiedean said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    Cyclefree said:

    One question I have is this: who formally is in charge of staff at No 10? There will be political advisors appointed by the PM. But the rest will be permanent civil servants, no? Reporting to whom?

    I do not seek to excuse the PM's responsibility but surely there are serious questions to be asked about the behaviour of those in charge of the civil servants.

    Why did no-one try and stop these regular drinking sessions? Or remind them of the lockdown requirements? Or seek to take disciplinary action? Who authorised the payment for the fridge etc etc?

    I appreciate that the hypocrisy is what grates but there also seems to be a failure of management and leadership and, yes, hypocrisy, too within parts of the civil service. It is not enough to clear out one or two politicians. Parts of the civil service do not appear to be fit for purpose either.

    Fridge was a whip round
    @Cyclefree makes a very good point

    Just who is in charge of the civil service in Whitehall
    Boris Johnson.
    Is he or indeed any PM

    I am not saying the PM of the day is not the ultimate authority but the question is being asked and it is fair to do so

    Remember Boris will be gone sooner or later so the question is not about him in particular

    PM is always also Minister for the Civil Service
    Do you have a link for that as it does seem contrary to @Cyclefree comments
    https://www.gov.uk/government/ministers/minister-for-the-civil-service
    Thanks

    So the PM is responsible for regulating the civil service, but is that the same as being responsible for the behaviour of civil servants
    PS The point aboiut the Crichel Down affair was that the Minister himself had done absolutely nothing wrong. It was his middle level staff that had caused a scandal (over the compulsory takeover of some farmland in Dorset). But he resigned as a matter of the most fundamental principle, that he was indeed responsible for his Department and its staff.
    Some blame must be attached to Mrs Thatcher, who I believe said that really bright people should not into the Civil Service but into the City, where they could make more money.
    'Public Service' was at one time considered one of the highest activities to which one could aspire. That it isn't now is no doubt part of the problem.
  • tlg86tlg86 Posts: 21,301


    Julia Hartley-Brewer
    @JuliaHB1
    ·
    3h
    It's not about the parties...

    If No10 thought it was vital for us all to be locked down, businesses closed, schools shut & unable to see our families, WHY DID THEY THINK IT WAS SAFE FOR THEM TO HAVE PARTIES?

    Because they knew it WAS safe.

    Yet they locked all of US down anyway.

    As has been pointed out before, this annoys both extremes. Some like JHB think that it proves the measures were too severe, and those who think the government endangered lives/the NHS.
  • IshmaelZIshmaelZ Posts: 11,975

    MJW said:

    ydoethur said:

    On a serious note, Case was appointed at the time Cummings was leaking to the press he wanted a weak and ineffective head of the CS so he could dominate it and drive through a major reform agenda with his, ummmm, interesting recruits (the racists and the failures).

    He even considered Christopher Wormald, whom I have corresponded with and who is in my judgement not functionally literate.

    But equally, looking at the current civil service and seeing how much dross there is in it, I don't think shuffling the leadership is going to make much difference.

    I used to take the piss out of Simon Case at university.

    Astonishing that rowing obsessed teenager would become head of the Civil Service, I would have thought there was more chance of me becoming head of the Max Verstappen fan club.
    What teenager is obsessed with rowing?
    The President of the Cambridge Lightweight Rowing Team.
    There are heavyweights at Cambridge?
  • IshmaelZ said:

    MJW said:

    ydoethur said:

    On a serious note, Case was appointed at the time Cummings was leaking to the press he wanted a weak and ineffective head of the CS so he could dominate it and drive through a major reform agenda with his, ummmm, interesting recruits (the racists and the failures).

    He even considered Christopher Wormald, whom I have corresponded with and who is in my judgement not functionally literate.

    But equally, looking at the current civil service and seeing how much dross there is in it, I don't think shuffling the leadership is going to make much difference.

    I used to take the piss out of Simon Case at university.

    Astonishing that rowing obsessed teenager would become head of the Civil Service, I would have thought there was more chance of me becoming head of the Max Verstappen fan club.
    What teenager is obsessed with rowing?
    The President of the Cambridge Lightweight Rowing Team.
    There are heavyweights at Cambridge?
    Yup, place is chock full of them, hence the success in Nobel laureates, especially compared to the other place.
  • rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 46,526
    Allison Pearson
    @AllisonPearson
    ·
    22h
    We need a full list of attendees at all Downing Street parties.
    To be made public.
    All of them to be fined in line with what happened to students across the country.
    One student was fined for walking in a small group on a beach.
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 70,303

    ydoethur said:

    On a serious note, Case was appointed at the time Cummings was leaking to the press he wanted a weak and ineffective head of the CS so he could dominate it and drive through a major reform agenda with his, ummmm, interesting recruits (the racists and the failures).

    He even considered Christopher Wormald, whom I have corresponded with and who is in my judgement not functionally literate.

    But equally, looking at the current civil service and seeing how much dross there is in it, I don't think shuffling the leadership is going to make much difference.

    I used to take the piss out of Simon Case at university.

    Astonishing that rowing obsessed teenager would become head of the Civil Service, I would have thought there was more chance of me becoming head of the Max Verstappen fan club.
    He is surprisingly youthful to have gotten to the top job at the civil service. You don't want buggin's turn, but I'm surprised nonetheless.
  • NickPalmerNickPalmer Posts: 17,920

    Chris said:

    Scott_xP said:

    As Boris has found out , having petty or puritanical rules in the workplace is not a good idea as somebody will break then at some point and usually the top brass even if they just get into a unplanned scenario. Then what do you do , sack yourself or your main man/woman? Of course not but then you are just a fking hypocrite . So bosses everywhere treat staff with the respect adults deserve and dont go all puritanical and petty

    BoZo's problem is not a puritanical workplace.

    His problem is he imposed puritanical rules on the whole country, except his own house.

    And then he is just a fking hypocrite
    There's another aspect.

    Downing Street gives the impression of being full of thick poshos who alternate between hammering social media and hammering alcohol.

    Without anyone ever doing any actual work.

    I suspect Boris's "I didn't realise it was a social meeting" doesn't do him any good here.

    Because anyone who has done some actual work is very aware of the difference between working and a social meeting.
    Surely no-one thinks he thinks it was a work meeting? He is simply saying it as the equivalent of taking the fifth, to avoid admitting to a criminal offence.
    To be fair, if your "work" consists of just talking to people, the distinction probably isn't so clear-cut. Especially if the work of the people you talk to also just consists of talking to people. The kind of thing that most people would consider work probably takes place at several removes from the people concerned.
    Yes. At a certain level the distinction between work and not-work dissolves away. People talk about golf at work and they talk about work on the golf course, for example. Maybe they shouldn't, but that's the 'culture'.

    At the other end of the scale, I visited the Google UK offices pre-pandemic and was amazed by the standard of comfort, even for other ranks. Free, hot nourishing food was available 24/7 and a well-stocked drinks cabinet was, apparently, unlocked on Friday evenings. Clearly the plan was to induce young people to stay in the office instead of going home at night, and clearly many of them were perfectly happy with that arrangement.

    Maybe the civil service would function better if it was more like Google?
    Yes, a friend works for Google in the US and reports the same culture. He thinks it's great. He's a bit of a nerd, though - he admits wryly that his wife had to introduce him to coffee (up to his marriage he'd always just popped a caffeine pill - why bother with the water, eh?).
  • JonathanJonathan Posts: 17,094
    IshmaelZ said:

    Jonathan said:

    Boris is undoubtedly unfit to be PM, but Tories agitating for him to go need to reflect on whether he is still the best leader they have.

    Is there any reason to expect a successor to command as much deference in the party? Major did not have the respect of his peers or rivals.

    Somehow I expect neither Sunak nor Truss will be able to command the party in the same way as Boris. It could be majoresque.

    I would not be surprised if there were not leadership rumours before 2024. Boris should go, but the grass may not be greener.

    What? WTAF?

    That was then. This is now.

    Never mind that the deference was never there, they went along with him because he was electable. You seriously think he commands anyone or anything any more?
    He is still there. He has the cabinet out in support. So I guess the answer, within the Tory party, is yes. At least for now.

    The bottom line is Big Dog is a big beast and a unique political operator. Malign IMO, but undeniably different. Whoever succeeds him will have far less room for manoeuvre. It might well feel much like May or Major. They could be in for a very rough ride.
  • MrEdMrEd Posts: 4,253
    Jonathan said:

    MrEd said:

    Isn't it rather odd that not a single member of the Cabinet thinks that Johnson's behaviour is sufficiently bad that they can't serve under him? Do none of them have an ounce of self respect or respect for the dignity of ministerial office? Not a shred of decency between them. Shocking, really.

    Two types in the Cabinet:

    1. Those who want the job eg Rishi - well aware that the person who wields the knife doesn’t get the job;

    2. Those who know they would be out under another PM eg Mogg
    Thatcher wielded the knife and got the job.
    Actually, I’m a way you are proving the point - Heath had declared he would put himself up for re-election and it was only then that Thatcher stepped in. She never declared beforehand that Heath should go.
  • IshmaelZIshmaelZ Posts: 11,975

    IshmaelZ said:

    MJW said:

    ydoethur said:

    On a serious note, Case was appointed at the time Cummings was leaking to the press he wanted a weak and ineffective head of the CS so he could dominate it and drive through a major reform agenda with his, ummmm, interesting recruits (the racists and the failures).

    He even considered Christopher Wormald, whom I have corresponded with and who is in my judgement not functionally literate.

    But equally, looking at the current civil service and seeing how much dross there is in it, I don't think shuffling the leadership is going to make much difference.

    I used to take the piss out of Simon Case at university.

    Astonishing that rowing obsessed teenager would become head of the Civil Service, I would have thought there was more chance of me becoming head of the Max Verstappen fan club.
    What teenager is obsessed with rowing?
    The President of the Cambridge Lightweight Rowing Team.
    There are heavyweights at Cambridge?
    Yup, place is chock full of them, hence the success in Nobel laureates, especially compared to the other place.
    That's Cambridge Mass. Easy mistake to make.
This discussion has been closed.