Tuesday, 19 June 2012

The Civil Service

I found this little gem on the Telegraph website today.

The Government are apparently announcing a plan to reform the Civil Service. Not surprising - just about every Government tries to reform the Civil Service. Which, in itself, speaks volumes about the effectiveness of reforming it.

But what caught my eye was a few little entries.

The article clearly states:

'We are very aware that the public’s and the media’s perception of the Civil Service is too often that of the clich├ęd "Sir Humphrey". So let’s dispel some of these myths now...'

And then goes on to say...

'The Civil Service has to have a culture which is pacier, more innovative, less hierarchical and focused on outcomes not process. We also need sharper accountability, in particular from permanent secretaries and those leading major projects...' (Bold highlights are mine).

Hmm... sound familiar?

So, basically, what you're saying is, the Civil Service is absolutely nothing like Sir Humphrey Appleby, that famously obtrusive Permanent Secretary in 'Yes, Minister'. And then go on to describe exactly how the Civil Service suffers from Sir Humphrey's most notable characteristics.

Perversely, with such an act of misdirection, obfuscation and verbal meandering, Sir Humphrey would be delighted to express his warm satisfaction with the expression of ideals that fundamentally underpin the necessity of a Civil Service which promulgates and perpetuates the continued government of Britain, whilst maintaining its consistent integrity and impartiality.

In other words, he'd be proud of the way you tried to lead us up the garden path. Isn't that right, Humphrey?

"Yes, Minister."