It was not intended as a criticism but as a warning. I agreed most strongly with the arguments set out in Martin’s speech which were almost identical with my own views about the role of what he called central policy civil service. If it is a priestly cult it is one of which I have been proud to be an occasional member. (Though perhaps that is a contradiction in terms and I have not really been a proper civil servant at all but one of the technical experts, mentioned in the speech, who may be encouraged to join for short periods or a substantial career. Not a priest but a lay cleric.) My concern, and use of the expression, were based on the fear that civil servants would be seen as a special group of people who were selected and initiated into the mysteries of correct conduct, which only they would be qualified to judge. You have to be a civil servant to recognise a good one. It would follow that selection and promotion would be in the hands of civil servants and that no one else should be involved. This is not exclusive to civil servants, or to priesthoods […]

Original source – Blog

Comments closed