Secret diary of a civil servant

The Observer has been running a short column since the election by an anonymous civil servant, called Secret Diary of a Civil Servant.

I don’t always remember to read it, but the piece for Sunday 21st November had the chilly tang of authenticity about it — ‘Welcome to the ever-diminishing world of the ‘big society’ it was called.

At one point, he or she says:

Despite the flaws, those closest to the PM are still infatuated with the big society. Suggesting to a minister that one of their ideas “links well with the big society agenda” and then watching their facial expression is a good test of their loyalty. Some smile confidently in agreement and look pleased, but others cynically roll their eyes while accepting that it is a useful smokescreen to explain a cut or the cessation of a service. Most Lib-Dem ministers refuse to even utter the words big society and take pleasure in scribbling them out of draft letters and speeches if civil servants have written them in.

Interesting stuff.

Leave a Reply