Treachery at heart of the civil service
AT A dinner table some weeks ago the conversation turned inevitably to the omnipresent Brexit. Describing some of those loudest in their wail I used the word “treacherous”. One of those present was highly incensed but I will not retract that disagreeable word for certain categories of relentless Remain advocates securing huge publicity on the BBC and other parts of the media. I refer to the civil service and others on the public payroll.
Everyone in a democratic and free society, a category to which we hopefully cling, is entirely entitled to their opinion, even though some – such as Nazis – are thoroughly repugnant. A few other extremists are hate-criminals and thus in breach of the law but I have seen many societies a lot less tolerant than ours. It constantly surprises me how many of our people do not recognise how fair-minded and antibigotry the British are.
We holiday in countries where even mild criticism of the head of state and the government can lead to years in jail. Our tourists come back with a suntan having noticed absolutely nothing but the sea and the price of beer. We give our country far too little credit for what it is: a damn good place to live. Foreigners spot it or we would not be the immigrant-magnet we are.
BUT there are certain categories where the broad mass of people are justified in expecting loyalty. One of these is being on the public payroll. We have millions such, at local, regional and national level. And the quangocrats and the eurocrats.
It is probably fair to estimate that 90 per cent of the bureaucracy are in favour of staying in and subservient to the EU – itself the biggest bureaucracy our continent has ever known. But two years ago a majority of the British, in an unrigged referendum (itself a rarity, globally), voted that we wished to leave.
Consider the phrase “civil servant”. The first word refers to society, the second to one who agrees to do the bidding of others and to be paid for it. Others are in the Commons, denying the majority wish of their constituents; or in the Lords, with no mandate at all but not averse to handsome pensions paid from the taxpayers’ purse.
To express a personal and dissentient view in a private setting (a dinner party) is one thing. But to remain in the people’s employ while doing all in one’s power to deny them what they have clearly voted for is, frankly, self-serving, disloyal and treacherous. Those passionately seeking to reverse our national decision should leave our payroll and put their own breakfast on the table from their own pockets.