Treach­ery at heart of the civil ser­vice

Daily Express - - FREDERICK FORSYTH - Fred­er­ick Forsyth

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.

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