Well, it looks like the Foreign Office have managed to confirm what I’ve felt about the majority of Civil Servants for some time. That is, they need to grow up, realise that they’re on a pretty cushy number in ‘public service’ and deliver the work that we pay them for.
Just take a look at this news story: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article7107656.ece Doesn’t matter that it was Pope who was the butt of this pathetic attempt at ‘humour’. What matters is that a visiting head of state was held up to ridicule in a briefing document that was distributed throughout the apparatus of Government.
The first paragraph of the news story tells us more than we need to know:
“Advisers to the Pope are starting to regret that he accepted an invitation to visit Britain this September after official papers emerged that suggested he should be asked to open an abortion clinic, bless a gay marriage and launch a Benedict-branded condom range.
The document also suggested that the National Anthem be changed, from God Save the Queen to God Save the World.”
Now, to be honest, this is ludicrous; it sounds like the antics of a 15 year old editor of a school magazine who’s still under the impression that this sort of juvenile stuff is the height of sophisticated humour. According to the powers that b, this was a ‘brainstorming document’ that shouldn’t have been released, and that individual concerned has been transferred to other duties.
In other words, he or she still has a job in the Foreign Office. However you look at this, it’s truly pathetic. Let’s see – there are three options:
Personal stupidity and cock up – the document was written for private consumption but some how managed to get typed up, circulated and out on a distribution list for briefing papers. As private humour it might have been fine as an email around friends, but to get get out in to the ‘official’ world required stupidity and / or poor process.
Poor judgement and cock up– someone may well actually believe this document, and intended it to be a genuine suggestion for their superiors. Again, how it escaped in to the real world is a mystery that again requires phenomenally poor judgement, stupidity or process failure.
Conspiracy– the document was deliberately designed to be offensive, then deliberately leaked on to the distribution list, with the intention of annoying the Vatican so much that the Pope cancelled his visit later in the year.
Whichever option, the whole busienss makes the UK look either foolish, incompetent or both. If it is a conspiracy, then it makes us look incompetent and cowardly.
For God’s sake, civil servants and government, get a grip, grow up and start running this country properly. YOU chose to become a civil servant; I don’t remember pointing a gun at you. YOU chose to become a member of this Government. Both civil servants and Government ministers feel that they can run this country better than the rest of us – so bloody well prove it.