Civil servants ‘placed in’ not ‘of’ or ‘for’ Scotland?

In the Herald today:

WESTMINSTER has a “very clear duty of care” to protect Scottish (sic) civil servants involved in the Salmond row and MPs must ensure Scottish Government officials operate in an impartial and appropriate way, Liam Fox, the former UK Cabinet, has insisted.

Three thoughts occur:

  1. Westminster has a “very clear duty of care” because the Scottish Government’s chief civil servant had to be chosen by the FM from a very short list (of Ulster Unionists?) compiled by the UK Civil Service and, as always, approved by the PM and MI5?
  2. Westminster has a “very clear duty of care” because that person is in danger of exposure and must now be rewarded for services to ‘The Crown?’
  3. Westminster has a “very clear duty of care” because the current PM has a proud history in that regard? No, wait, he hasn’t. See:

Boris Johnson is under pressure over his role in Sir Kim Darroch’s resignation as British ambassador to Washington, with critics accusing the likely next prime minister of throwing the envoy “under the bus”. In a shock move which prompted the senior civil servant at the Foreign Office to call an all-staff meeting to reassure “shaken” diplomats, Darroch announced on Wednesday he could no longer continue in his role following a leak of official cables in which he criticised Donald Trump.

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18 thoughts on “Civil servants ‘placed in’ not ‘of’ or ‘for’ Scotland?

  1. Most reputable companies accept that they have a duty of care for their employees.
    Why should the British government be any different?
    Once we are independent,I would expect a Scottish government to be responsible for it’s civil servant employees.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. These choices of such small words are very revealing of how Westminster views Scotland (and, indeed, most places furth of Westminster). What is also noteworthy is how unself-aware those who use them are.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Perhaps as an antidote, I am looking forward to the launch of Stephen Gethin’s book ‘Nation to Nation: Scotland’s Place in the World’ next Wednesday. In prospect is something that will be talking-up Scotland!

    I understand there will be an online discussion for the launch: I for one am in need of an injection of positivity from a serious contribution to Scotland’s independent future.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Boris has sacked at least eight senior advisors/civil servants in recent months.
    England’s Attorney General sacked for opposing breaches of international law.
    Carrie Symonds attempted to get two senior civil servants side-lined.
    40 Tory MPs were reported for sexual misconduct against Westminster staffers.

    Why aren’t Fox’s Westminster committees investigating the shenanigans on their own doorstep?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. ‘Civil servants in Scotland’, the ones that are installed at high level in the actual Scottish government, by the English government. Tells us all we need to know about the undemocratic so called union.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Excellent post, John.

    Britnat civil servants are still in place in Holyrood reporting back regularly to their bosses in britnat Westminster.

    If the FM “chooses” the chief civil servant then surely she can “unchoose” them. I think she should do that regardless of britnat Westminster protestations. In fact I think she must do that.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I think it can be done. It is said that the relationship “enjoyed” by Salmond with his first Principal Civil Servant, John Elvidge, brought forward Elvidge’s retirement.
      This is an extract from a Speccy piece on Elvidge’s successor, Peter Housden:
      “The architects of devolution designed it on the premise of a seamless United Kingdom administrative structure, with the head of the Scottish Executive’s civil service reporting to the Cabinet Secretary in Whitehall. The political masters might come and go, but the government machine would remain unionist. All such safeguards are failing in Scotland, to the bewilderment of Westminster.”


  7. So, if WM has a duty of care, does that mean that THEY’RE the officers’ employers? Is appointment of high ranking civil servants a devolved or reserved power?

    If the latter, does that mean that THEY’RE responsible for any actions they may have taken, rather than NS/ScotGov?

    And does that mean that THEY should be called before the Committee as part of the proceedings? If only to see WHO is responsible for the choice of officer – and if sending a shortlist that ScotGov HAS to choose from is the right way to go.

    If not:
    1) why not?
    2) why don’t they, as 1 of their number has it, “shut up and go away”?

    If they mean the women, then didn’t they have a duty of care to ensure that a procedure was put in place? I mean, they must have one that they could have lent to ScotGov to ensure a ‘4 Nations approach’. Right?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The implication is that these civil servants are not safe in barbarian Scotland. So what might Westminster be required to do, send some security to keep an eye on the pesky SNP to make sure the English civil servants of which there are now quite a few more installed in Edinburgh, don’t treat them horribly. English civil servants need protection in uncivilised Scotland, but, it’s OK for the PM and his cabal to bully the ones in the English government, out of office.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. The duty of care really ought not to be either a surprise or something worth debating because it is obviously true. Forget about the likes of Evans, there will be Civil Servants working in Scotland who will be specialists in areas like Health or Eduction, some of whom at least will be expecting to go back to London and “more specialised” depts in Whitehall (eg DHSC).
    The year before I finished my undergraduate degree I had applied to Inland Revnue as it was then regarding a graduate traineeship as an Inspector. The first part of the process was a “chat” with the head of your local office, and in due course I was invited along to meet the chap who ran one of the offices in Wellington Street. During our discussion I mentioned that I really did not like London much (nothing political – just too big, busy anonymous for me) and he said if I didnt put some time in at the HQ in London (natch) it would hold back my career. The Civil Service is much the same, as it too is just a part of the UK state.
    At one time Civil Servants would be allocated to the Scottish Office, some of whom would work in Edinburgh. The fact that there is now devolution, Holyrood and a Scottish Govt does nothing at all to change that. The fact that so little has changed is an important illustration of the limits of the significance of devolution.
    One last point, in the late Ken Roy’s online mag, “Scottish Review” in 2013 an article was published by a retired Civil Servant who very strongly argued that if you thought there were no “sleepers” (as he put) placed by London into the Civil Service in Scotland, precisely with the thought of an independence referendum, then you had to be very naive.


  9. By duty of care what he means is that should , or rather WHEN ,
    the names of these so called civil servants are presented to us and it finally comes out that they plotted against Scotlands last First Minister and when his imprisonment failed their plan b then plotted against Scotlands current First Minister and when that also failed the ensuing investigation showed the devious plotting actually stemmed from Westminster who employ these civil servants and give them the orders that endeavour to undermine Scottish Government from the inside .

    Of course Westminster think they have a duty of care to protect their spies
    We know that


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