Committee on the Scottish Government Handling of Harassment Complaints
“You wrote to three Scottish Government civil servants on 29 October asking questions in
connection with the Committee’s work. As you know, civil servants work on behalf of Ministers,
and so I am responding to your questions on behalf of the Scottish Government.
In relation to your letter to Liz Lloyd…………………………………………………
In relation to the letter to John Somers…………………………………………….
In relation to your letter to the other civil servant……………………………….
In relation to the development of the procedure………………………………..
In relation to the judicial review………………………………………………………
“I would be grateful for your further assistance in addressing my continuing concerns
about some interactions between civil servants and Committee members at the Committee.
As we have previously discussed, civil servants play an important role in supporting Ministers
who are properly held to account by Parliament for the actions of the government. The rules
governing civil servants’ appearances are well established and understood by all parties and
normally work well, in my opinion. Scottish Ministers have a duty of care for civil servants employed by the Scottish Government. While the normal rules that usually govern the way we work together are not observed by all Committee Members, the ability of Ministers to discharge that duty of care for these witnesses is jeopardized.”
Comment: Swinney takes the investigating committee to task over its questioning of three civil servants who may be in possession of information relevant to the inquiry. His assertion that civil servants report to Scottish Government Ministers and as such all questions relating to their work should be addressed to their political masters is for students of the Law to discuss and decide upon but in my opinion, his view is coloured by a need to buy time. But for what purpose?? And compare his defense of Scottish Government civil servants and their actions against the active participation of Westminster based civil servants who aided and assisted “Better Together” campaigners and foreign governments against Scots in the 2014 Referendum Campaign.
Civil Servants Seconded from Westminster to the Scottish Office in 2014
Francesca Osowska: “All activities undertaken by civil servants in my Department would meet a propriety test, yet I think you would agree that in the run-up to a referendum, obviously when Ministers want to be more visible, when we need to ensure that there is a good flow of public information for example, via the Scotland analysis papers that increase our activity and that is why there was an increase between 2013-14 out turn and 2014-15 out turn.”
* But reflect on the proudly broadcast admission of the self-same Civil Servants that they had been seconded to the Scottish Office (in Westminster) and had been tasked, to provide active support to the “Better Together” campaign. Actions that brought about the defeat of Scots who wished only to be an independent nation once again. What a bunch of charlatans.
November 2014: Team of senior civil servants seconded from the Treasury to the Scottish Office to actively participate in the Better Together campaign in the 2014 referendum
Sir Jeremy Heywood took great pleasure in awarding the team “The Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service Award 2014” in recognition of their outstanding achievements in helping defeat Scots separatists on an issue of national importance. Glowing with pride after the presentation some of the leaders were quoted:
Mario Pisani Deputy Director at HM Treasury said:
“We all had something in common, we’re trying to save the Union. We just kept it by the skin of our teeth. I actually cried when the result came in. After 10 years in the civil service, my proudest moment is tonight and receiving this award. As civil servants, you are prevented by statute from getting involved in politics. So, for the first time in my life, suddenly we’re part of a political campaign. We were actively involved in everything from the analysis to the advertising, to the communications. I just felt a massive sense of being part of the operation. This being publically recognized (at the Civil Service Awards), makes me feel just incredibly proud.”
Paul Doyle; Senior Treasury Official
“This award is not just for the Treasury, it’s for all the hard work that was done by all government departments in Westminster and in Scotland assisting the “Better Together” campaign on the Scotland referendum agenda. In all my experience of the civil service, I have never seen the civil service pull together in the way they did behind supporting the UK government in maintaining the United Kingdom. It was very special to all of us.”
Shannon Cochrane; Senior Treasury Official
“We’ve learned that politicians are able to task civil servants to work on things that are inherently political and quite difficult. This places the actions of civil servants very close to the line of what is lawful, but it’s possible to find your way through and to make a difference.”
William MacFarlane; Deputy Director HM Treasury, (Budget and Tax Strategy)
“As civil servants, you are not allowed to get involved in the politics of the country. But, for the first time in my life, we’re part of a political campaign. We were involved in everything from analysis to advertising, to communications. I just felt a massive sense of being part of the operation. Recognition of our work being recognized (at the Civil Service Awards), makes me feel just incredibly proud.”
The secondment of 20-30 senior civil servants from the Treasury to provide professional support to the “Better Together” campaign was done without the knowledge of the Scottish Government. Adding insult to injury the Scottish Office met all of their salaries and on-costs using finance provided to Scotland. (The civil Service World) (All comments paraphrased)
Civil Servants and Janus Faced Illegal politicking Against Scots
Francesca Osowska, in a number of evasive statements, neglected to reveal that Civil Servants had, in a gross misuse of public finances, been authorized at the highest level of the UK Government to actively support the objectives of the “Better Together” campaign.
She confirmed that Mundell retained access to funding sufficient to employ up to 100 whole-time equivalents (W.T.E.) posts and that salary and incidental costs arising from such employment are (top sliced) from Scotland’s block grant before the allocation of finance to the Scottish government.
The slush fund created is an ever-increasing annual financial nest egg, skimmed off Scotland’s block financial grant and used, abused by Scottish Office management for anti-devolution leaflet production, printing, and distribution and the secondment of Civil Servants from other Government Departments and employment of Special Advisors (SpAds), often well connected to friends of ministers or other MP’s.