A Tweet published to the verified account of the UK civil service and then swiftly deleted is a reminder why the enthusiastically anti-swamp Dominic Cummings has a position inside the government at all.
Writing in the British newspaper the Daily Telegraph about the implications of the official account of Britain’s permanent government — the Civil Service, which theoretically works to implement the policies of the elected governments which come and go — Benedict Spence notes the prospect of a rogue Civil Servant apparently venting against Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings is a reminder why they are in power.
In the Tweet, which was published and then taken down minutes later, a message which appeared to be directed towards the main news story of the day claimed: “Arrogant and offensive. can you imagine having to work with these truth twisters?”.
A response from the Cabinet Office, the part of the UK civil service which serves the Prime Minister later noted: “An unauthorised tweet was posted on a government channel this evening. The post has been removed and we are investigating the matter.”
No updates on the identity of the rogue Civil Servant have yet been released.
Calling the unelected petulant opposition within government to Mr Johnson “useful idiots” — implying they were inadvertently doing the work of their enemy for them, Spence wrote in a comment column for the Daily Telegraph:
…for all it might have seemed “legendary” to hijack an official account, perhaps it wasn’t quite as wise a move as it may have seemed. Sure, it will be seared into the nation’s collective consciousness for a time. But that applies as much to the PM’s supporters as his opponents, many of whom were furious at his words in the press conference yesterday, and at Mr Cummings for his actions.
For those people, though, the sight of an official account being used to such an effect is a reminder of why, exactly, Johnson and Cummings find themselves in Downing Street at all. Four years on from the EU referendum, they remember the obfuscation, the difficulty, and the incessant briefing against their movement from within the heart of government that for so long threatened to derail the demands of 52 percent of voters in 2016 for the UK to leave the European Union.
…It brought back to mind the countless other vicious assaults, founded on double standards and lies, on figures on the right from within the heart of Whitehall, from Sir Roger Scruton to Priti Patel, and the intent behind these efforts to force out such people.
Reflecting how strongly Brexit remains the main dividing line in British politics, even during the age of Coronavirus, Britain’s left-wing Guardian newspaper — on which it can be counted to hold the opposite view to the Conservative-backing Telegraph on practically every single issue — ran a mirror piece by an unnamed Civil Servant. Titled The rogue civil service tweet spoke for most of us. I hope the author isn’t found, the author noted: “It wasn’t me, but I can probably speak for most of the 400,000-odd civil servants when I say I wish it had been”, before calling for the author to be given legal protection as a whistleblower.