The UK Government Hub in Edinburgh, Queen Elizabeth House, is nicely branded with both the Union Jack and Saltire.
Many pro-UK people don't fully understand the extent of the "hidden powers" which the SNP would be able to draw upon in the event of a second referendum. One of those powers is the (virtually unlimited) power of the British civil service which is based in Scotland, and which is legally obliged to do the separatists' bidding!
Of course we understand that the civil service has to help the administration at Holyrood go about its various day-to-day business, and help it promote and carry out its devolved policies. We understand that, and we do not object to that.
What we object to is the British civil service in Scotland being allowed to help the SNP promote matters which are outside its devolved remit – matters which are properly reserved; or create publications and propaganda for separation; or grandstand on reserved matters which are 'contrary to the UK Government's position' – and all of which, we're paying for!
We understand their role is to help the SNP run the country, not break up the country!
It has to stop! Unionist MSPs in Holyrood must start to highlight and campaign against this on-going travesty.
Imagine if this continues! Imagine if there were to be a second independence referendum. There is absolutely no way that we, as unionists, can compete with the entire money and power of the British civil service (and all of us British Taxpayers who fund it) actively working against ourselves.
It is an absurd situation, and it must not be allowed to go on.
The civil service in Scotland is part of the overall British Civil Service called "Her Majesty's Home Civil Service". The wages (and pensions) of all civil servants in Scotland are paid by the British taxpayer. The head of the civil service in Scotland is called the "Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Government". This person is appointed by, and answers to, the "Cabinet Secretary of the UK Government" who is the head of the Home Civil Service.
The extent to which the civil service in Scotland is used by the SNP to promote the break up of Britain came to light when the civil service produced the massive 650-page "White Paper" book, in 2013, called Scotland's Future (an exact anagram of Fraudulent Costs), on behalf of the SNP.
This role of the civil service in Scotland was never an issue prior to 2007, when there was a Labour administration at Holyrood which didn't want to break up the UK. However, when the SNP took power that year, the Cabinet Secretary (Gus O'Donnell) did nothing to address the new situation.
Matters proceeded as if there was no new dynamic at play!
Working from the established position that civil servants had to help "their ministers" pursue their policy objectives, the Cabinet Secretary allowed the civil service in Scotland to help the SNP ministers pursue their policy objectives, as if the SNP was just another normal administration which was not hostile to the existence of the very State which paid its wages.
The fact that the SNP's policy objectives were deliberately at odds with the maintenance of the United Kingdom in the first place, did not seem to ring any alarm bells!
Nothing was done to address the absurdity of this situation. Indeed, based upon the wrong-way-round "devolution settlement" it could also have been argued that anything not specifically written down as reserved was considered to be devolved.
Nobody had thought to write down, "if the SNP ever get power, then obviously the UK civil service should not be helping them destroy the UK itself". As a result, the SNP continues to make the most of this absurd situation.
That's another reason why the "Devolution Settlement" has to be changed so that everything is considered reserved, except that which is specifically written down as devolved.
RUMBLINGS OF DISCONTENT
There have been some small rumblings of discontent.
For example, shortly after the Scottish referendum, the House of Commons Public Administration Select Committee published a report (23 March 2015) entitled "Lessons for Civil Service impartiality from the Scottish independence referendum". (See tinyurl.com/3v6ua9t4 ) Para 58 found that:
"The contents of the Scottish Government White Paper, Scotland's Future, included a description of the SNP's proposed programme for government that was contingent upon their winning the 2016 Scottish Parliament elections. This did not uphold the factual standards expected of a UK Government White Paper and therefore raised questions about the use of public money for partisan purposes."
It recommended an addition to the Civil Service Code, to state:
"The obligations in this Code apply to your conduct towards a referendum, and towards any possible answer to a referendum question, in general, and in respect of any political party, belief or persuasion. In particular, you are to have regard to any special restrictions upon Ministers, or your organisation, which may apply during all or part of a referendum period (as defined in the Political Parties, Elections and referendums Act 2000), concerning the release of information or material, or otherwise."
At this time of writing, it has not been added to either of the Codes for Civil Servants working for the SNP administration or for the UK Government (both of which are virtually identical).
Another rumbling: According to this article which appeared in the Scottish Daily Mail "Sturgeon stripped of Foreign Office help for undermining UK" (11-6-19):
"Civil servants will no longer help with the First Minister's overseas visits if they are focused on independence or oppose the UK Government position on issues such as Brexit...Normally, ministers from the Scottish Government or other devolved administrations can get help from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office with travel, setting up meetings or using facilities such as the British embassies.
"But new Foreign Office rules mean this will only be given when trips relate 'to areas for which they have a devolved responsibility' and where they 'avoid supporting activities intended to campaign for policies contrary to (the UK) Government's position.'"
Note, however, this refers to civil servants working at the Foreign Office – which is a branch of the civil service which works for the UK Government, and does not work for the SNP at Holyrood.
Nevertheless, the principle that civil service assistance should not be granted to the SNP for anything related to reserved matters or "contrary to the UK Government's position" are important principles which should be established in law (see suggested wording below).
TOO MUCH COMPLACENCY
The pro-UK MSPs at Holyrood seem awfully complacent about this, even though it is well past time to fix it!
The present "rules" which allow civil servants to help their ministers pursue their policy objectives were not put together in the expectation that "their ministers" would be working to break up the central British state itself.
So, obviously something needs to be done.
Are they scared of the fight? If so, things need to change!
Pro-UK people cannot go into a second independence referendum with the combined forces of the civil service, paid for by ourselves, the British Taxpayer, mounted against us – nor should we be facing this on a regular basis today!
Now, some may object that if the British Government were to bring in a law along the lines of the following, then the SNP/Greens would just campaign for a separate "Scottish" Civil Service to be established in order to ensure their continuing control over their civil servants.
Perhaps? But it can be pointed out:
1. They should never be granted such an institution.
2. If they were granted it, then it would hardly be worse than what we've got right now.
3. If we continue under the present system then it will help them win independence, and then we'll get a separate Scottish Civil Service anyway!
We need a law to prohibit any part of Her Majesty's Home Civil Service from having any role in any activity which acts against the integrity of the United Kingdom – defined as the maintenance of the UK as a Unitary State and One Nation.
It must be considered seditious and illegal for the branch of the Home Civil Service in Scotland, wherever it may be located, to promote the separation of Scotland, or the separation of any other part of the United Kingdom, from the rest of the UK. This also refers to any branch of the Home Civil Service wherever it is based in the UK or worldwide.
Here's what that law would look like:
1. The Home Civil Service (wherever it is based in the UK or worldwide) shall not be used, nor shall it be allowed at any time, to assist or promote by any means, including physical, economic, research, and administrative, any devolved UK administration on any matter which falls outside that administration's devolved competences, or which relates to a reserved matter; especially including but not limited to:
a) The separation of any part of the United Kingdom from the rest of the UK.
b) The promotion, by any means, of policies and activities which are contrary to the UK Government's position.
2. For the avoidance of doubt, it shall also be against the Civil Service Code for any civil servant in Scotland or anywhere in the United Kingdom to engage in any activity for a devolved administration which falls outside that administration's devolved competences, or which relates to a reserved matter.
3. It shall be against the Civil Service Code for any civil servant in Scotland or anywhere in the United Kingdom to engage in any activity which is aimed at undermining the integrity of the United Kingdom – "integrity" being defined as the maintenance of the UK as a Unitary State and One Nation.
4. It shall be against the Civil Service Code for any civil servant in Scotland or anywhere in the United Kingdom to participate in the production of a manifesto for a political party, or any publication in any medium which could be construed, or assumed, to resemble or be equivalent to a party political manifesto, such as the "White Paper" of 2013 entitled Scotland's Future.
5. The appointment of senior civil servants in Scotland shall be contingent upon them having already served elsewhere in the United Kingdom and also upon them having served in at least one department for the UK Government in Scotland.
6. For the avoidance of doubt, it shall be an option for the UK Government in Scotland to take full control of any department of the civil service in Scotland when it is the opinion of the Cabinet Secretary in agreement with the Secretary of State for Scotland, that the department is in contravention of any paragraph or sub-paragraph above.
That's what needs to be said and done!
Right now, we have an arm of the British State – the civil service in Scotland – working effectively to promote the break up the British State and promote the separation of Scotland from the United Kingdom – and we're all paying for it!
This cannot continue. It's well past time to sort this out!
We cannot allow the British taxpayer-funded civil service to work in Scotland to break up the United Kingdom.
This is a way to keep the UK together, and the British Government must act now!
FOOTNOTE: SNP Press Officers, Employed by Home Civil Service!
It was reported on the 20 July 2021 that the SNP had more Press Officers than the BBC in Scotland had reporters to ask them questions! Tom Harris in the Scottish Daily Mail (21-7-21) pointed out that these SNP Press Officers are not employed by the SNP. Rather, they are employed by the civil service, and paid for by the British taxpayer! Excerpt>
"The number of publicly-funded press officers, whose job is to spread the good news about how great the Scottish Government is, has increased by more than 40 per cent in the past three years...We should bear in mind that these new, well-paid press officers don't actually work for the SNP. However, in a way that's worse. They may not be employed by Europe's most successful nationalist party and they may not be paid by them - but every media inquiry answered, every piece of advice they offer to ministers has the same result: the advancement of the SNP's political agenda...If Boris Johnson's government does what Miss Sturgeon wants it to do and transfers the power to hold another independence referendum to Edinburgh, then - as happened in 2014 - the civil service will be authorised to promote independence as the official policy of the Scottish Government. And SNP ministers will have at their disposal the largest, most powerful media set-up in the history of Scottish government, either pre- or post-devolution."
We touched on this matter in our "Saturday Street Stall" of 28-11-20, from 3.05>
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