A Law to Stop the Civil Service Pushing SNP Indy Agenda


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.


SOME BACKGROUND

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!