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Wednesday 13 February 2019

Dave Penman in New Statesman: An impartial civil service is essential

© Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk

In his recent New Statesman column, FDA General Secretary Dave Penman defended the civil service from political attacks.

Writing for The Staggers, New Statesman's rolling politics blog, Penman denounced both left and right-wing politicians and pundits who level groundless accusations against civil servants. Specifically, he challenged those who questioned the service's impartiality.

"As those on the left contemplate the consequences of Brexit... their shattered hope that the civil service would be the adult in the room who would rescue us from the abyss is leading to resentment and blame," he stated. "A grand coalition of left and right is forming. With an unshakeable belief in the certainty of their solutions and purity of their purpose, anyone who challenges, delays or exposes their weaknesses is just another enemy to be defeated in the noble cause."

"A permanent, impartial civil service, recruited on merit and unafraid to speak truth unto power, is essential for good and efficient government," Penman wrote. "But more than that, an independent civil service, that will advise ministers then implement political decisions – and is free from political interference on who it taxes or who it prosecutes – is vital for the health of democracy."

Read his full article on The Staggers.

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