Following the confirmation by the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog that Dominic Cummings was indeed the person behind the @toryeducation Twitter feed has come the thought that he should have observed the Civil Service code, even if he was a political appointment. So perhaps Michael “Oiky” Gove would like to explain the waywardness of his former SpAd.
Yes, "Oiky", your polecat's behaviour
For instance, there was a particularly unpleasant attack on Channel 4 News main presenter Jon Snow last December, after Snow had observed on Twitter that, following the latest OECD report, and those PISA tables that were so damning when Labour was in power showing the UK getting worse, no ministers could find the time to appear on the show and explain themselves.
“Maybe they think it’s pointless doing interviews with a bigger Lefty stooge than [Toby Helm] – ie YOU” sneered @toryeducation. The code says that civil servants should “always act in a way that is professional and that deserves and retains the confidence of all those with whom you have dealings”. So that would appear to be a fail of the most basic and obvious kind.
There was more: “The Government should eliminate your funding and make you pay your outrageous expenses yourself, instead of [the] poor taxpayer” snarked @toryeducation at Snow. The code says appointees must not “misuse your official position, for example by using information acquired in the course of your official duties to further your private interests or those of others”.
Like funding information on C4, perhaps? On went @toryeducation: “Why are people on 20K a year still funding outrageous expense account of [Jon Snow]?” he demanded. The code calls on civil servants to “deal with the public and their affairs fairly, efficiently, promptly, effectively and sensitively, to the best of your ability”. Not much fairness or sensitivity on view there.
That clearly did not deter @toryeducation: “[Jon Snow] isn’t ‘democracy’, he’s a hypocritical Lefty stooge bleeding the taxpayer dry”. There’s subtle for you. But the code specifically tells that civil servants must “provide information and advice, including advice to Ministers, on the basis of the evidence, and accurately present the options and facts”. No evidence supports that outburst.
And on ploughed @toryeducation: “Yeah, funnily enough, you are definitely a Lefty stooge, no confusion possible, confer with [Toby Helm] on dictation skills”. Most likely this was done using public resources, and the code is quite specific on this one: “use resources only for the authorised public purposes for which they are provided”. So no hurling abuse at Channel 4 News presenters, then.
Perhaps Gove would care to explain this apparent waywardness. Or maybe not.