Sunday, March 09, 2008

Civil Serf is no more?

If you've read the Sunday Times or Sunday Telegraph today then you'll probably be aware that the anonymous civil servant blogger Civil Serf is being hunted by the powers that be.

Some might remember that I linked to her back in early February and since then others have started reading too. Mostly at papers, Hugo Rifkind at the Times, along with Danny Finkelstein were fans. Sadly she's taken the blog down today and one must assume that it was either precautionary or she received a phone call.

If this was a private sector person blogging about their company anonymously then I would have zero sympathy for her really. It is, after all, silly to bite the hand that feeds you. However, this civil servant was actually doing a service in a way because she was letting her employers, that would be us, know about what goes on inside the bureaucracy.

Yes, she has written some embarrassing things for some politicians, but so what? If they were being stupid and she witnessed then why not let people know? Doing it anonymously may seem cowardly to some people, but I would rather read a witty anonymous whistleblower than some bland official "aren't we great" civil service type blog.

I don't know if she might read this post, but if she does I say don't stop. Let the dust settle then contact one of the political bloggers out there to see if they can help you. It's worth it for the humour and the way you lifted the lid on some the absurdity.


englishobserver said...
9 Mar 2008 17:08:00  

I don't understand it, I checked it after reading the article at the times and it doesn't exist anymore.

Guthrum said...
9 Mar 2008 17:45:00  

I agree, it did provide the evidence if evidence was needed that we are run by a bucnch of buffoons, I hope that she will continue in another guise.

curly15 said...
9 Mar 2008 19:19:00  

I'm sure she always appreciated the risks involved, she did well to keep it going so long!

Paddy Boy said...
9 Mar 2008 19:20:00  

Speaking as another Civil Servant who doesn't blog, but does occasionally comment, I have a LOT of sympathy with her position. The current atmosphere is best described as paranoid and twitchy... A colleague of mine who's been in the department for a lot longer observed that it has a similar feel at the moment to the dying months of the tory government in 97...

Anonymous said...
9 Mar 2008 20:07:00  

Maybe she ended up the same as Jean Charles DeMennes

Anonymous said...
9 Mar 2008 21:32:00  

Unfortunately she said enough in there to be identified, so I'm guessing she's been found. Such a shame, a much needed blog reconnecting the citizens with the way they are ruled. I hope she doesn't come out of it too badly, whistleblowers are hugely important. If you're reading Civil Serf, hang in there.

footballmanager said...
9 Mar 2008 23:16:00  

it was a good blog, well written and witty.

ominous it has gone..

Man in a Shed said...
10 Mar 2008 10:32:00  

Agree completely. Civil Serf's blog was important as it shows the clearly the lie that Gordon Brown is trying to peddle today about reforming the civil service.

I hope she(?) writes a book which I will gladly buy.

lady thinker said...
10 Mar 2008 11:00:00  

We none of us like to copy and paste blog pages to our own blogs but what a shame that no -one had done so on this one. Maybe whistle blowers should authorise other bloggers to copy their postings for publication then if they had to shut down suddenly at least the original information would still be 'out there' for us all to read.

Anne said...
10 Mar 2008 11:31:00  

I thought she was pretty brave to write it and it consistantly had the ring of truth about it. Speaking truth to voters is as important as speaking it to power: I hope she finds a way to get her voice heard in the future.

Ralph said...
10 Mar 2008 11:41:00  

With Blunkett and Campbell printing their diaries so quickly after leaving office and Labour's quickness to use leaks that embarrass the Tories or Lib Dems this all seems rather hypocritical.

Anonymous said...
10 Mar 2008 13:31:00  

sorry but the fact that she's writing about public people legitimises her actions even less. i hope she gets caught and sacked. she's hardly a whistleblower, just giving her whingeing views about people who entrust her to act with honesty and integrity, and quite frankly have better things to be doing than engaging in her silly rants.

Curbishlyauto said...
10 Mar 2008 13:57:00  

i hope she gets caught and sacked. she's hardly a whistleblower,

I see you still get some twats on here.

lady thinker said...
10 Mar 2008 14:15:00  

"twat" or not - it's the anonymous tag I dislike - can't even be bothered to put a name to their comment! Huh!

Man in a Shed said...
10 Mar 2008 14:28:00  

What is more worrying is that assuming she has been caught the government has brought enough pressure to silence her. ( Her career - as it was - is over, so I wonder what they have over her to make her delete her blog - maybe her pension.)

Her comments fit neatly with other people with real world experience who have entered the civil service only to look around in horror at what they see.

Anonymous said...
10 Mar 2008 17:53:00  

I could understand it if the Civil Serf was spreading rumours or stories which were unfounded - but why are they being stamped on for telling the truth? This proves that open government is figment of the imagination, and it is blatantly clear that we are being disallowed a referendum on Europe - we are dust beneath the feet of the politicians.

Ralph said...
10 Mar 2008 19:34:00  

Anon: 'the fact that she's writing about public people legitimises her actions even less'

I would have thought the reverse was true, a public figure is someone people to write about them, private individuals isn't.

Anonymous said...
10 Mar 2008 23:41:00  

From the gossip I've been hearing she won't be the first civil servant to be sacked for blogging.

The Welsh blogosphere has had its casualties in the last 8 months and is turning out like Stalin's Russia. We're having trouble finding out who the sacked Welsh civil servant blogger is.

guido faux said...
11 Mar 2008 10:42:00  

Obviously aspiring Serfs should henceforth blog from the perspective of a disliked colleague - or superior.

Anonymous said...
11 Mar 2008 15:03:00  

we say 'freedom of speech', 'freedom of press'.
Where are these? Only meant for books, not for real life!

Michael Smith said...
18 Mar 2008 20:07:00  

Name a politician who is Democratic and I will prove to you otherwise they are all sympathetic to Fascism.

Anonymous said...
22 Jan 2009 20:48:00  

Civil Serf is clearly not a natural Civil Servant. As a Civil Servant myself, I am aware that integrity such as hers is not a quality desired or tolerated by the CS. Ignorance, pliability and shameless sycophancy are the only routes to acceptance at all levels and departments of the CS. The Peter Principal is alive and well! is a participant in the Amazon Europe S.à.r.l. Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to