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Startled like a fox

Posted on June 03, 2014 by

We’ve had so many Freedom Of Information requests knocked back that we’re still a little bit wrongfooted when one comes in that doesn’t try to wriggle out of it and actually answers the questions we asked. So we’ll just let this one speak for itself.

foisd1

foisd2

(Story.)

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    72 to “Startled like a fox”

    1. Jim Thomson says:

      Clever use of the word “responsible” there.

      Civil servants are responsible for the content. They are, however not necessarily accountable for it.

      Two different legal definitions. The responsibility is the “doing” bit where they feed the website etc., whereas the accountability is against the provider of the content. That is clearly the current government.

    2. Doug Daniel says:

      “The UK Government is not neutral on the issue of the referendum. It has a clear policy that it wishes to see Scotland remain part of the UK. […] The Civil Service’s role is to support the elected government of the day and implement its policies.”

      Well, that’s about as unequivocal as you can get. Any Scottish civil servant doing anything to help the goal of independence is just doing their job. In fact, any that refused to do so would be in breach of their contract.

      That won’t stop the bitching from unionist idiots, though.

    3. Croompenstein says:

      Well why will the head of the UK Govt not debate with the head of the Scottish Govt..?

    4. kininvie says:

      An admirably clear statement. Civil servants are there to implement government policy. It is their personal opinions that they may not express in public.

      So the blame for any manipulation of facts, or for the cosying up to foreign governments in support of a No vote, or for the blatant one-sidedness of the UK Govt’s analysis papers, should not be laid at the door of the civil service, but at the door of the UK government.

      Civil servants are only required to have neutrality vis a vis the colour of government they serve. They are expected to implement the policy of a Labour government as much as of a Tory one.

    5. Peter Mirtitsch says:

      I am curious about the reference to the neutrality of the UK government. They ARE in fact SUPPOSED to be neutral, and let the PEOPLE decide what they wish to do. It is a bit like the lawyer who can give advice but must await instruction before doing anything.

      Even though I did not vote for the Government at Westminster, their remit is to address my needs and issues, along with every other person in the country, voter, or nonvoter, partisan or not. For them to take a stance against the wishes of between 1 and 3 million people, depending on which polls you look at, is surely totally against what a democratically elected government is supposed to be about…??

    6. Jim Graham says:

      So, have they breached the rules, or not?
      This is where ‘Wings’ pipes up with some very obvious facts, making me feel foolish. Hell, I forgive you in advance Stu.

    7. Simon Chadwick says:

      Peter Mirtitsch, in the UK the people are not sovereign, the government is. i.e. they rule us.

    8. AnneDon says:

      That certainly explains the Scottish Office and DWP twitter feeds, I think.

      Complete bullsh*t, sanctioned by government.

    9. HandandShrimp says:

      The UK Government has been pushing the 10 myths Buzzfeed thing to Civil Servants as well as the general public. The 10 myths is pretty shabby and has Alistair Carmichaelmoore/Danny Alexander fingerprints all over it.

      I get the impression few Civil Servants are bothering to read it though.

    10. MolliBlum says:

      Doug Daniel says:
      3 June, 2014 at 8:36 pm
      “The UK Government is not neutral on the issue of the referendum.”

      Too true, Daniel… just try looking up the DWP website!

      Don’t do it with a journalist/blogger/commenter hat on.

      Instead, simply cast yourself into the mindset of a pensioner or somebody near pension age living in Scotland genuinely seeking information about your specific (Scottish) situation — you’ll be astounded (or maybe not). It’s just a wall-to-wall BT advert, complete with dire warnings of set-up costs for an IT system that will take years to develop.

    11. pro-loco says:

      So, is the UK Government registered with the Electoral Commission as an active campaigner? Is there a need to do this? Or will it spend no further taxpayers funds?

    12. Training Day says:

      If the Scotland Office believes that the role of the Civil Service is to support Governments, why did Goldie and Rennie accuse the Permanent Secretary of the SG of ‘going native’.

      Could it be that they’re the basest of hypocrites?

    13. Tam Jardine says:

      The UN charter explicitly protects us from outside interference in the process of self determination. At what point do we stop this and request the referendum is overseen by UN observers?

      The Scottish Office is a strange beast in this process. A Carmichael’s role is unambiguous and obviously the whole machine is just an extension of the VNOBUKOKBT front. A whole government department, along with the treasury and foreign office acting in concert to undermine the expression of self determination by the people of Scotland.

      The ‘hand of history’ will hopefully give these bastards a guid cuff round the lug.

      Great work Stu as ever. This FOI deserves the widest possible circulation.

      Thank you.

    14. Stoops says:

      Is it just me? I find this incredibly sinister. The Scottish Office is an extension of the No campaign, with no restrictions? How unfair is that?

      The UK government is supposed to represent the people of the UK, they weren’t elected on “a clear policy to see Scotland remain part of the UK”, the Scottish Government however WAS elected on a clear policy to see Scotland leave the UK.

    15. auslander says:

      Interesting to note the twitter account is verified, even though they’re kind of evasive about who they actually are on that platform.

    16. auslander says:

      (Also, hats off to Tony Conte for a straight answer here.)

    17. pro-loco says:

      @Stoops

      The present UK government was not elected on a clear policy of anything – it is a coalition of two parties which made up what policies they could agree on. Does it control Better Together or vice versa?

    18. Suzanne says:

      Tim Jardine I’m with you on the question you raise – at what point do we request the help of impartial overseers to stop this assault on our right to seek independence. The decision should be for people in Scotland and only for people in Scotland and not sabotaged on every side by agents of the state – and I include the BBC in that.

      My take is that we request that help now. We ask for advice and we also ask for UN scrutineers to engage in the voting process in September. I don’t trust the UK government not to use all the dirty tricks at its disposal to wreck the legitimate vote.

    19. Stoops says:

      @pro-loco

      Good point.

      I still find it sinister.

    20. heedtracker says:

      Good job, So the krazy gang of HM Whitehall UKOK Civil Service try to make out its hip, cool, down with the kids, bettertogether but need a Freedom of Information request to actually admit it is the groovy happening Civil Service. Pillocks.

      I think those bell ends putting the frighteners on sick kids in their dire nob orders.com cinema ads were even worse though.

    21. Suzanne says:

      As an extra note, having dug around the UN site I see that the UN apparently needs far more notice of an electoral assistance request than we can now give them, as we’re now three months away from the vote, but it does no harm to register our concerns with them.

    22. heedtracker says:

      “It is correct that civil servants carry out their duties on this issue as they would any other government policy”

      If it is “correct” then why hide their identity or the fact the whole scam is UK.gov funded, is another query only voting YES in Sept will answer.

    23. Tam Jardine says:

      Suzanne

      It strikes me that if we lose (which I don’t believe will happen) bleating about how unbelievably skewed the process has been will fall on deaf ears.

      I think because we are all so used to this it makes us less inclined to challenge the outside interference.

      Stu will know what to do with this. For me I just know it stinks to high heaven.

      The UN or some Scotland friendly US senators would be a good place to start. Their first question might reasonably be ‘how can a body called the Scottish Office possibly be lobbying against the self determination of Scotland?’

    24. JLT says:

      If I’m reading this right, it seems that we are now getting to see the real dark insidious heart of our UK government. So much for impartiality. They say we’ll let the Scots decide their own future, and what happens …of all the departments …The Scotland Office from London. This department is right at the heart of the UK Government, and it is conspiring against the very people that it is meant to represent.
      Now …some of these people are Scots …to which now and again, we are kindly reminded that they are ‘Proud Scots!’. Seriously …how can a person sit right at the very heart of the debate, and knowingly spread lies and untruths to their own people and believe they are doing a good thing? How can they do that? What makes a person want to do that?

      In Dante’s Inferno, there are 9 circles of Hell …Limbo, Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Anger, Heresy, Violence and the two that sums it all up for the people who deceive their own Fraud and …Treachery!

      If I were them, I’d be praying that Dante’s Inferno is just a myth and that no ninth circle exists…

    25. Retro_Rabbit says:

      I think there’s milage in how much time and so, money, is being spent by the UK Government, via the Scottish Office and civil service… also anymore fly in fly out visits etc. as surely these things (including Alistair Darling’s MP salary (he said he’s full time on the campaign) numerous government ministers being sent at various points expenses (I know… dirty words) must count towards campaign expenditure… I think the office running costs count too… but I’d need to read the act again… unless any of you happen to just know…

    26. DaveDee says:

      O/T BBC 2 Scotland 2230 tonight

      Scotland 2014 – Nicola Sturgeon and Douglas Alexander debate.

      .

    27. Gary says:

      The Civil Service Code has clearly been broken as they have not been open enough about their status, however, they will try to set that aside as this is not PARTY political and serving the STATE interest. This is disingenuous as there is no Government policy and no agreed direction ie although an Act has been put in place, they have not set out in it that they, HMG, will campaign against it. In addition it IS pertaining to PARTY politics as representatives of SNP sit at Westminster and have the support of another two parties.

    28. Jim McIntosh says:

      “The UK Government is not neutral on the issues which have an impact the referendum. It has a clear policy that it wishes to see Scotland remain part of the UK. On the other side of the argument, the Scottish Government is clear in it’s policy of seeking independence.”

      So why no debate between the leader of the UK government and the leader of the Scottish Government.

    29. Suzanne says:

      Tam (sorry, I called you Tim before – I’ve zoomed in a bit more now) – yes I think my anger about this incessant sabotage is getting to me too much. The deliberate and unremitting drive to frighten and misinform the good people of Scotland gets my hackles up.

      I agree – the Rev will know what to do with this. As for us, yes – being in the world’s spotlight can do Scotland a lot of favours if criticism of WM begins coming in from abroad. Hmmm.

    30. kininvie says:

      @Tim Jardine
      The fact is that it is the policy of the UK govt to keep Scotland within the Union. Since Scotland is part of the UK, it cannot be external interference. Internal interference, sure – but I doubt the UN will consider that a grave sin. There’s sophistry enough to keep anyone happy, but that’s the way it is. We win this on our own, or not at all.

      And, incidentally, the real threat is not in the civil servants’ role in the campaign, but in the negotiations after we win. Then the whole might and skill of Whitehall will be tasked with acting entirely in rUK’s interest, not ours…. It is not as if we haven’t had plentiful warning.

      My fear is that the SG hasn’t really focused on this, and is running around in a happy clappy kind of way thinking that everything will be all right on the night. I intensely distrust the idea of ‘Team Scotland’ turning up in Whitehall all wet behind the ears and stuffed with political non-entities. They will be shafted in no time flat.

      The first tactic that Whitehall will use is ‘Deal on Faslane, or else…’ knowing that will split the SNP right down the middle….

      We’ll need a load of ruthless bastards in there, no doubt about it. Any volunteers?

    31. taysideterrier says:

      Lets have another FOI to ask for a list of ALL social media , twatter, Facebook, ect that has links to government.

      There are a few suspect NO groups on facebook that are very well organised and have a suspiciously high volume of “likes”
      all articles written in exact better together uk gov language.

    32. taysideterrier says:

      Will this gov activity account towards the spending and rules in regards to the electoral commission?

    33. Josef O Luain says:

      Anybody who believed that the British state, in light of the independence referendum, would somehow become capable of treating its subjects like adults was always going to be deeply disappointed.

      We shall remain as children up until that point when we find the confidence to depart the nest thus proving conclusively that we have indeed grown-up. I firmly believe that the great majority of us are sufficiently adult and will wish nanny a fond farewell come September.

    34. Defo says:

      No hiding place for dishface now.

      This really is David v’s Goliath. (minus the violence, I hope)

    35. Suzanne says:

      I’m feeling more positive about Team Scotland than perhaps you are at the moment, kininvie, but I entirely see your point. Whitehall will be bristling with the heavy mob, yes, but it would be a mistake for them to underestimate the strength of will and the determination of the SG to hold its own. I don’t believe the SG are under any illusions about the dirty tricks and full-Nelsons Whitehall will try and use.

    36. Papadox says:

      IMHO these are potentially very serious issues in the event of a narrow NO win.

      Should no win where does that leave the legitimacy of the referendum?

      How do you govern a country that is split down the middle and one half have absolute contempt for the government and it’s “free democratic” system?

      How do you impose unwanted laws and policies on people you have just tricked and conned by lies and deceit?

      How do you trust a totally discredited state media or propaganda unit or MSM.?

    37. Tam Jardine says:

      It’s Tam. TAM!

    38. kininvie says:

      Sorry TAM – won’t happen again :((

    39. Duggie says:

      “For them to take a stance against the wishes of between 1 and 3 million people, depending on which polls you look at”

      Which poll has ever shown 75% of the Scottish electorate are in favour of independence, or the union for that matter?

    40. CameronB Brodie says:

      Sorry for O/T but has anyone got a link to the EU bod saying no probs to us ‘joining’? Explaining some facts of life to the Yanks. Pointless perhaps. Gentle sparring helps keep ya trim. 🙂

    41. Paula Rose says:

      Is it possible to estimate a reasonable figure as to how much this costs? I’m thinking time, server thingys, comparisons with similar efforts etc?

    42. CameronB Brodie says:

      😉

    43. Croompenstein says:

      @Tim

      It’s Tam. TAM!

    44. Suzanne says:

      @ Papadox: “How do you impose unwanted laws and policies on people you have just tricked and conned by lies and deceit?”

      Inconceivable, isn’t it. But of course, that’s the MO of the Tory party. Who will ever forget, for example, Cameron swearing that the NHS was safe in his hands. I suppose it was – he had control of it and we didn’t. A semantic double-somersault.

    45. Tam Jardine says:

      kininvie

      Sorry for shouting. I just felt my online identity changing. I take your points – you make a lot of sense as ever.

      One thing I am not sure about is your dismissal of what I’m calling outside interference.

      If we are calling the Westminster government inside interference, surely every time a colony has excercised self determination or a region split from a larger country, the interference from the colonist or larger country could be termed inside interference, if they form part of the same formed state (though not necessarily the same nation as in this case).

      The fact that Westminster is our government almost in theory only, and the bleak mechanics of their attempt to keep us makes me sure that we will leave sooner or later. I pray sooner.

      Have a guid evening.

    46. Marian says:

      Can someone explain why it is that sometimes comments I’ve made don’t appear?

      I even had one last week where the words “this is a good post” appeared momentarily immediately after I posted it, before the comment itself failed to appear on WoS!

    47. rab_the_doubter says:

      Seems like we’re going to be swamped with an onslaught of No=’Devo-Max’ spin from every angle – reference was made on the BBC snoozefest which is Scotland 2014 to DM now being on the ballot paper which is a blatant distortion calculated to make undecided people think a No will give us more. Heres the thing, when someone asks you if you want something and you say No, what do you get – just what you should expect – Nothing. To be honest, I’d be more convinced by them if they were offering cute Meerkat toys in return for my vote.

      We really need spread the word and kill this Devo-Max lie stone dead. Everyone needs to know, like we do, that Devo Max is nothing more than a vague ethereal half promise which will disappear leaving not a trace in the event of a No Vote.

    48. Tam Jardine says:

      Duggie

      You are correct. Night night.

    49. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @kininvie –

      I know we’ve discussed this type of thing before, but the talk of ‘Team Scotland’ has really sharpened it all.

      Tonight Colin Fox (nicely on-topic there) and Jim Sillars spoke in Vineburgh Community Centre, Irvine, and Colin used his closing remarks to stress that ‘Team Scotland’ will most certainly not be the ‘happy clappy’ kind of outfit you describe.

      If I understood him correctly, there is no way a delegation, craftily branded or otherwise, will be going anywhere near Whitehall post-Yes until ALL parties involved in the Yes movement (be they full-blown political parties, lobby groups or whatever else) have their concerns properly represented.

      You, Kininvie, are an understanding man, and while we may be poles apart politically, our aim is common – my party (SSP for those who don’t know) has been ultra-patient and accommodating in biting our tongues while twitchy SNP seniors steadfastly block the socialist case for independence being made via any platform bearing the Yes logo.

      I should stress that I’m not speaking here on behalf of the SSP. I’m just an ordinary member and have no input to policy. But you know what I’m talking about, and so do many of the topmost SNP/Yes strategists – some of the latter have been playing chess, unaware that they’re about to be chucked into the middle of a cage-fight.

      ‘Finlay, shouldn’t we really make a space for the socialists?’

      ‘Indeed Murray, indeed. Splendid people. But not just yet, eh?’

      I’m sure we can find a way of getting over the Sep 18th line without any major fall-outs, but when it comes to the business end of it all? we will not be sidelined and ignored.

      Those harbouring doubts about the solidity of the socialist arguments should familiarise themselves with what Sillars has been doing. The man should have his feet up. Instead, aged 76, he’s up and down Scotland constantly – anyone who thinks that ‘Team Scotland’ will be permitted to get on a flight to London without a healthy contingent of ‘ruthless bastards’ is seriously mistaken.

    50. Tam Jardine says:

      Marian

      The site is under attack and it happens from time to time. My advice from experience is to highlight the text and copy before posting a long post so that if it vanishes and fsils to post your comment is not lost.

    51. George Bowie says:

      Well what else did we expect from HMG, Cameron said a year ago he would fight to hold on to Scotland every way he could. He wants Scotland, not Scots.

    52. cynicalHighlander says:

      Anyone watch the ‘debate’ tonight?

    53. Ken Johnston says:

      I have been hesitant about raising this, but it has been in my mind since the start of this campaign.

      The singer/composer/arranger Jackson Browne, who has been mentioned a few times on this site, and to whom I have been listening for 40 odd years, did an album in the 80s titled ‘Lives in the Balance’.

      The song for which the album is titled has, in the context of S. America, in the first verse the line, ‘when a government lies to it’s people’ and in the third verse ‘Or the people who finally can’t take any more
      And they pick up a gun or a brick or a stone’.

      So what happens, and I’ve asked this before, if there is a NO vote, it will have been ‘won’ on a tide of lies upon lies, deceit and omissions of the truth.

      Do we just say, heigh ho, we lost, they were dirty bastards, but we were aufy nice, welcome to North Britain. And forget it, probably for good.

    54. rab_the_doubter says:

      Ken
      Never forget, never forgive.

    55. CameronB Brodie says:

      Sorry, haven’t read all the comments but think I should say this before it is too late in the thread.

      The government can be pulling all the strings but it is relatively easy for them to shift the blame. For example, I worked on Scottish Office studies which were skewed at Departmental Head level, IMO. Carefully selected indicators would be discarded in favour of less suitable criteria. The end results were predictable. Cuts to the block grant.

      This time though, they’ve been caught with their hands in the till. Cheeky blighters.

    56. Kestral says:

      I would expect that team scotland is going to be an interesting mix, which will require them to have worked out their boundaries before going to london

      There will be a mixture of views on what is important to the different groups, however I have every faith they will be very dam good at discerning every bit of sophistry thrown at them

      After all they will have ALL being reading WOS for a while 🙂

    57. CameronB Brodie says:

      I should correct myself. Not cuts. Inappropriate constrained allocation of resources might be more accurate, as not all budget areas studied saw cuts. What is a cut anyway, in an environment of general increasing expenditure?

    58. kininvie says:

      @Ian,

      Fair enough. But if it’s all going to descend into a party-political dogfight before we even get to Whitehall, then I think we shall really deserve all we get.

      Having said that, I know exactly what you mean about people playing chess. It’s short sighted and against the interests of Scotland, and is an example of the ‘me..me…me’ which has plagued our political classes for too long.

      Frankly, I’d rather not see a single politician being allowed anywhere near ‘Team Scotland’. Negotiating Scotland’s independence settlement is far too important for anyone with an eye to their future political career to be allowed to have a say in it. There will be uncomfortable compromises to be made, and those with an eye to the next election are peculiarly vulnerable to the kind of pressures that will be brought to bear on them.

      So, I want people of integrity in there, bearing Scotland’s interests in their hearts – not their own.

    59. kininvie says:

      Actually, come to think of it, I can imagine no better ‘Team Scotland’ than one made up from a suitable cross-section of Wings groupies. Fanatical, grumpy, thrawn, not standing for any nonsense, rock solid in committment, nae bad at figures, good at digging the dirt, well-trained in sniffing duplicity…what more could you ask?

      And when negotiations got really tough, we could bring on Paula.

    60. ian foulds says:

      George Bowie says:

      3 June, 2014 at 11:23 pm

      ‘….Cameron … wants Scotland, not Scots.’

      That is what we have to get over to the Don’t Knows.

    61. john king says:

      Kininvie says
      “Since Scotland is part of the UK, it cannot be external interference.”

      Sorry Kininvie but I have to disagree,
      By David Cameron@s own words “the future of Scotland is for Scots to decide and as I don’t have a vote it is not my place to debate with Alex Salmond”
      makes it defacto outside interference.

      “Sorry for shouting. I just felt my online identity changing.”

      Dont mention it Tim, I couldn’t hear you anyway for some mad guy shouting about his name being TAM or something. 🙂

      o/t
      BBC Salford’s Steph going round Scotland to get “balanced” view of political commentators veiws and the views of business so far she spoke to a guy from the Wood Group and today our lovely reporter spoke to the man who owns Mackies ice cream,
      but interestingly hasn’t spoken to Joe public,
      I wonder why?
      ANYONE?

      Sally Magnusson @ 06.28
      On BBC misreporting Scotland
      yet another leading report ( accompanied with a leading video of a pair of hands unstitching the George cross from the Saltire leaving behind the broken red stitches of the poor George cross

    62. john king says:

      ADDENDUM

      That video really boils my blood and is more leading than the report itself, can subliminal messaging be open and obvious, or do they think Scots are just too stupid to see it?

    63. john king says:

      OOPS @ = ‘

    64. john king says:

      kININVIE SAYS
      “Fanatical, grumpy, thrawn, not standing for any nonsense, rock solid in committment, nae bad at figures, good at digging the dirt, well-trained in sniffing duplicity…what more could you ask?”

      Right well that settles it,
      Ian Brotherhood it is then. 🙂

    65. john king says:

      i HAte this keybOARD! 🙁

    66. john king says:

      Oh,everyone meet Eccles
      Eccles this is everyone,
      they don’t bite,
      well except for Paula. 🙂

    67. beachthistle says:

      Here are some excerpts/links re UK govt social media protocol/rules from the evidence I submitted to the Public Administration Select Committee’s Civil Service indyref impartiality Inquiry):

      1.1 With regard to “2. Public trust in the impartiality and neutrality of civil servants working on the Scottish referendum”:

      • There has been several questions raised re the impartially and neutrality of tweets published by the Scotland Office.

      • Scotland Office tweets have been openly and vociferously critical of the of Scottish government and of the First Minister

      • Scotland Office tweets have been misleadingly using the word ‘fact’ to describe assertions, opinions, etc.

      • Scotland Office tweets have high levels of coincidence re similarity of wording and themes used by the Better Together campaign.

      1.2 With regard to “6. The approach taken by ministers and permanent secretaries in leading the Civil Service, and ensuring compliance with the Civil Service Code, ahead of the referendum on Scottish independence”:

      • It is a cause for concern that some of the published output of the Scotland Office Twitter account does not appear to be in compliance with the Civil Service Code.

      • Some of the published output of the Scotland Office Twitter account also does not appear to be not in compliance with “Social media guidance for civil servants” 2012, in particular: “Avoid commenting altogether on controversial issues affecting the responsibility of your own Ministers..”

      • In the 5 months (November 2013 – March 2014) looked at for this evidence submission, there are contrasts with regard to the Scotland Office’s (SO) and Scottish government’s (SG) twitter outputs re the Scottish independence referendum :

      • In terms of quantity SG has published less than 3 times the number of tweets using the IndyRef hastag (#indyref) than the SO

      • In terms of quality/subject matter, SG tweets have no criticism of UK government individuals, publications nor policy positions, no ‘retweeting’ of media headlines, and appear to be in compliance with the Civil Service Code and all relevant protocols, guidelines and agreements (including the Edinburgh Agreement).

      http://www.civilservice.gov.uk/news/lets-get-social/how-to-use-social-media

      7 Government expects civil servants to adhere to the Civil Service Code online as well as offline
      7.1 All civil servants are bound by terms and conditions including the Civil Service Code. The Code sets out the core values – integrity, honesty, objectivity and impartiality – and the standards of behaviour expected of us.
      7.4 Take care about commenting on government policies and practices, particularly those which your own Ministers are responsible for. Avoid commenting altogether on controversial issues affecting the responsibility of your own Ministers, and avoid personal attacks. (Social media guidance for civil servants, May 2012)
      8.3 Abide by the Civil Service Code and ask for advice if you are not sure
      8.4 Remember an official account belongs to the Department not the individual

      and from the Civil Service Code:
      11. You must not:
      ignore inconvenient facts or relevant considerations when providing advice or making decisions

      13. You must not:
      act in a way that unjustifiably favours or discriminates against particular individuals or interests.

      14. You must:
      act in a way which deserves and retains the confidence of Ministers, while at the same time ensuring that you will be able to establish the same relationship with those whom you may be required to serve in some future Government

      Civil Servants and use of social media:
      The Civil Service is actively embracing social media. Always remember your obligations under the Civil Service Code. Your department may have guidance on using social media. Be sure to familiarise yourself with the relevant guidelines before starting out. Remember, as Civil Servants we must adhere to the highest standards of propriety”

      https://gcn.civilservice.gov.uk/guidance/propriety-and-standards/

      “The essential points to note being proper behaviour, acting appropriately and observing conventional standards of behaviour. It is vital that government communicators do their work objectively and without political bias.”

      Sorry this is a long post folks, but thought if I waited and put further down thread it would reduce any/some of the annoyance factor…

      And I agree with @Tam Jardine that in the context of a self determination process (which indyref undoubtedly is) the social media activities of the UK government constitute external interference, i.e. a clear breach of the UN Charter.

    68. Ruaridh Watson says:

      Interesting comments from the UK Govt in light of the Public Administration Select Committee’s current inquiry….. http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/public-administration-select-committee/inquiries/parliament-2010/civil-service-impartiality-and-referendums/

    69. Sonas says:

      I’m a bit late to this one, but did you see that the “10 Myths, 10 Facts” article is now up on the Scotland Office website? dated 6 May.

      Seems to be an exact copy of the one that appeared on buzzfeed.

      http://www.gov.uk/government/news/scotland-the-uk-10-myths-10-facts

    70. scott says:

      In the darkest recesses of the Bullingdon club- they’re whispering it- they’d have to sack Cameron- that’s why we can expect a ramping up of the dirty tricks.



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