Friday, 7 April 2017

Civil servants and gifts

When I read my Private Eye this morning, I wondered if the civil service had become more corrupt in the decades since I left it. Back then, accepting the smallest of gifts was looked at askance. If a member of the public, having been helped strictly in the line of duty, left a bottle of wine on your doorstep out of gratitude, you were expected to hand it back. I am gratified to discover that things have not changed much.

So this report in the Eye is either defamatory or relates to an elevated layer of government where normal rules do not apply:

Arms manufactureres that have pocketed the fattest cheques for the Ministry of Defence over the past decade showered the officials who pay them with fifts, dinners and cocktail parties worth a combined £100,000. [...] senior officials at Defence Equipment and Support [...] accepted more than 1,000 gifts and hospitality worth £40,000 in total. More junior but still important staff, including top military personnel, [accepted £60,000 worth].

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