This week, we celebrate International Women’s Day, marking the achievements and contributions of women throughout history, and in the modern world. And our Tory Government has chosen to mark the occasion by… attacking a woman.
Sue Gray has left the Civil Service and joined the Labour Party as Kier Starmer’s chief of staff.
It came as a shock. Sue Gray is was career civil servant. The Civil service IS the government. At least, it is the Framework of government. Prime Ministers change, MPs change, Parties change but the Civil Service remains. Although they are ostensibly apolitical, they are not just an establishment institution, they are The Establishment. They are a naturally conservative institution and their values, for want of a better term, are more aligned with The Conservative Party.
Sue Gray joining the Labour Party has been taken as a middle finger salute to the Government, (as it was probably intended) and it has rocked some Tory MP’s to their very (hypocritical) core.
Sue Gray was appointed by Boris Johnson to investigate the allegations that he broke Covid restrictions by attending parties at Downing street. She conducted a thorough investigation, too thorough for BoJo’s liking. Suddenly, the Met Police announced they would be investigating Party-Gate. Sue Gray’s report, about to be released, was put on hold in case it’s findings were prejudicial to the police investigation.
Sue Gray’s report was published in May, 2022, after the police completed their investigation. Gray’s report was side-lined, intentionally, by the Government in favour of the softball police report, which basically called BoJo and his clowns naughty little scamps who should have known better, and issued a few fines that barely amounted to a slap on the wrist.
Gray’s report was far more scathing; a searing indictment of Johnson’s government. She cited failures of leadership and judgement at the highest levels, poor treatment of security and cleaning staff. “Many will be dismayed that behaviour of this kind took place on this scale at the heart of government. The public have a right to expect the very highest standards of behaviour in such places and clearly what happened fell well short of this.”
Sue Gray did the job she was assigned in a thorough, professional and unbiased manner, which was the opposite of what the government wanted. Is it any wonder she has left the Civil Service? Joining the Labour Party shows that it was not just dissatisfaction with the job that spurred her exit, but distaste for the people running the country.
And the response from Tory MPs shows just how entitled, hypocritical and stupid they are. Any objection they try to raise just backfires on them, as it draws attention to their own misdeeds.
Some objections are related to the Ethical question of whether a Senior member of the Civil Service is allowed to take on a political role. Honestly, any high-ranking Tory even alluding to ‘ethics’ raises many comments about Pots and Kettles and the colours thereof. There’s the growing number of Bullying charges against MPs, such as Priti Patel, Gavin Williamson and Dominic Raab, plus the MPs who defend them, like Jacob Rees-Mogg. Rees-Mogg isn’t an overt Bully, he just like to leave passive aggressive notes for staff who choose to work from home in a pandemic. Or how about MPs like Owen Paterson, who brazenly broke lobbying rules, and the MPs who tried to change the rules to make his action ‘Not against the rules?’ First, if the best thing you can say about an action is that it’s ‘Not against the rules’, it’s something you know you shouldn’t be doing. Second, if you are okay with ‘not against the rules’ as an answer, don’t talk to me about Ethics.
Even Stupider are the MPs claiming that Sue Gray getting a job as Kier Starmer’s Chief of Staff proves that ‘Party-Gate’ was a stitch-up; a Labour conspiracy designed to oust Boris Johnson. There is just soooo much stupid in these statements. First, BoJo appointed Sue Gray, due to her reputation and level of respect within the government. If she was a labour plant, then the beginning of the conspiracy would pre-date Kier Starmer or Boris Johnson being in office. That is an extremely long con. With that level of prescience, they should be playing the lottery.
Second, her investigation turned up EVIDENCE: photos, videos, witnesses, receipts. None of it was fabricated. An investigation is not a ‘Stitch-Up’ when you’ve actually done the thing you’re accused of doing. Besides which, BoJo wasn’t ousted by partygate alone. It wasn’t even the final straw. It was his appointment of Chris Pincher the Pincher that finally did him in, as 62 MPs resigned rather than defend him….Again.
And finally, the Dumbest part of the conspiracy allegation is a lesson that can be learned in a Disney Song. “We Don’t Talk About Bruno…No, No, No.” then the whole song is about Bruno. The Tories are desperate to distance themselves from Party-Gate. There is no way to put a positive spin on it. In a time of national crisis, their leader and his closest associates were breaking the rules they had set, while punishing any member of the public who did the same. They were literally Fiddling while Rome burned. And every time someone mentions Party-Gate, everyone is reminded of the governments failures during the Pandemic. Johnson’s resignation didn’t erase the stain on their reputation, because he never took responsibility for his misdeeds. And the public is reminded of that every time someone says ‘Party-Gate.’
So Kudos to Sue Gray on this International Women’s Day. As she speeds away from the Civil Service, she is covering the Tories in their own dirt. As they say, Hell has no fury like a woman scorned. It’s even worse from a woman ignored.
If you have enjoyed this rant, check out my collection; So That Happened, By Sheila Power. Available from Amazon in Paperback or Digital format.