Gavin Maclure's Musings

My take on politics locally, nationally and internationally


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Ipswich Borough Council breaks political impartiality rules

For all the world to see, a civil servant or civil servants thought it was appropriate to re-tweet several Ipswich Labour Party propaganda tweets from the official Ipswich Borough Council twitter account.

Ipswich Borough Council re-tweets Labour Party propaganda

Ipswich Borough Council re-tweets Labour Party propaganda

As reported first in Ipswich Spy, Ipswich Borough Council civil servants seem to have a habit of re-tweeting Labour councillor tweets and even a tweet the Labour Party had sent out advertising a canvassing session. And then yesterday they decided to not only promote Labour councillors but the Labour parliamentary candidate (and Council leader), David Ellesmere, who is fighting sitting Conservative MP Ben Gummer at the next General Election in less than two years time. The re-tweet linked to an article Cllr Ellesmere had penned for the Ipswich Labour Party website. The re-tweet has since been deleted but the internet remembers everything (see left)…

Now forgive me if I am wrong but isn’t the cardinal rule of being a civil servant to be politically impartial? Doesn’t the civil service pride itself on its impartiality thereby ensuring mandarins can be trusted to implement the policies of the day whichever political party is in charge at Grafton House or Downing Street?

It seems Borough Council Chief Executive Russell Williams needs to ensure his staff are fully up-to-date with their mandatory training. And perhaps the Council needs to limit the number of people with access to the Council’s official Twitter account.


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Freedom of speech for the few, not the many?

censorshipThe silly season has arrived early.

There has been something quite strange going on in British society in recent weeks. It as if the pressure groups, the Government and even business (the Co-op) have suddenly thought the United Kingdom is a fledgling democracy, which needs to create a values-set to help it develop a civilised society in this brand new nation.

Hold on for one moment. We already have that. It’s called the law, developed over centuries in this country.

I am of course talking about the puritanical behaviour of the Government in trying to ban (currently) legal pornography, the Co-op deciding Lads Mags are the fount of all evil and want them covered up with modesty bags, and following on from this the campaign by feminist groups to ban free speech (see below video).

The latter is being given a lot of air time on the rolling news channels (see clip from Sky News on the subject below where PR Consultant Alex Deane brings some much needed sanity to the debate with feminist Kathy Lette) after the very unpleasant – and illegal – comments from “trolls” using Twitter to send threats to kill and rape a woman who campaigned for Jane Austen to be placed on a £10 banknote. By the way, I think having Jane Austen on a banknote is a great tribute to our literary heritage in this country and again proves my point the United Kingdom wasn’t just established last Tuesday.

But the vested interests and closet men-haters have decided to jump on the criminal acts of a few to attack – again – free speech on social media networks. Disappointingly, politicians have decided to jump on the bandwagon with the chairman of the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, John Whittingdale, threatening to call Twitters bosses in to appear in front of MPs. What he hopes to achieve I don’t know. Twitter already have an abuse policy and in this country we have something called the rule of law with an independent police service and judiciary: threat to kill and rape is a criminal offence. If you are threatened in this way, report it to the police.

What has caused this infantile outburst from the prime minister down? It is something which people don’t want to hear but I’ll state it anyway: religion has broken down and subsequently our values-set has fallen by the wayside too. We have the baby boomer generation to thank for that with their “Swinging 60s” revolution and the subsequent breakdown in parenthood replaced with liberal parenting where many children have been brought up to think only of themselves and to hunt down pleasure at all costs. The cost being we now have a large number of people in this country who behave like animals: visit any town centre on a Friday and Saturday night to see what I mean. And so the metropolitan liberal elite  – lacking in any moral code themselves – overreact and look to take away more freedom from the masses to control the madness.

But animals can be tamed without resorting to destroying freedom for everyone. Use the current legislation, the vast majority of which was formulated based on age-old values rooted in Christianity. It is arguable the liberals advocating new freedom-bashing laws are the same people who have created this new society where people think it is acceptable to threaten to come round to your house and rape you. Perhaps, they are more the problem than the solution?