Blur of Bureaucracy and Politics

Having worked in a bureaucracy  nearly 10 long, confusing years, I’m beginning to wonder if it’s affecting my perception of reality.

The world is a bit dream like in a bureaucracy. Things are never quite what they seem, there are white rabbits disappearing down financial holes and red queens lopping off restructures on every floor of the tall ivory tower. So it’s no wonder that there’s confusion about who we actually work for.

I always assumed that public servants serviced the public, but I don’t think that’s the case anymore. By association, sane and balanced people who enter the public service suddenly begin to believe that they and their work is Incredibly Vital and Important to The Minister and Running of the State/Nation. Even those who sit a long way down, in the lower branches of the bureaucratic jungle, have been heard to spout statements like ‘the Minister doesn’t want to hear that’ or ‘it’s an election year and the Minister will want a good news story’ or ‘we need to manage this before it hits the Ministers office’.

Hang on, hang on, hang on.

The Minister? But aren’t we PUBLIC servants. Don’t we serve the PUBLIC?  Isn’t it our job to give (and I quote) ‘frank and fearless advice’ to The Minister? It’s not our job to get The Minister re-elected, is it? That’s the job of the Ministers lackeys and the party at large- isn’t it?

Not according to the new breed of public servants, who seem to be a collection of ‘Yessers’ that rarely, if ever, question Ministerial directives, no matter how nonsensical or impossible those directives may be.

If the Minister decides on Thursday that he/she wants a major announcement to be ready to go public by the weekend, who are we as public servants, creeping, cowering, pathetic lemmings that we are, to say no? Yes Minister – we will work tonight and Friday night and most of the weekend to meet this completely unrealistic deadline, even if it means that we come up with a half-cocked, ill-conceived piece of policy, we can always fix it up later because You (the God of Government) want it and what The Minister wants The Minister shall have.

What are we, lemmings? Or public servants? Where’s the cliff?

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Colleen
    Apr 18, 2010 @ 01:39:28

    So very true & it is upto the public to remind them that they are PUBLIC SERVANTS!!! you are their to help us & do what we want – not to just thru hoopd for the bloody minister! xx


  2. Helena
    Apr 16, 2010 @ 04:22:06

    Hahahahaha…..So true Kate…So True!!!


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