Is There Common Sense In A Minister for Common Sense?

You may have enjoyed the aurora borealis recently but if you like colourful things you won't want to look at Civil Servants soon. The UK's ‘Common Sense’ minister has banned rainbow lanyards in the civil service.

If you were making a list of the policies that lack common sense you may have started with the Rwanda plan, but they have decided to start with lanyards.

This is Esther McVey, the minister for common sense, which isn’t a job, so she’s actually a minister without portfolio, but they call her the Minister for Common Sense. It's a title on a par with that of Boob Inspector you'd get on those hats at the seaside.

This feels like the kind of thing you just want to mock. Minister for Common Sense, as if you can own such a thing. You want to know what most people think? They’ll tell you in a General Election.

So I thought I'd look at some of the changes she plans on bringing in, ready to mock them all

She wants the rainbow lanyards gone. If you work in the civil service you’re meant to be a-political, so to make sure no politics sneaks in, ban ALL lanyards that aren’t the standard issue. OK, so it's not only the rainbow ones, it's saying all lanyards should be standard. That's actually kind of fair. You want the Civil Servants to be kind of grey and boring so stick to that palette in the standard lanyard scheme.

She says universities must prioritise domestic students. Well, if you have to prioritise any, I suppose every nation should prioritise its own.

She plans to crack down on staff networks for minority groups. Ha, what crackpot scheme is this to look more racist? What have staff networks ever done that’s a problem?

Ah, the Civil Service Muslim Network was suspended after officials discussed how to change government policy on Gaza during its meetings. Damn it!

She said consultancy contracts for equality, diversity and inclusion services will be banned. Well, who’s going to be looking out for diversity? Oh, the ministers will do it, to save money.

Many of the ideas brought up seem like good ideas. Look, no one is going to change the world with a lanyard but the principle behind the plan is OK.

If they didn’t sell this as some anti-woke, culture war crusade, you’d realise some of this is common sense. Oooh, that’s a good title.

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