“Left-Wing Woke Warriors” – Esther McVey Calls for Common Sense Across the NHS and Civil Service

Esther McVey’s recent reforms in the civil service, including a ban on rainbow lanyards and consultancy contracts for EDI services, has sparked debate over depoliticisation versus inclusivity in the workplace. Here’s the full story.

“Common Sense Minister”

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Esther McVey, the Cabinet Office minister without portfolio, widely proclaimed as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s so-called “Common Sense Minister,” has outlined her newest target in the ongoing culture war the Conservatives seem entirely consumed with. 

“Backdoor Politicisation”

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In a speech to the right-wing Centre for Policy Studies think tank, McVey framed her latest culture war casualty as a response to the “backdoor politicisation” of the civil service. 

“Leftwing Bias”

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Her latest initiative is, of all things, the banning of lanyards which are thought to show a “leftwing bias,” such as those coloured in the LGBTQ+ supporting rainbow or those which proclaim support for the nation’s struggling NHS.

“Woke Warriors”

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Though McVey did not mention rainbow lanyards specifically, she made clear her ambitions to take on what she called “left-wing politically correct woke warriors” in the civil service and public sector. 

“Simple but Visible”

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McVey stated, “I want a very simple but visible change to occur to the lanyards we use to carry our security passes [which] shouldn’t be a random pick and mix. They should be a standard design reflecting that we are all members of the government delivering for the citizens of the UK.”

“Leaving Your Political Views at the Building Entrance”

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She continued, “Working in the civil service is all about leaving your political views at the building entrance. Trying to introduce them by the back door via lanyards should not happen. The focus should be on a happy and inclusive working environment and increased productivity.”

Centrist Views

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McVey, who was voted out of the last Conservative leadership election when she was up against Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, was criticised at the time for her more centrist views. 

Reframing Her Position

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This latest speech has been viewed by many as an attempt to reframe her position within the party to position herself for another leadership run better, should the swirling rumours of Rishi Sunak’s imminent deposal turn out to be anything more than nervous Conservative gossip as MPs eye the party’s disastrous position in the polls. 

Culture War Targets

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In a further attack on the Conservative’s much-despised culture war targets, McVey also aimed consultancy contracts for equality, diversity and inclusion services within the public sector. 

“Inappropriate Backdoor Politicisation”

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McVey stated, “Given the crucial role [civil servants] play in delivering the services, we need to stop the inappropriate backdoor politicisation of the civil service which diverts time and resources from that focus on the public.”

“Fashionable Hobby Horses”

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She continued, “We have too often seen them distracted by fashionable hobby horses, especially when it comes to issues like equality and diversity. People want the public servants to be getting on with the job of making their lives better, not engaging in endless internal discussions about ideology and I’m not prepared to see pointless job creation schemes for the politically correct.”

“No More Contracts”

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McVey also called out the LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall, which had been advising Whitehall on schemes for bettering inclusion within government, stating that “there will no there will be no more contracts for external diversity spending from this as soon as this guidance is made live unless signed off by a government minister.”

“Take Responsibility”

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She continued, “That includes any agencies with current contracts, including Stonewall, and to make sure that does not inadvertently lead to an increase in internal EDI (equality, diversity and inclusion) activity. Secretaries of state and permanent secretaries will take responsibility for that. Within the departments there will be new impartiality guidance to ensure that civil service focuses on delivering for the public.”

Critical Reception

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While McVey’s speech was warmly welcomed by her audience at the right-wing Centre for Policy Studies think tank, the civil service union, the FDA responded quickly with criticism. 

14 Years a Civil Servant

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Lucille Thirlby, assistant general secretary of the FDA, stated, “Nobody joins the civil service in order to ‘impose their own political ideology’, as the so-called minister for common sense put it. Civil servants understand they serve the government of the day and have been doing so for a Conservative-led government for the past 14 years.”

“The Country Is Facing Serious Challenges”

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She continued, “At a time when the country is facing serious challenges, should the colour of a civil servant’s lanyard really be a ministerial priority? Equality, diversity and inclusion is a serious topic worthy of serious consideration and debate. Unfortunately, we got nothing of the sort from Esther McVey, who instead rattled off of a tick list of culture-war talking points.”

More Heat

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Esther McVey’s bans have added more heat to the long-simmering culture war debate that British politics seems entirely consumed with ahead of the general election. 

Uncertain Future

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While such policies will no doubt be popular with the Conservative base Mcvey is seeking to woo, they will do little to address the country’s many problems as the election draws nearer. Whether these reforms will affect the polls remains to be seen.

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The post “Left-Wing Woke Warriors” – Esther McVey Calls for Common Sense Across the NHS and Civil Service first appeared on Edge Media.

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Grant Gallacher is a seasoned writer with expertise in politics and impactful daily news. His work, deeply rooted in addressing issues that resonate with a wide audience, showcases an unwavering commitment to bringing forth the stories that matter. He is also known for satirical writing and stand up comedy.

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