Every so often I reboot this blog, and every so often someone comes along to give me a reason why I should constrain my blogging. I already do.
I work for an organisation which has Political views in many areas, and which is led by democratically elected people. Those people speak on behalf of the organisation and I do not. Nothing I say purports to be the position of the organisation for which I work and I am very happy to establish that fact publicly. I don’t (and won’t) speak at all for the organisation, though a million years ago, I was elected to lead it. Those days are long gone. Today I am retained and paid to do the work of managing the affairs of the place so that the political leadership doesn’t have to concern itself with stamps, plumbers and rent.
I have no ‘office’ and therefore I have no official view on the positions held by that organisation (except that I am often astounded by the frequency with which I privately agree with them) and I have no input whatsoever into the formulation of those positions. I’m a civil servant. People get paid, rooms get booked, trucks get sent to the right places.
I am well aware that some people, particularly on the left of politics, don’t like what they think are my views on the politics of the day. I don’t particularly care – because we think what we think and we believe what we believe. In particular I don’t care because I assiduously do not express any disagreement with the leadership of the organisation for which I work – because policies and their public expression are not my job – in any case I would not be capable of doing it as effectively as the leadership, because they reflect the position of the electors. 90% of the time any view I express publicly has no bearing at all on the positions or affairs of the country in which I live, let alone the organisation I work for.
Those of us who work in non-political jobs inside political organisations often experience similar problems. We’re hired to do jobs, not determine or interpret the policies of the organisation we work for. We have lives outside the political organisations we work for – and how we live those lives are, frankly, none of the organisation’s business so long as confidentiality and the law of the land are respected.
My request is this -if you dislike my views, then challenge me on them. They’re only views – and believe me, the chance to chat ‘outside’ politics with someone outside the policy debates which occur inside my workplace would be rather lovely.
I’d leave the rugby though. I’m Wasps and England till I die.
A happy, healthy and fulfilling 2014 to you.