Monday, May 12, 2014

Sounds like Foreign Office influence

The UK Civil Service often enough acts like a world of its own where it takes a view opposite that of the population of the UK as a whole as it deals with foreign countries. Not for nothing is the Foreign Office known as the 'Camel Corps' in its dealing with the Middle east and its opposition to the state of Israel often in direct opposition to UK government policy.Other departments also have a distressing habit of using past precedent to justify its current activities again often in direct opposition to government policy in using officialese language rather than common sense.
FALKLAND Islands officials were last night said to be “seething with fury” after being repeatedly sent documents addressed to the “Malvinas”.
Furious MPs at Westminster were blaming “political correctness” for purchase ledgers and invoices sent from Whitehall carrying the Argentinian name for the South Atlantic UK territory.
After sheepish Home Office officials blamed the gaffe on a glitch with its computer software, one disbelieving MP asked: “Where did they buy it from? Buenos Aires?”
Labour MP Thomas Docherty also challenged Foreign Office minister Hugo Swire to ban all government departments from using the name which could be seen as encouraging Argentina’s claim to the islands.
Ah yes, political correctness where moves to not offend someone often enough end up offending everyone. Still you'd think that the term 'Malvinas' would be utterly anathema to those running the government particularly as we've shed blood in keeping them. There's also the fact that the islanders themselves voted overwhelmingly (98%) to remain as part of the UK's overseas territory, the sort of landslide you come to expect in 'socialist democratic' states and various Arab dictatorships, though in this case quite genuine.
Nor do I believe computer glitch for a second, this was quite deliberate and the term was put there to 'ease' diplomatic relations when dealing with South America over issues to do with the Falklands. That it ended up in Home Office documentation is probably that the software is used by all Departments and hence has its roots in officialese, the obscure language of the Civil Service where nothing is quite what it appears to be and different rules apply.
I've no doubt certain civil servants would love to be rid of the Falkland Islands and palm them off to Argentina if only to save money to use elsewhere to decorate their offices. The Falkland however remain ours and should be treat with respect both in language and documentation.
That the Civil service cannot seem to do so tells you everything you need to know about their higher offices.

3 annotations:

Jonty said...

Our very own taxpayer funded fifth column. How nice!

Derekp said...

The key phrase is "repeatedly sent".

Deliberately done, involving multiple civil servants, or more accurately Evil Serpents, based upon their behaviour.

When words and actions disagree, believe action.

FrankC said...

Why don't the Falklands officials just return the documents marked "Address unknown"?