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Britain’s civil service is under fire like never before — criticised as an obstructionist “blob” by ministers and castigated for a “terrifyingly sh*t” response to the COVID-19 pandemic by former Downing Street aide Dominic Cummings.
So what do U.K. government officials — normally banned from speaking to the media — actually make of it all?
This week in a special ‘focus group’ episode, five former mid-ranking civil servants sit down with host Aggie Chambre to lift the lid on life inside Whitehall.
The panelists, who worked in departments across government — one for as long as 30 years — tell Aggie about the deteriorating relationship between ministers and officials, and about how difficult all that Whitehall bureaucracy makes their jobs.
They discuss how rare it is for anyone to actually get fired from the civil service — and even reveal the secret formula for getting promoted which works almost every time.