I’ve been working away on PhD stuff for a couple of weeks, preparing for conferences, and now I’m taking a few more weeks off.
Why? Well, the Civil Service Code‘s Election Guidance states that during campaigns, ‘the basic principle for civil servants is not to undertake any activity which could call into question their political impartiality or could give rise to the criticism that public resources are being used for Party political purposes. This principle also applies to non-civil servants working in Departments.’
I’m not a civil servant, but as someone working in CLG I clearly fall into the second category. My blogging isn’t overtly political, but I do often talk about a) Government policy and b) the parties’ stances. Talking to CLG colleagues, the precautionary principle feels the right way forward.
Appropriately, the Guidance now contains several paragraphs on social media. Ministerial and departmental blogging is out during purdah, as is updating Facebook and Bebo (!?) profiles. Factual use of Twitter, however, can proceed as normal.
See you all next month!