He published his review of calendar 2015 in a series of 54 tweets between 23 December 2015 and 3 January 2016, a period he refers to as the 12 days of the Civil Service Christmas.
54 tweets about the highlights of the year as far as the Civil Service is concerned, month by month. The introductory tweet alongside and one for each month makes 13. 41 to go.
Some initiatives have Sir Jeremy's name obviously on them:
2015 was a successful year for the Civil Service ...
... which attracted condign recognition:
Sir Jeremy's Civil Service is its people:
The Civil Service has a job to do. It provides the permanent government of the UK, while politicians come and go. Sir Jeremy could have chosen any number of ways to demonstrate that the Executive is doing its job. He chose these 41. Why? What message are they meant to convey? And to whom?
Those 18 achievements. They raise questions. Is it thanks to the Civil Service that employment is at a record high? Or that 2015 is 800 years after 1215? Is there no achievement of the MOD, say, worthy of mention or the NHS?
The nine tweets of praise. Do they stand up to inspection? Is the Major Projects Authority, for example, saying that Civil Service project management is now impeccable? Is there no room to acknowledge failings/areas that need to improve? Shouldn't Sir Jeremy be preparing us for the storm clouds approaching Universal Credit and GOV.UK Verify (RIP), among others?
There must have been hundreds of people recruited to the Civil Service in 2015, maybe thousands. And hundreds or even thousands of promotions. Why are just nine of them mentioned? Why are the rest excluded?
Perhaps it's just us, with our idée fixe here at DMossEsq about the Government Digital Service (GDS), but:
- Why does Sir Jeremy promote digital transformation at the expense of other Civil Service work?
- Why does he give the impression that digital transformation is something new, when it has been going on in the Civil Service and local government for fifty years?
- Has he compared the high volume successes of HMRC's digital transformation, for example, with the patchy record of GDS?
- If he insists on nailing his colours to the GDS mast, how did he manage to emit 54 tweets without once mentioning GDS's dubious strategy, Government as a Platform?
And has Sir Jeremy read GDS's Style Guide?
Under W for Words to avoid, the entry for "deliver" says that pizzas can be delivered, as can the post and public services, but not "abstract concepts" like improvements or priorities.
GDS also recommend that metaphors should be avoided and give as one example "drive" – you can only drive vehicles, according to GDS, not schemes and not people.
Was there really nothing else Sir Jeremy could have tweeted? 12 days of the Civil Service Christmas makes a surprisingly poor fist of it if the idea was to enhance the standing of the Civil Service and to boost morale.