Please stop calling names

Regular readers of will be aware of the inventive names in the newsletter, for targets of Murray’s displeasure.

For reasons unknown, the States Services Commissioner has written to McCully asking him to please stop making up names for top civil servants, specifically to stop referring to Labour Secretary Dr James Buwalda as Dr Bewildered. I am surprised Mark Prebble would think this would have any effect except to publicise the nickname more.

Dr Prebble does have a point, that generally one should not attack civil servants without cause – one should go for their Ministers. And I do have to say from my time in Government I was very impressed with the professionalism and dedication of the many public seravnts I had dealings with, not least of all Dr Prebble.

However when there are specific actions of a civil servant which are lacking, it is a different matter. And McCully does have genuine grievance against the Labour Department who did an whitewash of the lie in unison affair, which the Ombudsmen’s office blew apart.

I wonder what sort of criticism the State Services Commissioner finds more inappropriate. McCully attacking a department head on a specific issue, or the Leader of the Opposition attacking a depertment head for what was perceived as his general ideologicial bent, and all but stating that he should not have been appointed?

For those with short memories, the Leader of the Opposition was Helen Clark, and the department head she attacked was Mark Prebble when he was appointed as head of DPMC. Not for any particular reason but just because she thought he was part of the “new right”.

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