Thursday 7 July 2016

New censorship code to ban member-officer friendships

Blessed members will this week consider revised staff / member protocols designed to prevent leaks, stifle debate, and ban 'improper' friendships.

Notable amongst the changes is a prohibition on members being 'friends' with staff on social networks.

The rule change will be embarrassing for Blessed Chair Granny Spokesperson, who famously owns a boat in joint names with a senior officer (pictured above). Although the arrangement was considered to be "just about" within the rules by 2 ex-Monitoring Officers, it is clearly a breach of the new code which aims to prevent cross-fertilisation between officers and members.

I'm In The Mood for Dancing

The new protocol is said to follow the Nolan Principles of conduct in public life, whilst also incorporating the Pikeman Principle which recognises the "special qualities of the Blessed Authority". This permits officers to ignore the nationally-agreed principles "where appropriate", to prevent Members from opposing bad decision making, or exposing unlawful or incompetent behavior.

The first Nolan principle, for example, requires members "to act solely in terms of the public interest". But Pikeman Principle #1, which calls on members to "publicly defend decisions made by the Authority", automatically takes precedence where there is a conflict between the two.

Don't Make Waves

It's been confirmed that any officer opinion is now classified as a "decision of the Authority", making it a code of conduct offence for a member to disagree. The principle is reinforced in the newly revised Blessed Staff Handbook, which says that officers must never back down or apologise, even if they are wrong.

The new code is intended to come into immediate effect, though it "may take some time to work the gremlins out" acccording to a Blessed Spokesperson.

"It's collective responsibility gone mad" said one former member.

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