Ian Hislop rescues the reputation of the maverick 'Do-Gooders' who he believes fixed the 19th century's version of 'broken Britain' in this new history series ... Ian also looks back on the impact of Charles Trevelyan, who battled to make the civil service a meritocracy ... Contributors to the film include ... head of the civil service Sir Gus O'Donnell ...
That would be the same Sir Gus O'Donnell who agreed with his fellow meritocrat Sir David Normington, Permanently meritocratic Secretary at the Home Office, that the police should be called in to investigate leaks at the Home Office, leading to the arrest of Damian Green and the invasion of Parliament with the acquiescence of the do-gooding Speaker.
The same Sir Gus O'Donnell who presumably sanctioned transformational government and the attempted introduction of ID cards and a National Identity Register, RIP.
And the same Sir Gus O'Donnell who has kindly agreed to stay on as Cabinet Secretary past the point where he would normally retire to promote among other things the G-Digital Programme
, which will resurrect the National Identity Register
The man in Whitehall knows best?
Maybe. He certainly seems to have more power than the man or woman in Westminster. But he has a strange idea sometimes what constitutes doing good.