Lib Dem MPs criticise Jacob Rees-Mogg for “get back to office” memo

This week Jacob Rees-Mogg left a very passive-aggressive note on a Whitehall noticeboard in an attempt to guilt-trip civil servants back to work. It is hardly surprising that a man who seems to be allergic to the 21st century can’t see the benefits in modern working practices which were very useful during the pandemic and helpful when infection rates are still so high.

Working from home is good for those with disabilities or caring responsibilities which make it more difficult for them to come into the office. A liberal approach would do all it could to ensure that everyone had the working model that suited them. For some, that will be coming in to the office at least some of the time because they feel better doing that. That liberal approach would also make sure that those who are working from home aren’t cut out of workplace power structures – those water cooler conversations, for example. That’s particularly important for those who changed jobs during the pandemic and are getting to know people in their new organisations.

Lib Dem MPs Jamie Stone and Helen Morgan took Rees-Mogg to task:

It is good to see them stand up against a mean-spirited attempt to intimidate hard-working civil servants into conforming with outdated views of working practices.

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Jenny Barnes 23rd Apr '22 - 1:29pm

    Ever tried to contact someone in working hours and found they were “in a meeting”?

  • JRM really is a nasty, small-minded, mean-spirited human being. With all those ‘Brexit opportunities’ waiting to be discovered I’m surprised he has the time for nonsense like this.

  • James Kinsey 23rd Apr '22 - 2:04pm

    The working class – serving the middle class ..
    No such option for the warehouse worker , shelf stacker, delivery driver , bus driver , road layer, binman, care worker…etc ..
    Nothing much changes for those at the bottom…

  • Did he leave one on the PM’s desk? I believe Boris is off on a photo-opportunity to India.

  • Cj Williams 23rd Apr '22 - 5:35pm

    If someone is in a meeting does it mean that they are at work?

  • Those ‘Brexit opportunities’ won’t be discovered by sitting at a desk in Whitehall 9-5 Monday-to-Friday…

    However, JRM isn’t the only person in government and Whitehall trying to wind-the-clock-back. recently had to register a death and discovered all those online and over-the-telephone systems put in place to handle the registering of deaths during lockdown for the last 2 years are being disbanded – they are being forced by the government to go back to in-person interviews and more strangely the electronic submission by GP’s and Coroners etc. is to be done away with. So to register a death required several long-distance journeys and chasing paper instead of a telephone call and an online form submission…

    I suppose this is to be expected from a political class that thinks 1960s high-speed rail is more “the future” than 2020s universal fibre broadband and Internet accept…

  • Anne Winstanley 24th Apr '22 - 7:43am

    The same attitude removed the flexibility for online local authority decision-making meetings. And therefore often the opportunity for residents to observe & contribute online also.

  • Cj Williams 23rd Apr ’22 – 5:35pm:
    If someone is in a meeting does it mean that they are at work?

    Usually yes, unless there’s a cake in the vicinity when it’s then deemed to be a party.

  • Jason Connor 27th Apr '22 - 9:16pm

    But not all of us want to everything online but prefer phone or personal contact. If you’ve been subjected to ID theft there are good reasons not to let alone attempts to defraud vulnerable people. My local council only holds estate walkabouts for council tenants online. What use is that when you need to show council officers the problems in your area in person, they cannot be reached or seen online.

  • Nonconformistradical 28th Apr '22 - 8:55am

    @Jason Connor
    “But not all of us want to everything online but prefer phone or personal contact. ”
    A good reason for a flexible approach – maybe some people in the office all their working hours (hopefully flexible ones) and others working from home some times and hot desking in the office at others.

    “If you’ve been subjected to ID theft there are good reasons not to let alone attempts to defraud vulnerable people. ”
    In case you hadn’t noticed – there appears to be an epidemic of fraud initiated via scam phone calls. Sticking to the phone doesn’t necessarily make one totally safe from scams.

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