The Loneliest Jukebox

Graham Barnfield's weblog, being gradually replaced by his Twitter feed -

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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Is she thinking what I'm thinking?

Louise Casey, former homelessness czar and current head of the government's Anti-Social Behaviour Unit, has offended current orthodoxy. The senior government adviser on anti-social behaviour has joked about working while drunk and said anti-binge drinking messages were "nonsense", according the BBC website. Contrary to the latest exhortations from Downing Street, Casey seemed to suggest that a spot of binge drinking was not a problem. It's the most sensible thing to come out of a government advisor in years: maybe she'd had one too many while offending probation officers' "union" chiefs and other worthies. They were "certainly inappropriate comments to be made by a civil servant, never mind one who is heading up the anti-social behaviour unit," NAPO deputy Harry Fletcher told BBC Radio 4's Today programme. Drinking on the job was integral to the civil service in my day, even if Whitehall and the Benefit Agency's regional office were worlds apart.

Perhaps Casey's remarks reflect her relative youth - she's 38. Her critics will say this explains her inexperience, but I guess she's young enough to remember her own youthful indiscretions, including the levels of drinking that used to be considered a normal part of growing up. In the meantime, I'll have what she's having. Now let's see if she can tell the truth about ASBOs. Don't hold your breath.


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