WRITTEN ON November 21st, 2010 BY Sir Bonar Neville-Kingdom GCMG KCVO AND STORED IN Uncategorized

The British civil service has taken to social networking like a duck to water, a new book to be launched this week proves. In another world first for British public-sector ICT, Permanent Secretary at Large Sir Bonar-Neville-Kingdom has allowed a year’s worth of his office’s output to the social networking site Twitter to be published in book form at lulu.com.

Sir Bonar cover image

Formerly HM Government’s technology outreach Czar, Neville-Kingdom is currently data sharing Czar. He was also a former Ideal Government contributor, becoming in the process the first serving Permanent Secretary to blog in an open forum, before taking to Twitter in July 2009. He now has close to 1000 followers, including many women of a certain age with unusual names and a taste for lingerie.

His book has received a mixed reception. Internal research suggests it has an approval rating of 147% among Cabinet Office staff. And former Minister Tom Watson says that “understanding his mindset is among the most important tasks facing the British Government” Meanwhile Yes Minister author Antony Jay, whose latest play is currently touring, says Sir Humphrey would have envied the immense powers technology has put at Sir Bonar’s disposal, but appears to doubt whether the latter is able to use them wisely.

But digital champion Martha Lane Fox, despite confessing to a deep love of the absurd, describes Sir Bonar as “beyond the pale“. And satirist Chris Morris calls his efforts “utterly put-downable“.

Sir Bonar is unrepentant: “To me, this is simply like a normal year of dictating without sight,” he told Ideal Government. “Of course I haven’t read the damn thing.”

Judge for yourselves. The Twitters of Sir Bonar Neville-Kingdom is available in hardcover and pdf format from Lulu.com. Rate it, review it. Keep calm, and carry on.

3 Responses to “British Civil Service takes to social networking like duck to water, new book proves”


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David Moss wrote on November 22nd, 2010 12:27 pm :

“His [BoNK’s] dynamic ‘ring of soup’ philosophy of data sharing derives from the stock of Neville-Kingdom’s Customer Insight.” That’s what it says on lul and, as ever, the intrepid innovator’s insight proves, late in the day, researchers find it so hard to keep up with him, to be solidly grounded in empirical observations: “Scientists working at the world’s largest particle smasher – the Large Hadron Collider at CERN near Geneva, in Switzerland – have found that an exotic soup more than 10 trillion degrees Celsius in temperature was created immediately after the birth of the universe … This sticky, gloopy substance, known as a quark-gluon plasma, behaved like a hot liquid, according to their results”.

Christina Zaba wrote on November 22nd, 2010 2:16 pm :

One word. Marvellous.