Civil servants in the Westminster government are being offered crystal healing sessions, well-being events, and other “hocus pocus bollocks,” allegedly all paid for by the taxpayer.
First publicised and uncovered by the British politics blog, Guido Fawkes, British civil servants working in Westminster are currently offered a number of strange free courses to attend throughout the week, giving them the opportunity to skip work to attend these sessions.
The schedule for November 3 included a 9 a.m. “counselling session” for any ethnic minorities, a two-day “well-being event” entitled “it’s all about me,” and an interactive session at 12 p.m. entitled “reshaping negative thoughts and language into positive affirmations.”
Guido highlighted probably the most insane event of them all, which was “a beginners guide to crystal healing and deep relaxation,” which took place at 2 p.m. The programme invited the government employees to learn about the “benefits of crystals,” and then engage in a “deep relaxation” session. Speaking to Guido, a government minister slammed the sessions as being “hocus pocus bollocks,” and something that you’d expect to find in Los Angeles, “not in Whitehall!”
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However, rather than being apologetic, a spokesman for the Cabinet Office defended the plans. “Like most large organisations, the Civil Service runs events aimed at improving the wellbeing of staff,” the statement said. “We are putting in place additional due diligence to ensure our internal offer to staff is appropriate and value for money. The session in question incurred no cost to the taxpayer.”
In response, Guido noted that “the Cabinet Office’s claim that no taxpayer cost was incurred can only be true if the Civil Servants were taking unpaid leave to attend the event during office hours, which Guido does not believe was the case.”
The Department of Work and Pensions had earlier this month timetabled a rather exceptional Question and Answer event, where civil servants had the opportunity to ask a witch questions over lunch. After it was highlighted by Guido, the event, organised by the DWP’s “Faith and Belief Network,” was cancelled, although an event scheduled for two days prior where people were able to learn how to be a pagan was still available.