The Cardiff Bay establishment has got itself worked up on Twitter over posts by Darren Millar MS which challenged the impartiality of individuals working in public affairs.
While the bay bubble was getting worked up over the posts, a teacher queried on the same platform whether he should wear a Yes Cymru t-shirt to work. That teacher’s post concluded with the hashtag impartial. The use of such a hashtag implies the teacher fully appreciated the clothing item crossed the line of acceptability in this regard.
The teacher’s post and the subsequent post wearing the t-shirt in the classroom raised concerns over professional conduct. Without knowing the teacher personally, it would be unfair to cast aspersions on his professionalism in this regard, yet the social media posts does raise concerns.
With changes to the curriculum and expansion of the franchise with the qualifying age to vote lowered to sixteen years old, such social media posts raise concerns about impartiality in the classroom.
Returning to Millar is it bullying to hold people to account for their actions? The accusation of bullying appears to have been bandied about to avoid holding individuals to account as part of the cosy relationship between public affair professionals and the Cardiff Bay elite?
Salient points raised by Millar about impartiality were dismissed out of hand as a form of bullying or linked to sexism. It is worth noting that last month Millar challenged Rob Simkins, a policy officer for Universities Wales for some of the views he expressed on social media. This undermines the narrative that Millar is merely targeting women working in public affairs out of some form of sexism.
We should be concerned about impartiality, when individuals who should be impartial cross the threshold they do a disservice to us all. A failure to be impartial can undermine public trust in institutions and professions.
As others highlighted on social media, the parameters of acceptable conduct vary according to the individual and the organisation that employs them. For some entities, this may require impartiality others may be afforded more latitude for posting opinions on social media.
An aversion to holding people to account for being partisan does a disservice to the people of Wales. Instead of dismissing legitimate concerns over impartiality by alleging bullying or sexism, Leanne Woods MS and co should challenge such behaviour.