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Fixed smiles

The Educational Institute of Scotland is unhappy with South Lanarkshire - nothing there for the news pages then.

The council's version of the national code of conduct for employees, drawn up by the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, is regarded as an erosion of working and personal rights.

Thus the council's employees are urged not to come to work pissed (we paraphrase), to start the day "in a clean and tidy condition", to avoid "close personal familiarity" with councillors and to act "selflessly" solely in terms of the council's interests. And quite right too.

But there's more. At a presentation to secondary heads on customer care, the heidies were told: "If you see someone who is not smiling, give them one of yours."

At least the staff can blow the whistle by reporting improper behaviour on the part of any colleague. On the other hand, they are not allowed to criticise the council publicly and must channel all contact with the media through the head of corporate communications and public affairs.

Anyone out there willing to give us a ring?

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