The British Civil Service was heavily influenced by the bureaucracy of the British East India Company which also resulted in the Indian Civil Service.
The British televsion series Yes, Minister is a parody of the Civil Service's relationship with government.
The civil service is meant to be politically independent, and is not appointed by ministers. However, ministers can appoint "special advisers" who are not politically independent. This has caused conflict between special advisers and members of the civil service, such as that between Martin Sixsmith and Jo Moore, who both worked for Stephen Byers when he was Transport Secretary.
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