26 Oct

Portcullis_Logo‘We are all in this together’ we were told.  Almost everybody faced cuts in public spending and any department deemed important enough had their budgets ring fenced, increasing inline with inflation.  This also applied to the Civil Service, or so we were led to believe……

Spads, or Special Advisors to give them their proper title, are Civil Servants and therefore, according to the Government’s own mantra, liable to the same cuts as everyone else.  However, since the coalition came to power and contrary to David Cameron’s protestations, the Government’s Special Advisors have increased by 16%, from 85 to 98 at a cost to the tax payer of £7.2 million……

David Cameron and Nick Clegg have 35 Spads, 20 work for Cameron, 15 for Clegg and they have some pretty interesting jobs.  In fact there’s a Spad for pretty much anything; several for some things.

David Cameron has two Spads for Scotland and a Senior Spad for Scotland.  He has a Director of Communications and a Head of Strategic Communications, a Chief of Staff, two Deputy Chiefs of Staff and a Director of Strategy, an Advisor on Broadcastings, a Press Secretary, a Chief Speech Writer and a Speech Writer, a Policy Researcher and Advisor on Policy.  He even has an Advisor on Women and to top it off, a Personal Assistant to the Wife of the Prime Minister.  This begs the question, what do his Cabinet do, or what do their Spads do for them……? Alastair-Campbell_1569172c

By virtue of being ‘temporary Civil Servants’ the Spads are also allowed to be lobbyists which is clearly a conflict of interests if ever I saw one.  And who are they and where do they come from?  Many are ‘career’ politicians; starting as interns, becoming Civil Servants and moving up the greasy pole.  Ed Balls, Ed Milliband and David Milliband are all former Spads; others, especially when it comes to communications, are prior journalists, like the infamous Alistair Campbell……



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