October 12th, 2011

Downing Street Needs Ideological Wonks

Guido has been marking various comings and goings in Downing Street and at the Policy Unit – supposedly the key ideas engine of a reforming government. Now run by non-political, technocratic, civil servants not known for radicalism. Chris Brown, referred to yesterday, is the education adviser whilst Paul Kirby and Kris Murrin run the unit. It seems to Guido that the Policy Unit could do with some outside talent.

The most obvious candidate to run a centre-right government’s policy unit would be Neil O’Brien who heads Policy Exchange, the biggest centre-right think-tank that basically supplanted the old, now slimmed-down, Conservative Research Department as the main source of Tory policy thinking.  James O’Shaughnessy, the former Policy Unit head, was ex-Policy Exchange…


Given we have a coalition government perhaps a former LibDem wonk might be appropriate. Mark Littlewood, now at the Institute of Economic Affairs, is the most orange of Orange Bookers and a former LibDem head of spin with a reputation for shaking things up. Coincidentally they have both been spotted coming and going to Downing Street…


  1. 1
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    No, It needs a PM with values and beliefs!


    • 9
      Anonymous says:

      As things are PM needs a team that looks into what ministers are up to. Most ministers had failed or aren’t able to do there jobs.


      • 17
        MI6 says:

        We need a proper Clear out. All of those vested interest have got Western Democratic State on the Floor. The Fraud and real cost and those that profit from WAR, Prohibition, Criminal justice system, Climate Change. Ha ha Carbon Capture and Storage, Whoever made that one up ha ha ha.


        • 128
          David Laws Lib Dem fiddler says:

          Does the latter have points on his licence, buy a house for his gay friend on the taxpayer, flip his house to avoid tax, have an interior designed house in Dolphin Square or know rock all about economics? If so, he would make an excellent Lie Dumb cabinet adviser.


      • 36
        Anonymous says:

        The former Sun editor and columnist attacked “Cameron’s obsessive arse-kissing over the years of Rupert Murdoch. Tony Blair … was pretty good, and Brown wasn’t too bad. But Cameron was the daddy of them all.”



        • 85
          M says:

          Not to worry if labour get back in control there’ll be no more kiss arsing Murdoch .
          The press will forced to pukka up & tow the line under a goose stepping socialist dictatorship
          Oh deep joy !


        • 102
          UN observer says:

          Kelvin is the last sane man left in Britain

          “There was always a queue to kiss their rings,” he said. “It was gut-wrenching. Cameron wanted Rupert onside as he believed, quite wrongly in my view, that the Sun’s endorsement would help him to victory.” MacKenzie said the Sun’s sales went down by 40,000 on the day the paper declared its support for the Tories.”



        • 157
          Anonymous says:

          Even though the Cabinet Secretary is now running an official investigation it is the Prime Minister who is the judge and jury of the ministerial code – as he made clear today at Question Time in Parliament. I’m told that David Cameron spoke to a close friend of Liam Fox’s last night and assured him that he would do whatever he could to keep the Defence Secretary in his post.



      • 116
        Horrorfan24 says:

        They should get Douglas Murray in there. Better yet, Peter Hitchens. Nevermind all this centre ground rubbish, let’s see some REAL ideological direction and ACTION


    • 12
      MI6 says:

      UK NEED HONEST BROKERS. Not low life self serving scum bags that jump to the Tune of Whitehall Mandarins. Stop telling the people that this is a PEACE TIME DEFICIT. That will be a Start.


    • 14

      I second that emotion!

      A PM who’s not a traitor would be nice.


      • 92
        Dave have to do better Cammers says:

        It’s not just by accident that wonks and wanks are sticky and stored in balls.


    • 22
      Dave and the white stuff says:

      I believe in something….gay marriage

      My pollsters told me to


    • 40
      F. Nicks says:

      Lambeth has been identified as having the highest murder rate of any London borough in the last five years.



      • 46
        Archer Karcher says:

        Strewth, what a surprise!!! Of course it’s all those right wing bigots fault.


      • 100
        Ken ( 'pond life' ) Livingscum says:

        Celebrate the rich multicultural diversity !!


        • 160
          AC1 says:

          Seems to be some kind of correlation…

          I wonder if anyone in leftwing science would like to see if there’s causation….


          • The Paragnostic says:

            Lambeth Palace is where Rowan the Chief Druid hangs out when he’s not busy pressing the Mugabe flesh – maybe it’s crack squads of CofE bishops taking non-comformists back for a thubscrew and a cucumber sandwich?


      • 108
        NSL says:

        Have you seen their parking charges?


    • 72
      SpinStripedChancer says:

      Agree totally. DC was always regarded as a complete wanker when he worked in PR for Carlton. GO is a smug little joker. They have no values or beliefs apart from #1. ‘Policy’ is merely a mechanism to identify what the focus groups have a hard on for and promise to deliver it. We deserve so much better but god knows where from.


    • 131
      Rewind1616 says:

      Will these wanks finally point out the crowd pleasing pissing obvious to our spaced out PM , that the UK is sick to death of fookin EU bloody interference.

      …. fuck me god forbid the Tories do anything about it & it’ll actually win them an outright majority next time!

      Spineless dildos


    • 154

      I suppose that these clowns who get appointed consider it a major achievement that they are promoted from being nothing but a lazy wank to the dizzy heights of policy wonk!!


  2. 2
    Anonymous says:

    Mark Littlewood was sacked for bring an incompetent,drunk, gambling addict. Unlikely choice.


    • 3
      Chris Hoon says:

      The perfect FibDem !!


      • 6
        Karl Schennedy says:

        I shay !


        • 34
          Sharles Kennennedy says:



          • Charlie says:

            Mark Littlewood was not sacked – he resigned for…errr telling the truth to journalists. It is true that he was not much-liked by many of the Lib Dem MPs (including one Adrian Sanders) but that was because he was famous for telling it as it was. As for drinking, gambling and smoking – I kind of like the fact that he is not some holier-than-thou hypocrite who says one thing and does another. And Littlewood after 10 gin and tonics is still a lot brighter and articulate than most of the MP’s he had to perpetually bail out of trouble.


    • 5
      Lard Presclott of Bulimia, B0g Seats, Beams,Bellies,Banjos,Punches, Croquet, Pies, Jags 'n' Shags says:

      Tracy used to refer to me as little wood.


    • 29
      The Paragnostic says:

      With a name like Littlewood, he must have come from the deep end of the gene pools…


  3. 4
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Enough of the Wonkers!



  4. 8
    Downging Street Supremo says:

    We believe in blue skies thinking, as long as it ends up supporting Morgan Stanley


  5. 10
    Well it's a thought says:

    Perhaps if they talked to us crap they may be able to come up with some policys, silly me we only get called on when the want us to vote.


  6. 11
    Historian says:

    You make a fundamental error, Guido

    Ideological wonks should not be paid by the taxpayer otherwise you get Damian McBride (head of strategy, remember !) & Co (and various union hacks, smear doctors etc)

    Party political policy should be crafted OUTSIDE of government

    And, if elected, a party can implement it


    • 13
      Jack says:

      The problem of this Coalition government is that it has no coherent policy

      Apart from legalising marriage between homos

      And dropping its drawers any time there is a problem


      • 16
        Bob says:

        These “policy units” etc, like the hundreds of spin doctors, are costing us bloody millions and producing zilch

        Abolish them (like the BBC)

        There will have to be a disaster before people learn, it seems


  7. 15

    No chance of a Conservative getting in, I suppose?


  8. 19
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:


    • 21
      Tom Badwind says:

      What’s the current expenditure of the NHS ?? Around £ 120,000,000,000 per year, isn’t it ?


      • 24
        Nightingale says:

        Has the expenditure on the NHS been cut since the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats got in to power~?


      • 28
        Ed Moribund says:

        In repose the leader of the soppysition said..

        “No where near enough! He just doesn’t get it..too far, too fast ..Millie Dowler ..etc.”


      • 52
        Cato Street Conspirator says:

        Yes, let’s go the American way, where they spend 2.4 times more on health per person than Britain and end up with life expectancy levels lower than here. Trust the market, eh?


        • 62
          Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

          And premiums are going up in the USA because of “Obamacare”


        • 99
          Tuscan Tony says:

          CSC you speak with dubious statistical tongue: much of the US life expectancy figure is down to shootings amongst the African American yoot community. |trip out those self-inflicted numbers and life there looks petty damn good.


        • 162
          AC1 says:

          That’s why so many travel/flee from countries with State monopoly treatment rationing to the terrible USAs healthcare services.


  9. 23
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Adam Werritty has gone to A & E after a bizarre sex game went wrong leaving him with 6 toy horses stuck up his ass.

    Doctors have described his condition as “stable.”


  10. 27
    Sir William Waad says:

    In a few years’ time we won’t have to worry about policy decisions. We will just ring Beijing, Delhi or Kuala Lumpur and ask them what they want us to do.

    It’s not the elephant in the room, it’s a damn great blue whale. We are now at the point where lenders in the Far East can close us down any time they want to. This is the reality, people – if we refuse to work for our living and pay our way we must end up totally dependent on those who do.


  11. 30
    TaT's tips says:

    Today I are mostly “Billy Bowden”


  12. 32
    minutiae-watcher spotter says:

    Go get em, Guido.


  13. 33

    The economy is in dire straights. The euro is barely functioning. America is bust.
    Energy prices are rising and inflation is lurking.

    What we need is a saviour.
    The man who saved the world last time needs to be brought out of retirement.

    If only there was some sort of symbol we could shine into the sky to attract his attention away from ‘Celebrity come dine with me.’
    Something the old Scots warrior would recognise .

    A giant gold bar? A Lehmans logo? The VAT MAN sign?


  14. 35
    annette curton says:

    DIY tip.
    I bought a centre right wall fixing bracket by mistake for an old appliance that was hanging off the wall, but after measuring the distance in Cm between that and the old left of centre one I found there was no need to reposition the screws, just drill a slightly bigger hole.


  15. 42
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:


  16. 47
    Cato Street Conspirator says:

    Mark Littlewood – I was wonderng what that sneering ideologically rigid arrogance reminded me of. Then I remember – Communist Party officials before their dream collapsed.


  17. 50
    Gordon Brown says:

    Today I am a rhinoceros.


  18. 55
    Watch the cadaver dance says:

    Fox is spinning like a corpse on a gibbet. Won’t someone put him out of his misery?
    A tangerine and a pair of stockings should do the trick.


  19. 63
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Why am I so populer ?


  20. 65
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:


    • 67
      Bird Brain says:

      It’s twin seems to shit on Dave Miliband’s bonce with equal regularity, an all.


    • 70
      Afghanistan Banana Stand says:



    • 76
      I don't need no doctor says:

      The pigeon would make a better leader of labour than Ed Miliband. Infact labour’s shadow cabinet would be best replaced by pigeons.


    • 78
      Infuriated of West Mids says:

      I’ve heard that if you shave that bit of his hair off, that’s where the “mark of the beast” is.

      I have no reason to doubt my source.


      • 81
        I don't need no doctor says:

        Is the mark anything like Ed Balls?


        • 95
          Infuriated of West Mids says:

          I understand that it looks uncannily like a bare-legged Gordon Brown lifting up the vent of his ill-fitting, creased jacket and taking a steaming dump on a pound sign. A bit like the “no dog fouling” stickers on lamp-posts, but without the cross through it.

          Ed Balls knows the truth, but has sold his soul in return for being the most irritiating man in British politics.

          Of course, it might all just be an urban myth, like Rolf Harris or lesbian threesomes. But I doubt it.


  21. 75
    Drop a Daisy cutter on the BBC says:

    Remarkable coincidence that just a couple of months after the England riots where the Blackberry played a large part in organising the riots and Blackberry not being happy to pull the plug on their services if a Government requested it, we suddenly find Blackberry ‘taken out’

    Anyone want to bet that in fact Blackberry have been targeted by a western Government to see how easy it is to take out Blackberry services in the event of a mass riot?

    It just so happens a large part of western Europe and possibly the USA is reaching the point of no return and mass riots are likely (already kicking off in Greece).

    Expect to see Google and Apple on the hit list next with ‘an outage’

    Oh and they also took out BT the other week as well.


    • 79
      I don't need no doctor says:

      Please someone take the BBC riot mongers out.


    • 89
      Pissed-off consumer of futuristic technology says:

      Don’t go near Madasafish then. ‘Outage’ is their default modus operandi.


    • 125
      Engineer says:

      If they take out Blackberry and Apple, will we be left with Orange?


    • 136
      MI5 says:

      It’s true I pulled the plug on Blackberry in Slough

      But Boss didn’t tell me it would blackout the whole of Europe, Africa and the Middle East

      It even cut off our own operatives


  22. 84
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:


  23. 91
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    I’m teh real Belly Bowdin


  24. 98
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Stop socking me


  25. 104
    Sugar Daddy says:

    Happy Birthday, Ewanme xx. 28 again?


    • 120
      Ewanme says:


      27 this time , honey – thank you for askin x .

      Gonna make some sag poneer an prawn madras an then watch it grow mouldy for a few days .

      Eatin ain’t really my thing .

      E x .

      P.S. Have fun guys .


  26. 105
    Lord Paddy Ashdown, the last Liberal Real Liberal Leader says:

    I wish to make a contribution to your ideological debate

    I will take my pants down on 1st December in Parliament Square

    Then you will all understand Liberal policy


  27. 106
    Quango mania says:

    How many units needed to make a policy?


  28. 109
    The staff of the BBC says:

    The staff of the BBC will collectively come out tomorrow

    Y ftonts, white stuff and all…

    We are pride…


  29. 114
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Will peple who are not billy Bowden please stop posting now


  30. 117
    The House of Common Sense says:

    Their thinking is wonky.
    We need people who live in the real world who have a lot of common sense.


    • 122
      Engineer says:

      If they live in the real world and have common sense, you’ll have hell’s own job interesting them in the role of policy wonk. Or anything else associated with the Westminster village.

      I’m afraid we’re stuck with a stream of Oxbridge PPE graduates with no real experience on their CVs, and there’s pretty much sod-all we can do about it for the forseeable future.


  31. 124
    Vickie Verman says:

    Chris Brown slaps diz bytch up well gid. Rihanna is on dat powder now. She is well mental. Is dat Chris Brown gona play zum tunes at Chav High demental Skool?


  32. 126
    Bunch of Wankers = Labour says:

    Chancellor George Osborne told the Commons today:-
    I think everyone can agree that a strike would be absolutely the worst thing for the British economy at the moment. I want to know if they [Labour] are going to support that strike or if they are going to condemn it? I don’t want any weasel words about a proper negotiation process.

    Shadow chancellor Ed Balls replied:-
    The whole country wants to avoid a strike but that requires this Chancellor to change his proposals on a deeply unfair 3pc rise in public pension contributions.
    We can avoid a strike but it requires this inflexible Chancellor to do the right thing, not the wrong thing.

    “deeply unfair 3pc rise in public pension contributions”
    Unfair, really! And what about everyone else?

    “do the right thing, not the wrong thing”
    Another typically vague comment from Balls!


    • 127
      Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

      The better bit was just after when Balls cited the change to RPI , then GO reminded him that Labour agreed.


    • 139
      nell says:

      There is nothing unfair about taxpayer funded, gold plated pensions that can be taken at 60 by the happy millions employed in their government non-jobs whilst the rest of us are having to wait until we are 62 or 63 or even more for lesser and hard earned, privately paid for, private pensions which incidentially gordon devalued to fund his manic spending spree.


  33. 130
    • 132
      nell says:


      OK we get the message. He and his ‘thousands’ are going to occupy to london stock exchange and not leave until their demands are met – going to see a transfer of power from the few to the many and there is no need for austerity he says.

      I think he might be disappointed on a number of fronts, however what struck me is how similar his message sounded to the one sent out by gaddafi to ‘his people’ in the last fews days, from his timbuktu palace, telling them ‘to come out on the streets in their millions’………………..

      And as always I hope he’s not expecting the labour party or union leaders to be with him because the likes of serwotka and bobcrow will be supping champagne in a five star restaurant whilst the rabble do their bidding and militwit and balls will be hiding behind a sofa somewhere.


      • 159
        Infuriated of West Mids says:

        I’d be inclined to introduce anti-Jody measures to the Capital. I’m thinking cattle grids should do the trick, unless he’s got off-road tyres.

        Harsh, and I wouldn’t normally joke about a genuine disability, but a) it’s Jody McIntyre; b) I hate him with every fibre of my being; and c) He writes God-awful poetry that’s even worse than Carol Ann Duffy’s.

        [and d} we may well find out he can walk perfectly well when push comes to shove, so he can have a good old-fashioned police beating and we can stop his welfare].

        Everyone’s a winner.


  34. 133
    Bumstone & Fecal says:

    “Coincidentally they have both been spotted coming and going to Downing Street…”

    Hopefully not through the back door, there’s only so many gay jokes to go round you know.


  35. 135

    Hiya friends. now just be honest about it. Did you ever consider the possibility that your penis, and in the case of many dignified ladies, that the size of the titties themselves might provide elements of subconscious tension? Weird, twisted anxieties that could force a human being to have to become a politician …

    Frank Zappa – 200 Motels


  36. 142
    Billy Bowden's sister says:



  37. 144
    Reuters correspondent says:

    And they are still fiddling the books in Parliament

    Audutors refuse to certify accounts



  38. 145
    Squeaker & Cicciolina says:

    Is any mention of Squeaker censored now?


  39. 146
    RED ED - SON OF BROWN says:



    • 152
      Lord Chief Justice says:

      Noel Gallagher……… for PM

      Guido …………………Deputy PM

      Kelvin Mackenzie……..Head of Policy

      Phil the Greek…………Spokesman

      We can still be saved….


    • 153
      Fabians are Evil says:

      Never mind Fox and his chums – THIS IS AN EFFIN BIG ICEBERG!!!


  40. 149
    My name is Bollox says:

    Total bollox


  41. 156
    albacore says:

    Pray elucidate, Fawkes.
    Does this Policy Unit cobble together brand new ideas on what the government should do next; or does it merely guess how best to implement existing governmental policies?
    If the former, what is Dave for apart from proving that hands that do dishes can be soft as his, erm…?


  42. 163
    Observer says:

    Sod the policy unit. How about listening to Conservative voters and party members? Or looking at the UKIP website?


    • 171
      John Bellingham says:

      Terry Gilliam’s film Brazil on BBC4. Haven’t seen it for years, never noticed the Government poster on the walls before.
      “We’re all in it together”


  43. 165
    Reimer says:

    Portuguese foreign minister on ‘Newsnight’ trying to say “We are focussed” comes out saying “we are fuck you said”


  44. 167
    Domino says:

    Who the fuck is Steve Coogan constantly looking at off camera during his debate with Louise Mench on Newsnight. FFS it reminds me of Brian Wilson constantly looking for validation from Eugene Landy or was he looking for “Handers” from the BBC crew surrounding them ?


  45. 169
    It Stinks says:

    Be in NO doubt that the attack on Fox is from Red Yellow and Blue on a TRUE Blue.


    • 175
      WVM says:

      Indeed and I agree, but this little friend of Dr Fox’s that’s been following him around everywhere with an oddly printed business card is rather strange and when you add in that Dr Fox is the Minster of Defence a full investigation is correct and appropriate.


    • 177
      Joe public says:

      It’s time we had a gay amnesty. If your gay then come out and tell us as we don’t care in fact we will rejoice with you that your ordeal is over and you can be yourself.
      Then all this nonsense will come to an end. I want to know what you think can be done about our economy , jobs, pensions, health , defence and national security. FFS what’s so hard to understand about that !


  46. 174
    For love of Country says:

    Fox is a patriot and a Eurosceptic. As such he attracts funding from like minded people, why is that considered wrong?

    Has Britain become so pro Brussels that any sign of dissent will be met by Total character assassination ?


  47. 178
    Mongs of the World Unite ! says:


  48. 181
    viva la beast says:

    This would be the same Mark who told me that he would love to see Britain run by the EU?
    Yup he should fit in very well with traitor Cameron


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