January 18th, 2013

Whitehall Wars: Flak for Sir Humphrey’s Mouthpiece

Yesterday’s column by Sue Cameron has gone down pretty badly with more radical elements of the government. The Telegraph commentator, known for her pro-civil service outlook, essentially accused the Tories of imagining that the mandarins are all against them. One Whitehall source raged to Guido last night:

“Sue Cameron says “the idea that officials are blocking reform” is “patent nonsense” wondering whether these are “imagined” failings. Yet with no sense of irony at all, she misquotes Jeremy Heywood (who is known to be supportive of giving ministers a greater say in Permanent Secretary appointments) to (falsely) claim he will “block such a move”. Ms Cameron suggests Sir Jeremy will use a “policy of ‘masterly inactivity’” – but wouldn’t that be exactly the sort of blocking or treading water that ministers like Maude have been complaining about?”

They have a point…

UPDATE: Westminster wag adds “It’s unfair to describe her as Jeremy Heywood’s mouthpiece; she takes briefings against him, but only from Sir Gus.”


  1. 1
    left wing, right wing.... it's all the same bird! says:

    could we remind them who’s mouthpieces they are?


  2. 2
    Handycock (Teen Fondler) says:

    You just can’t criticise the Bureaucrats because you never know when you will need them to get you out of the shit, just like is happening in Portsmouth with me at the moment. We are all in this together and you taxpayers are paying for it. Boaz.

  3. 3
    Sir Humphrey says:

    Yes Minister.

  4. 4
    But what does Sir Humphrey do says:

    F all.

  5. 5
    The Grand Master, Grand Lodge, Great Queen Street says:

    I didn’t think that bureacrats were giving you any protection at the moment Handy. If you want the Brotherhood to leave you to the protection of the bureaucrats just let me know. Jahbulon

  6. 6
    A pedant says:

    Whose! (Bloody educashun standards).

  7. 7
    rudolph says:

    It is all about having your cake and also eating it.
    It is all like an Alice in Wonderland story…. and we have an abundance of (brown) hatters.

  8. 8
    WOW says:

    For someone who doesn’t live in Westminster I must say that this is extremely boring

  9. 9
    Tachybaptus says:

    May you live in interesting times.

  10. 10
    Penfold says:

    Disconnected, living in that utopian cloudcuckooland that politicoes inhabit.

    She’ll be demanding a Damehood next.

  11. 11
    Corrie L'Anus says:

    One can but smile at poli’tit’ians traducing the humble penpushing Civil Service…I strongly suspect that eg the fuel duty change when that numpty Minister was hammered by Paxman, that pasty nonsense, child benefit trumpeting without thinking it through, announcing all energy companies will offer lowest tariffs, selling off forests, caravan tax etc etc…were ideas and cock-ups from spads and politicos with advice of bureaucrats routinely ignored. Incompetence due to arrogance rather than Sir Humphreys…not that the Civil Service is a bastion of efficiency!!

  12. 12
    Jon Snow says:

    My bus pass and I travelled into the C4 studios this morning by bus. Snow driving in the snow, oh how I laughed.

  13. 13
    Sir Humphrey says:

    I liaise.

  14. 14
    Handycock (Teen Fondler) says:

    Jahbulon Grand Master. Rest assured I will always need your protection, as I always have, but I am in a spot of bother at present and I know you are extremely busy with Chris Huhne so I am letting local council officers fix it for me; after all I have tripled their pay, so they owe me. Many thanks as usual. Boaz.

  15. 15
    dick dastardardly mp says:

    Where are all my posts going? Have MI5 already implemented their controls ?

  16. 16
    dick dastardardly mp says:

    What’s the definition of “Yeeeessssss …….”

    A Senior Civil Servant saying “no” to a Minister

  17. 17
    dick dastardardly mp says:

    ” Masterly inaction” is what’s known elsewhere in the Civil Service as ‘incapability ‘ and leads towards the ‘Exit’ sign

  18. 18
    Anonymous says:

    it is interesting that behind the shout equality there is great inequality.
    we do become equal when gripping together.

    since christ there has never been a time like now.

  19. 19
    Jimmy says:

    Are you suggesting Butch be allowed run the country without adult supervision?

  20. 20
    Anonymous says:

    mistaking lethagy for strategy

  21. 21
    Curly says:

    It is well known that Brown deliberately ignored advice not to sell the gold. Arrogant barstewards these politicos. We woz at Eton so we knows it all.

  22. 22
    inside- out says:

    We the British people are being hit by double whammy,a failing Civil service and also failing governing class.
    They are recruited from the same background ie Public school-Oxbridge-Civil service-job for life.
    Political class Public school-Oxbridge-researcher-SPAD-safe tory/labour/libdem/seat-job for life.
    Until this cosy arrangement is changed we have no hope.

Seen Elsewhere

Users of Gay Hook-Up App Grindr Infected | TechnoGuido
ISIS Raising Funds Online Using Bitcoin | TechnoGuido
UKIP’s Youth Challenge | BBC
ISIS Operative: This Is How We Send Jihadis To Europe | BuzzFeed
Shapps Defends Bashir Defection | Seb Payne
Tory Leadership Contenders Jostle Over Europe | Alex Wickham
Cutting Taxes is Good For You | Art Laffer
Suspects Will Now Have to Prove Innocence | Laura Perrins
Labour Cllr: Cops Shouldn’t Stop Petrol Thieves | HandF Forum
Creeping Cultural Acceptance of Anti-Semitism | Eric Pickles
Time For Greece to Leave Eurozone | Allister Heath

Rising Stars
Find out more about PLMR AD-MS

Boris on British Jihadis. Apparently based on MI5 intel:

“If you look at all the psychological profiling about bombers, they typically will look at porn. They are literally w***ers. Severe onanists. They are tortured. They will be very badly adjusted in their relations with women, and that is a symptom of their feeling of being failures and that the world is against them. They are not making it with girls, and so they turn to other forms of spiritual comfort — which of course is no comfort.”

Tip off Guido
Web Guido's Archives

Subscribe me to:


AddThis Feed Button

Guido Reads

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,717 other followers