January 22nd, 2013

Paul Kirby’s Permanent Secretary Promotion Tantrum

Ben Brogan, who has an excellent civil service source, broke the news this morning that Paul Kirby, the apparently “respected” civil servant head of the No.10 policy unit, was leaving his post. Downing Street has now confirmed it: “The Prime minister thinks Paul did an excellent job recruiting and leading an excellent team.” Interestingly, Kirby won’t be replaced by another Civil Servant, instead this crucial role will revert back to a political appointment. As Guido recommended months ago (See: Downing Street Needs Ideological Wonks)

Paul Waugh has some more detail: “I am told it was Kirby’s decision to leave as he felt his main work had been done and the mid-term review was a natural point to leave.” That’s not what Guido is hearing though. 

A government source whispers that there was actually multiple reasons for the departure. Including that he was “completely useless”  had “no political nous” and a “totally bureaucratic mindset.” More embarrassingly, details are emerging of a tantrum resulting in Kirby returning to KPMG:

“He completely humiliated himself by demanding a promotion to permanent secretary. When he was told he had no chance, he opted to flounce out of government altogether rather than take a job in another department.”

“A natural time to leave”, indeed.


  1. 1
    8illy Kebab says:



    • 2
      8illy Kebab says:

      when does resigning when not promoted cross the line to flouncing out


      • 3
        Gideon, the UK's Iron Chancellor says:

        That’s the ticket, fat boy! No mention of deficit reduction, triple dips, credit rating downgrades or towel folding!


        • 7
          One-term Dave, dragging the Tories to their grave, says:

          Listen, plebs. Mali and places like that have become a magnet for jihadists from other countries. This poses a grave threat to Britons, Britain and Britain’s interests. We must be resolute. We must fight them. This battle, this existential battle, between us and them will not take weeks. It will not takes months. It will take years. Decades, even. But it is a battle we must win. And my first move in this battle is to sack 5,300 troops, because the money I’d have needed to retain them has all been blown on foreign aid.

          Toodle pip!


          • Kun Tea Bollox says:

            Listen, the only way some of these poor Jihadist freedom fighters can get hold of modern assault rifles, RPGs and limitless ammunition is through funding by DfID.


          • Mal! Watch says:

            French mess, they can sort that one out.

            You should be more worried about the actual British interests in Nigeria.


          • Anonymous says:

            When Cameron went to Libya, some of us said this is what is going to happen. Why do we need to go and interfere in another country and make it worse for us?

            In Iraq and Afghanistan there were much more troops, we still came out leaving a mess after spending few trillions. Nothing much is going to be achieved in Mali.

            Its not even going to help our trade. Just keep out of other peoples problems.


          • Anonymous says:

            Cameron is looking war as a way of hiding all the economic problems we have in UK.


          • Britain's first Female War Criminal says:

            +1. I was toast before Las Malvinas!


          • Mal! Watch says:

            The one war he needs to focus on there is that which is looming in the Falklands.

            France are now walking into a Mal!an quagmire, the West African version of Vietnam / Afghanistan. It is not in UK interests to get involved with that. Painting this as being a purely AQIM affair ignores the fact that the majority of unrest in Mal! country is native Tuareg and domestic.

            Canadian mining companies in particular were a catalyst there.

            As a desert country, the French liberating the main towns and cities will be caught in a siege situation before the locals turn on them. That is how they will ultimately lose.

            This could backfire royally on Hollande as well. Personally, am looking forward to seeing him impaled on the pyre of loopy tax and tricolor covered coffins.

            Problem for the UK is that the AQIM mob are looking to bridge gap across Niger and target Nigeria. That is where our resources should be focused, which they most likely are.

            Camerons spin on this should not be working as it is too much like the interventionist b/s that was sold pre-Iraq. In any case he is a weak leader so such words carry little credibility.

            Using this as a way of justifying increased defense expenditure and as a reason for reducing benefits / overall size of government is fine.

            A strong case for EU withdrawal can be built on the basis of the French intervention itself. Particularly if France comes under direct attack requiring UK intervention under certain EU treaty terms we are currently signed up to.

            The French funding of insurgents in Syria is yet to really be absorbed. Syria is the biggest security concern for Europe at present.


          • Anonymous says:

            France is sending 2,500 troops. I think of this only 500 will be in the front line at any time. Others will be resting, guarding camps, engineers, cooks, mechanic, admin staff, etc.

            Mali is said to be the size of France. I don’t think France is going to achieve much.


          • Misternedderry says:

            The problem is number 10’s recruitment process. They keep employing advisers who have no experience of the real world outside the cosseted Westminster bubble and so who are completely out of touch with the people who they need to vote tory next time.

            They need to employ someone who is 45+ from a northern working class constituency, who has worked in the public and private sectors and done some time on the dole.

            Problem for Dave is, such a person would tell him straight to steal and implement almost all of UKIP’s manifesto, this side of the next election.

            Cameron is staring defeat in the face, because there are more people willing to vote labour to get what Dave is implementing now, than there are people willing to vote conservative to get it.

            I’ll be voting UKIP.


          • green ink says:

            Cameron’s speech in the commons yesterday struck a pragmatic balance of the necessity to search out those responsible for murdering the hostages and seeking to use whatever means to do so. The lessons
            of Iraq and Afghanistan are writ large and he does not shrink from
            saying so.

            The current planned reduction in force numbers has nothing to do with the realities of dealing with this developing african issue.

            ….change the record number 7 you sound like Alastair Campbell


          • Major Idiocy (ret'd) says:

            According to Sky a short while ago Camerloon was chairing a meeting to decide whether (and how many) more Brit “boots” will be needed to reinforce the frogs.

            Maybe all our highly trained and disciplined redundant lads (and lasses?) can pop over and join the Foreign Legion as it seems they are going to be a bit occupied for the next couple of years or so. Climate is nice there too and at least their presence will be welcome and appreciated…


          • green ink says:

            no doubt the french would benefit from some assistance but the numbers are very unlikely to be large and almost certainly specialist.


          • Mal! Watch says:

            Brit boots up the French would be more constructive.


    • 28
      A Hedge Fund Manager says:

      30% of the upside, 0% of the downside. For verily I say, there is a mug born every minute.


    • 38
  2. 4
    tube_thumper says:

    rubbish non story


    get huhnes court case on the goi!!!


  3. 5
    skorpian de rooftrouser says:

    Flounce,flounce flounce I warned you I would leave flounce,flounce, flounce I am resigning honestly, I will leave you know, flounce,flounce.


  4. 6
    hank the cat says:

    It is well kown that flouncing is best done in a tutu.


  5. 8
    The Great Huhnedini says:

    For my next trick ladies and Gents I shall lead the Liberal democrats into the next election.


  6. 9
    You are completely useles and for that reason you are FIRED!! says:

    “Completely Useless”, is an excellent reason to sack someone, except it has to be phrased differently for the employment lawyers.

    So why can’t this also be applied to teachers, plods and doctors?


  7. 11
    834st says:

    Straight into the privet sector (yes I can spell Private)

    I bet those teeth have been wrapped around a cockatwo


  8. 14
    Roger the rest of us says:

    “resulting in Kirby returning to KPMG”

    Hope he negotiates the revolving door better than Tatler Alan


  9. 17

    I would like to flounce out of government and into mergers.

    Out of the lying pan and into the acquire.


  10. 18
    Able Seaman Schettino says:

    They say you are in denial when an island crashes into you.


  11. 21
    P l e b says:

    It is quite amazing that George Osborne gets to keep his job. I tend to care about things such as our fellow humans in this country going cold and hungry and we were, as a society supposed to contribute via a certain percentage of our wages – to assuring these things don’t happen to our neighbours, friends and family. One would think it the right thing for any society to do.

    Then along came George…. and sliced and diced it all away, gave what we earn to private interests to screw the people, we now work longer, harder for less service while the government pours more of our wages into private concerns and we surely are not taking care of one another. How on earth can growth come from any fiscal policy that creates an increase of poverty?

    Ah well, they probably serve Lobster croquettes at Davos, so why should he care?


    • 22
      Weimar Dave says:

      Don’t worry. I’ve got a new Canadian printer coming this year.


      • 31
        Canada is a pedophile state says:

        Yes. And he should be sent straight back.


        • 35
          Bankers run governments, for and on behalf of, bankers says:

          Whatever do you mean? Goldman Sachs gave him an excellent reference.


          • Lucky 'Irish' Larry Goodman in cahoots with Tessa Cohen's Tesco says:

            Fucking whinging goy, er, plebs! Let ‘em eat pink slime/sewerage-filled ‘Value Beefburgers’!


    • 25
      Sir William says:

      Then there’s all the many, many billions that go to support the Mafia, the bureaucrats and Eastern European criminal gangs via the EU, plus great slabs of subsidy to kleptocrats and consultants via ‘overseas aid’. Nor need anyone be cold if we didn’t have an ‘expensive energy’ policy.


      • 42
        Very Wealthy Wind Farm Gentry says:

        Expensive energy policy?

        What could be more free, more reliable and health giving, than the wind itself?

        Energy policy must be dictated by a ‘common sense’ approach and more importantly, energy security.
        What could be more secure than gas from Russia and Algeria and wind farms dependent on, the Chinese and Germans?


    • 36
      Zoom says:

      You have a wet bed damp smell about you. Go to CIF and you’ll find plenty to support your rather blinkered view of the nationalised world.

      Government DEBT has TRIPPLED since 2008. So doubled under McBreath, and doubled again under Dave. The cuts that are coming are going to make what has happened so far seem like a graze not even requiring the attention of a band aid.


      • 67
        Curly's Solutions Inc says:

        Well, let’s hope they are targetted at unwanted sponging immigrants – who may then deem it propitious to return whence they came.


  12. 23
    Sir William says:

    Of course, every organisation needs of few of these admin types to keep the wheels turning and the stationery cupboard stocked, but the idea that one could elevate them to a role in policy-making is absurd. Let the cobbler stick to his last, I say.


  13. 24
    old SHEP says:

    Talking about hedge funds and privet, EU has apparently stitched up a new deal to pay Farmers twice under CAP for set-aside (supposed to be illegal to do this) and talk of setting up ministries to control the press (on the back of the Leveson bandwagon), with powers to control anything that is printed under human rights laws, and would you believe to sack journalists. This nonsense has got to STOP!, Hello, hello anybody in their or out there?.


    • 34
      Great British Public says:

      We’ve been Brownbeaten browbeaten into submission.


      • 39
        old SHEP says:

        So they think.

        There’s no bread, let them eat cake
        There’s no end to what they’ll take
        Flaunt the fruits of noble birth
        Wash the salt into the earth

        But they’re marching to Bastille Day
        La guillotine will claim her bloody prize
        Free the dungeons of the innocent
        The king will kneel and let his kingdom rise

        Bloodstained velvet, dirty lace
        Naked fear on every face
        See them bow their heads to die
        As we would bow as they rode by

        And we’re marching to Bastille Day
        La guillotine will claim her bloody prize
        Sing, oh choirs of cacophony
        The king has kneeled, to let his kingdom rise

        Lessons taught but never learned
        All around us anger burns
        Guide the future by the past
        Long ago the mould was cast

        For they marched up to Bastille Day
        La guillotine claimed her bloody prize
        Hear the echoes of the centuries

        Power isn’t all that money buys



  14. 26
    Cynical-old-bag says:

    ……… completely useless, no political nous and a totally bureaucratic mindset……………

    “This crucial role will revert back to a political appointment.”

    ‘Nuff said.


  15. 30
    Jimmy says:

    “The Prime minister thinks Paul did an excellent job recruiting and leading an excellent team.”

    Yes but Butch probably thinks he did too.


  16. 37
    SAS SNOTTY!!! says:

    Wah! Wah ! Mali-Algeria-banksters-gideon-arms sales- !!! – tinfoil tea tray.


  17. 47
    Geordieboy says:

    Did he attend a Common Purpose course?


    • 72
      Curly says:

      ……… completely useless, no political nous and a totally bureaucratic mindset……………

      “This crucial role will revert back to a political appointment.”

      Sounds like it..


  18. 50
    Ubergruppenfuhrer Owen Jones says:

    Proud as hell! Our first eBook – the German version of “Chavs” now available. http://tinyurl.com/b4uvpx6


  19. 53
    Jimmy's Rightie Quote Of The Day says:

    “I believe that Gun Appreciation Day honors the legacy of Dr. King. The truth is, I think Martin Luther King would agree with me if he were alive today that if African Americans had been given the right to keep and bear arms from day one of the country’s founding, perhaps slavery might not have been a chapter in our history. And I believe wholeheartedly that’s essential to liberty.”

    [Larry Ward]


    • 65
      US Watch says:

      Yes – the spin on 2nd Amendment / slavery is about as accurate as the latest Twatino effort.

      If it was there for that reason, it did a pretty poor job eh ?

      Dems could see that as a problem though as they really did not want Lincoln’s emancipation acts to go through.


  20. 54

    Dearly Beloved,

    May the World still be of Good Cheer, the Day has Aged, The Hour has Passed. The Adjournment granted. The Lunch is called. May the Summonsed who steadfastly pray for PTHs to obtain Delivery from that which Greatly Concerns them, be spared the indignity of being found without a Leg to Stand On, and their Arraignment will resolve in some unexpected way known only to the Good Lord. We pray to God to give these dear people His Comfort and His Strength to accept their Fate, whatever that might be, now on another day to this one, and Withdraw them from the unremitting Public Spotlight into a Remote and Inaccessible place, not to be seen or heard for a Lasting Time. We pray also for the Strength and Guidance of the Judge and his Assistants.

    In the name of The Father, and of The Son, and of The Holy Spirit.


    The Reverend Clink will not be giving a further sermon until tomorrow.


  21. 61
    Devil in the detail says:

    ‘The Prime minister thinks Paul did an excellent job recruiting and leading an excellent team.’

    No direct mention about Paul’s performance.

    Still cannot see the logic of a policy unit not being headed up by political wonks though.

    Perhaps next the small matter of law firms with lobbying political wings, such as the one BW keeps spamming us with, could be dealt with ?


  22. 64
    Devils in the detail says:

    ‘The Prime minister thinks P@ul did an excellent job recruiting and leading an excellent team.’

    No direct mention about P@ul’s performance.

    Still cannot see the logic of a policy unit not being headed up by political wonks though.

    Perhaps next the small matter of law firms with lobbying political wings, such as the one BW keeps spamming us with, could be dealt with ?


  23. 73
    Mine d'Boggles says:

    Re: NHS advert at the bottom of the page ->

    Why would anyone who enjoys a smoke choose to use a cigarette with a lump of parrot dropping stuck on it? Does the NHS know something, but isn’t telling us?


    • 74
      old SHEP says:

      I don’t get adverts from anybody at the bottom of my (this) page or anywhere else, am I missing something?.


  24. 75
    keredybretsa says:

    Is this the ‘cutting through complexity KMPG’? Perhaps he might bring in a spot of Global inflexibility with a bit of incompetence thrown in, before he has a Global tantrum!


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