February 18th, 2013

Smallest and Youngest Downing Street Team on Record


As Guido revealed in yesterday’s Sun column, there is some truth to the much-levelled charge that Downing Street is overrun with “kids”. The PM’s team is smaller and younger than at any point in the last ten years. The Prime Minister’s Office currently employs 181 staffers, almost 50 fewer than at the peak of Tony Blair’s government. Their average age is 39, lower than any point in the last ten years other than 2004/5, when it was the same. And they’ve been getting younger since Dave took office…


136 Comments

  1. 1
    Tuscan Tony says:

    If they’ve 20 years’ experience of the private sector, running a business, and the joys of cashflow then who cares?

    However if they’ve spent their decades living off their parents then they could easily be an average of 55 years old and still know less than Ed Milliband.

    • 3
      Anonymous says:

      and the stupidest team.

      • 97
        Chuckas Yamoney says:

        …and Guido’s office has been getting younger and younger since taking office.

        When the relatively experienced Emily No Mates left leaving the hopelessly young Hooray Harry “home alone”, Guido eventually replaced her with the pimpled fissog of Mr. Wickham.

        Pot – Kettle – Black

    • 20
      Graham says:

      Is it possible to know less than Ed Miliband ? Or Balls, Cooper, Byrne, Burnham,……. ?

      • 92
        Labour MPs are officially morons says:

        No. If you consider that the most important issue of our time is the dire state of our nation’s finances, and that Ed Miliband’s first choice as shadow chancellor was Alan Johnson, we get a true measure of the cretinous nature of Labour MPs.

        Of all the MPs Labour has, their leader, Ed Miliband, decided that Labour’s top choice to fix the nation’s finances was a shelf-stacker from Tesco. Whilst not wishing to denigrate shelf-stackers, my local Tesco employs mongoloids to do that job, so it’s not very demanding. Every other Labour MP was considered for the post of shadow chancellor and passed-over. Alan Johnson, an amiable imbecile, was the best they had.

        • 113
          yeah, right... says:

          Yes but wasn’t that appointment made just to annoy Ed Balls?

          In which case, wholly justifiable.

    • 52
      DC/AC says:

      They have been screwing each other for years and are therefore perfectly well qualified to screw the country.

    • 63
      Laurie Penny says:

      Reality has SERIOUSLY let me down and I am VERY CROSS.

  2. 2
    cluless wonks says:

    straight from private school to Oxbridge to a job with Daddys friends in the Tory party. just what we need to guide us out of this financial crisis. a load of chinless wonders with zero experience of the real world and the lack of empathy only a live of privilege can bring.

    Bravo.

    worst thing is, Labour and Lib Dems are exactly the same. Our political class have very little clue what life is about.

    • 42

      So Dave’s filled his staff with the well-connected but clueless. A second class mind can only feel comfortable when surrounded by 3rd class minds, and oh boy is Dave second class.

    • 119
      Catty Comment (Ms) says:

      Seems like the famous “teenage scribblers” never actually grew up then.

  3. 4
    Sarah says:

    New Labour, New Conservatives – no difference at all.

    If this is an attempt to hood wink us into thinking that the state is being dismantled it is a poor one.

    The state is massive and bleeding the taxpayer dry.

    Vote Ukip – small state, low taxes – Britain first.

    • 6
      Bandits at 4 o'clock says:

      If the answer is Wing Commander Farage it has got to be a fucking stupid question!

      • 31
        Hang The B@stards says:

        What a question like….

        “Who do you trust more on the EU ? Gordon Brown ? Ed Milliband ? Tony Blair ? Wavey Davey ? or True Brit Farage ?”

        Now is that a stupid question ?

        • 35
          Anonymous says:

          something about nigel farage
          something about nigel farage
          something about nigel farage
          something about nigel farage

          • Bristol Rover says:

            Say what you like about Farage, he speaks the truth and is not some clueless PPE idiot, who has done nothing and knows nothing at all, regarding the real world. This country needs a lot more Farage’s and rather fewer Camerband’s or Gideon Cleggballs.

          • Fishy says:

            No he doesn’t. Farage repeatedly tells the biggest lie in British politics about Cameron and the EU referendum.

            UKIP will never get a single MP elected, they are a one man band run by a swivel eyed Huhne-like egotist.

        • 44
          Con Artists says:

          Vote LibLabCon get more EU and unsustainable immigration. No thank you.

          Vote Ukip, get Ukip.

          • average joe says:

            Latest poll in the Independent puts UKIP in 3rd place at 15%.

            Idiot dems are third with 8%.

            LibLabCon = flat earthers = no thank you…

  4. 5
    Plus ca change says:

    That’s what we really need. A bunch of kids advising the morons on how to run the country. Heaven preserve us all.

    What will happen in 2015? – just a change of kids and a different set of morons!

  5. 7
    Cargo Cult Government says:

    Further evidence that the notion of domestic governance is a myth.

    This is cargo cult government.

  6. 9
    A. Dwarf says:

    John Bercow?

  7. 10
    No steps forward 100 steps back says:

    Wow!, all that experience of Camoron’s “experts” no wonder the country is in a mess, these are the same “kids” that have been taught in the 1997 to 2010 trash years by common purpose and communists and Camoron expects great things from them, pigs seen flying over Downing st or maybe with any luck American drones.

    • 12
      Sam Sung says:

      Look on the bright side – plenty of fresh young arseholes for the bumbandits to plunder.

      Delicious.

    • 85
      Axe The Telly Tax says:

      Average age of 39 means they were leaving school in 1992 and were therefore educated mostly under Thatcher.

      • 120
        Curly says:

        Yes, but they actually developed under the Blair/Brown years, so probably had all the sense bored out of them {take that verb as you find it}

  8. 11
    TUMOUR TOM says:
  9. 16
    Tarquin says:

    39 too young? bet 50 is too old (unless the person saying it is over 50)

    Seriously though – a decline of two years on a frankly meaningless scale is not really newsworthy

    • 23
      T T T Talkin bout m m m my generation says:

      I hope I die before I get old.

    • 50
      Anonymous says:

      The rot started way before the above statistics.

      The missing information is the deviation. The most important issue in politics is the narrowing of the MP’s view point. This is countered by having a mix of ages. If every MP was brought up in the same decade we are in serious trouble.

    • 110
      Rat's arse says:

      Agreed Tarquin.

  10. 17
    BBC Head of Communications says:

    Actually, I said CHANCER…

  11. 18
    Polly Tuscanee says:

    I’m starting to get really pissed off with that Beard bitch. She’s never out of the papers. What a fucking upstart! She needs to know that I’m the darling of the left. I’m the one who writes anti-Tory hyperbollocks. I’m the one that the BBC always roll out for outrageous opinions. Stick to teaching dear and leave radical politics to me.

  12. 19
    (I don't need no doctor) says:

    Why is Lenny Henry reading the news on BBC News 24?

  13. 25
    P l e b says:

    181 staff just for the Prime Minister?
    Who’s paying for this?
    Let me guess…

  14. 26
    Is someone taking the Piss? says:

    Strike turnout is high this morning as BBC NUJ members take action

    http://www.nuj.org.uk/innerPagenuj.html?docid=2815

  15. 27
    (I don't need no doctor) says:

    Chilcot?
    Andrew Mitchel?
    Margaret Hodge?

    Were are we with the above? Update please.

  16. 31
    Operation Crossbow says:

    Even when on strike the BBC manage to get a blow job interview by John Pinhead on Ed Miliband (Radio 5 right now)

  17. 37
    Anonymous says:

    i think it is hysterical some of you people think Labour were communists.

    total morons.

    • 48
      Commie's everywhere says:

      Prove otherwise?.

    • 56

      I think it’s hysterical the way trolls like you try to rewrite history and are so ashamed you deny your party’s roots.

    • 76
      Chairman Jack says:

      What about communist leader and conscientious objector, the young John Whitaker “Jack” Straw?

      • 106
        Spokeshave says:

        What about Jack Jones, a Soviet plant tasked with destroying British manufacturing?

        Or what about the hordes of useful idiots spewed out by the Fabian Society and its brainchild, the LSE?

        I could go on but I’m beginning to feel ill.

    • 83
      Operation Crossbow says:

      Well Liebore invaded Afghanistan just like the commies did. Liebore had opposition politicians arrested, just like the commies did. Liebore had people killed (let’s call it murder) in NHS shithouses just like the commies.

      Liebore tried to silence the press just like the commies did. Liebore lined their own pockets, just like the commies did.

    • 94
      Anonymous says:

      Fascists maybe. Oh hang on, there is no difference!

  18. 39
    Graham Swift says:

    Why 181 tossers ? What exactly do they do ? Another area which needs extensive pruning.

    • 124
      Curly apologises says:

      Sorry pal, just seen this, but I made a similar comment at 121 above before I saw yours. Great minds…

  19. 45
    Casual Observer says:

    So if kids are being locked in padded rooms for being disruptive:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2280017/Schools-accused-operating-secret-punishment-rooms-deal-severely-autistic-children.html

    Why is Andy Burnham and others still walking the streets after orchestrating mass murder ?

    • 58
      Anonymous says:

      ‘cos he’s an MP and they work to different set of laws to the plebs

    • 79
      The BBC are cunts says:

      Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh !! Let’s talk about the bedroom ‘tax’ !

    • 95
      Anonymous says:

      Even in my day there were children that needed restraining. There were also two teachers that needed restraining!

      We are all imperfect. The problem of a “one size fits all” society is that it suffers greatly from the candidates at the extremes of the spectrum.

      One child tried to kill a whole row of children by throwing a massive desk, thankfully it went over their heads! One teacher tried to beat a child to death with a chair.

      What should the school do in situations that develop to these levels?

      • 125
        Curly wonders says:

        Sack the entire teaching staff and start again with people who know what they are doing?

  20. 46
    Thought for the Day. says:

    Chris Huhne’s mum was the speaking clock.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Huhne

  21. 47
    Lard Pressclott of Beams, Bellies, Banjos, Bulimia, two bog seats, two Jags & Shags. says:

    Under Labour during the 1970′s, we turned Britain into the ‘Sick Man of Europe’. Under B£iar, Brown and myself, we have turned Britain into ‘The Fat Man of Europe’. Only under a Labour administration can you be guaranteed fatness and sickness.

    • 59
      Diane Abbott says:

      I am the Fat Bot of Europe.

    • 71
      bergen says:

      It’s the age of some of them that’s really worrying. The shops are full of real lard buckets under 30. They will always be fat and requiring NHS treatment and claiming disability benefits by the time they reach 50. If we worry that we’re broke now, just wait.

      • 98
        Anonymous says:

        Don’t worry, they will be in supermarket burgers by then. Soylentburger, anyone?

      • 104
        Anonymous says:

        This is the result of CBI etc. pronouncements that our children then were worthless. The industry could get their workers from elsewhere. They were not needed and were condemned universally as useless.

        That attitude and policy had an consequence. Everyone is paying for it now and long into the future.

        • 126
          Curly says:

          Also local councils selling of acres of school playing fields over the years (to ensure nobody was “competitive” or able to indulge in normal sporting activities) was not exactly helpful.

    • 81
      Mine d'Boggles says:

      Why is a tax supposed to be the solution (sorry about the pun). But seriouly, why is an increase in tax going to help?

      • 91
        The Magical Lefty tax Pill says:

        It won’t. But Tax is the new cure all for the lefty political class. They have a mindset that tax cures all bad things

  22. 49
    restore the monasteries says:

    If we keep having young advisers,they will keep repeating the same mistakes,
    because mistakes are part of learning,but,older wiser people have often seen it all before..It is a mistake to have such young advisers,as is evident by the outcomes of the last ten to fifteen years,but,the trouble is,you cannot tell them,they will not listen ,and sincerely believe they are correct.On top of which,at that age range,they are at their sexual peak,which can be a major distraction to functioning correctly,so,no matter what the older ones say,they will probably be ignored,and the mistakes will continue..Not clever,not wise…..

    • 73
      Anonymous says:

      The proof comes when you listen to the aged version of the most extreme young politicians. They actually sound normal. This is either due to them being good predictors of the change in our society or (more likely) they mellow with time after they have lost their manic idealism.

      There is nothing worse than a politician that ignores input to drive through their own ideas. Especially when it results in deaths. Some should realize that these roads have been trodden already. Unobservable closed institutions always fail.

      • 127
        Curly the meals on wheels man says:

        I have just invented this circular stone block. Now I am searching for a suitable name for it. Not sure it will ever amount to much though as I can see no application for it. Ah well, back to the old stone block.

  23. 51
    Alan Rusbridger, giant pianist says:

    Today I will be mostly be playing Fake Your Way To The Top by Beyonce Knowles.

    • 77
      Tay King-dePisse says:

      Oi Rustbucket! Don’t play Beyonce, play Beyond The Sea (La Mer)– and do it beyond the sea! Take your cue from Bean, and head for the Riviera!

  24. 55
    Owin Jones says:

    Guido,are you on drugs? I said the comments in your blog were “unacceptable” and “repulsed” everyone. How much clearer do I have to be?

  25. 67
    A Day's deliberation on full expenses says:
    • 72
      Rosemary West says:

      Fred made me do it.

      • 88
        Mums Net says:

        Mrs Huhne aka Mrs MacShane can’t have put up a good defence if a jury of 8 wimin need to chin wag over whether the husband made her do it or not.

        • 100
          Casual Observer says:

          If the jury cannot return a unanimous verdict, the trial may have to be run again.

          The costs on her side will be quite high already and this delays sentencing for Chris.

        • 129
          A Jurette says:

          Listen you, I’ll have you know discussing knitting patterns and simultaneously what to cook for dinner are enough to tax the keenest brains. Now what are we in here for?

  26. 68
    Axe The Telly Tax says:

    Lazy Lib Dem exaggerated graphics Guido.

    All graphs should start at 0 base.

    There is only a 5% difference between the minimum & maximum average ages (39 to 41).

    Obviously you failed mathematics.

    Must do better.

  27. 70
    Owin Jones says:

    Because the whole point was *even* someone such as Guido Fawkes with all his baggage can get applauded!

  28. 75
    Old Codger says:

    If “And they’ve been getting younger since Dave took office” is true can I join!

    • 86
      Unemployed and skint in Birtley Colliery says:

      Is there a list of job vacancies there that I can apply for ?

      • 130
        A Cabin Boy says:

        Sorry, the last available post was filled by an unemployable trainee geologist (to help us climb all these insurmountable mountains of paper, you understand). Better luck next time.

  29. 78
    Cynical-old-bag says:

    Perhaps the fall in numbers is due to the payment of higher salaries to these youngsters. Wouldn’t surprise me at all.

  30. 82
    The Beast of Oldland Common says:

    As a matter of interest does anyone know how many people have left Downing Street for a) jobs in the EU b) jobs in Local Government c) jobs in quangos and d) jobs in the private sector ?

  31. 84
    Calamity Clegg says:

    I’m a Calamity, get me out of here !!!!

  32. 93
    Socialists = Sociopaths says:
    • 103
      Don't discriminate - hate all of them. says:

      To be fair, quite a few people fantasised about murdering Maggie in the 1980s. I certainly did. I went on to become a card-carrying member of the Conservative Party (until Cameron took over, and I now fantasise about murdering him – although my fantacy also involves murdering Clegg, Cable, Osborne, Balls, Miliband, Harman, Umunna, May, Yeo, Miller – all of them, actually – so I’ve perhaps mellowed in my middle age).

    • 105
      Benjamin Disr*aeli says:

      Lighten up, folks. I once said to the effect that the only thing worse that could happen to this nation than William Gladstone falling into the Thames, was that Gladstone would be rescued. Did anybody really think I meant it? It’s called “mordant humour.”

  33. 102
    Weygand says:

    From what I recall of first form statistics, this chart shows that the mean the median, and the mode for the last 10 years are all 40, whereas the current figure is 39.

    A whopping difference of 1 (and perhaps the difference is actually smaller given that the data is on rounded figures).

    I suggest that it is the author of the article who should grow up.

    • 108
      Casual Observer says:

      There would have been more younger staffers in 04/05 than now in order to bring the average age back then down to 39.

    • 111
      Stats Watch says:

      For the #Staffers: The average is 203.8, median is 206, with a standard deviation of 13.8. From the chart, the distribution over the time period is clearly not Normal though.

      For the Age, only the average is given.

      Median average age is: 40.

      Without the standard deviations for the age of the staffers, only the average, nothing definite can really be said about them being overrun. Only that there are likely to be more 39 or less in 04-05 than in 12-13.

      There should be a higher proportion of 39 or less in the 12-13 staffers population though.

      That would support the hypothesis that they are ‘overrun’ with kids, if kids are defined as people being aged 39 or less. Without the deviation detail it is impossible to say any more.

      • 134
        Weygand says:

        I have always found ‘standard deviation’ to be an oxymoron.

        • 135
          Anonymong OE says:

          “standard” as in what “one would expect” given that the standard deviation is derived from the second expected moment of the statistical distribution (which is estimated by sample averages).

          I promise to get out more…

  34. 107
    Anne.D.Buram says:

    Wonder if the BEEB will ask Alan,Patricia and myself if we new about the mass loss of life in Mid Staffs.Still,lucky the horse meat has kept us out of the frame.

  35. 116
    PC Plod says:

    Is it just me or are the Downing Street staff getting younger? Oi, You! Side gate! ….evening, all.

  36. 118
    Jess The Dog says:

    What does this say about the churn rate and continuity of experience? A reason for their uselessness?

    • 132
      A Cabin Boy says:

      This is easily explicable. Be honest now, how long would you work in the same office as the unregenerate liar or the pathological Nokia thrower?

  37. 133
    Heartsinker says:

    I’l bet the ambient level of PPE’s (media studies for aimless upper class twats)is quite high to extremely high.

    I did one myself so I know what am talking about ( after that found something useful to do and got a life)

  38. 136
    CallmeLottie says:

    All very fine; but let’s remember the tax-payers’ money they’re SAVING by so drastically reducing staff numbers. Sort of thing the Press and Beeb would be loathe to point out.


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“If the Treasury is looking at the economic impact of tax changes, then surely it should examine the impact of the rise in VAT and cuts to tax credits? George Osborne’s £12 billion VAT rise knocked confidence, helped to choke off the recovery and has cost families £1,350 over the last three years.”



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What’s he been doing FFS, mining bitcoins?


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