Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Revolving Dawes

With the sudden, and possibly unwilling, departure of Cabinet Office Permanent Secretary Ian Watmore, the job has been given temporarily to Melanie Dawes. AKA “her in doors” to one Ben Brogan…

The switch-over makes today’s column by the Telegraph’s Deputy Editor about Steve Hilton versus the civil service all the more interesting:

 “Without Mr Hilton, how much will survive? His [Dave's] proposed public sector reforms, let alone his ideas for slashing the Civil Service, are likely to stall..”

Slashing the civil service doesn’t look to be stalling this afternoon…

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

More Mayor Hilton Speculation

Guido never had Matthew d’Ancona down as a Daily Star Sunday reader but you learn something every day. He writes this afternoon: “Steve Hilton, the Prime Minister’s closest adviser, has indicated that he may run for mayoral office when he returns from sabbatical, on the grounds that this will enable him to make a real difference at street level.” Confirming what we said back in February:

“…few believe he will return to Downing Street – rumour has it that he wants to try out his big ideas directly by running a city as mayor.  Given that he got nicked in 2008 for losing his rag with a train ticket inspector in Birmingham, we can cross Brum off the likely list.”

Guido’s money would be on Brighton for the former Green voter, but it’s hardly a big budget executive…

Friday, March 2, 2012

On Yer Bike
Steve Hilton is a Guru Going West

Downing Street says:

With his wife and young family, Steve will be moving to California. He will join Stanford as a visiting scholar at the university’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and will also be a visiting fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. He will spend his year on campus teaching, researching and writing, and will focus on innovation in government, public services and communities around the world.

He will work with a wide range of centres and organisations across the university, including FSI’s Centre on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law and The Europe Centre; the Graduate School of Business’ Centre for Social Innovation; the Centre on Philanthropy and Civil Society; and the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design.

That sabbatical likely to turn permanent…

Monday, July 11, 2011

Miliband Twists the Hilton Knife

Asked if he was accusing the Prime Minister of lying about what he knew regarding the information passed to Steve Hilton, the increasingly confident Labour leader said “I’m not going to throw around allegations, but… what I’m saying is the Prime Minister has a whole series of unanswered questions on this issue.” And he’s right…

If they want this angle to die down, Number 10 need to get their line on this clear today. The longer they leave the speculation of who knew what, and when, the longer it looks like they cannot, or are not willing to, provide an accurate narrative. It’s very simple – did Steve Hilton discuss the two Guardian contacts with his boss. Yes or no?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Muesli-gate

Further to Guido’s speculation earlier about whether Steve Hilton had passed information about Coulson, given to him by Alan Rusbridger, on to Cameron. Downing Street have confirmed this afternoon that Rusbridger discussed the hacking scandal “in general” at a breakfast with Hilton on 12th November 2009, and deputy editor and Mr Mumsnet Ian Katz called him on 25th February last year regarding an imminent story going to print.

This is hardly the specific warnings Rusbridger claims he gave, but it beggars-belief that Hilton would not mention it…

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Is Hilton Going On His Bike?

As Downing Street’s Digital Communications guru takes the money and flies off to Dubai to work for mega-spin-shop Hill and Knowlton, speculation turns to policy guru Steve Hilton’s future. Sam Coates in The Times suggests that there is a “50-50 chance” of Hilton walking out within six months, disillusioned with the realities of governing from Downing Street and having lost key battles to Osborne. Hilton was an advocate of big-bang reforms, Osborne is more cautious about securing a Tory majority.

It isn’t only Osborne he has been losing out to, Andrew Cooper has been providing an evidence-based reality check and pulled Cameron on to the right side of the argument over Ken Clarke’s discounted jail terms for rapists. Craig Oliver is also competing successfully for Cameron’s ear. So speculation mounts that Hilton may be on the way out…

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Wonk Watch : Feminist Myth-Busting

Buried deep in Steve Hilton’s policy grid from the days in opposition are those pesky issues that nobody wanted to talk about so they were kicked into the long grass. One issue was quotas for women on the boards of major companies. Right out of Harman’s playbook.

Funnily enough a new report by the Centre for Policy Studies hasn’t got much traction with the BBC and the Guardian. Dr Catherine Hakim from the LSE has launched a feminist myth-busting book that pauses to say, hold on, some women might want to stay at home and, dread to think it, different people want different careers. The CPS may be violently off message in these “progressive” times, that doesn’t make them wrong…

Monday, December 6, 2010

“Progressive Nonsense” on Hilton’s Policy Announcements Grid

Guido has been worrying for some time that the government is in thrall to left-wing progressive nonsense and drifting towards the soggy centre. Thankfully a document has turned up in the inbox that suggests otherwise – the Steve Hilton / Rohan Silva policy announcements grid. Whilst in opposition Steve, Rohan and the rest of the zen-men had their heads in the clouds with blue-sky thinking so much that they forgot to take one of their rather revealing policy strategy agendas out of the photocopier:

Standard Cameroon opposition fluff is all covered, along with key points to be addressed. “Progressive Conservatism” was top of the agenda with “Red-Tory” Philip Blond flavour of the month with the chattering classes, and clearly open to having his strings pulled:

CCHQ were so keen on pushing the Guardian-friendly “Progressive Conservatism” agenda that they even made a video:

Blond came up with the goods in PR terms over and over again with some ever so helpful mood-setting articles.

However there was one firm policy point on the grid to be pushed that really struck Guido:

Clearly this wasn’t a sincerely held all-encompassing broad policy, it was cynically designed to land blows on the Labour government in the pre-election air war, it was an effective ploy to spin how much the Tories were a changed ‘progressive’ party. Guido is reassured that even the likes of Steve Hilton thought it a load of nonsense…

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

No Snappy Answer from Dave

When it was legitimately raised at PMQs that it was ridiculous that the PM should have his own personal photographer on the government payroll, Dave did not have a decent answer in his defence. All he could throw at Red Ed was the millions that the last government spent on spin, but given Dave’s airbrushed past, this was an open goal. Obviously official state visits and other such events need to be recorded, but the enormous press-pack that loiters outside Downing Street can’t have escaped the PM or his staff’s notice. Perhaps they could get a rota going…

For those more intimate shots, Steve Hilton didn’t do a bad job back in the days when Webcameron was getting going. Why can’t he pick up his camera again? Guido reckons the official snapper, Andrew Parsons, should be paid for by CCHQ – that would be very “Big Society”?

UPDATE: Jon Craig says Parsons is on £35k and Labour have written to GOD for more information.


Seen Elsewhere

BBC: It Was Guido Wot Won It | MediaGuido
Nick Robinson’s Britain First Selfie | Metro
Dyson: Leave German Dominated EU, Join EFTA |
How UKIP Won Rochester | Seb Payne
Labour’s Islington Problem | Harry Phibbs
Ed Lost More Than a By-Election | Labour Uncut
Labour the Biggest Losers in Rochester | Speccie
Thornberry a Gift to Farage | Nick Wood
Is Left Finally Turning Against EU? | Dan Hannan
Labour Votes Going Green | Guardian
UKIP Winning Class War | Tim Stanley


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Ralph Miliband on the English…

“The Englishman is a rabid nationalist. They are perhaps the most nationalist people in the world.”



Left on Left says:

The lefties are attacking because the panellist is a millionaire and lives in a London home worth upwards of two million. Someone had best tell them he’s called Ed Miliband.


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