The House of Lords Communications Committee had the head of the civil service Gus O’Donnell in for a hearing yesterday (video
). One of the reasons the chief mandarin gave for the doubling in “communications staff”
over the last decade was that there were mounting demands on government communication officers to deal with the increase in political blogs and the growing number of journalists.
“Be very careful what these numbers mean. [There are] 3,000 journalists in the BBC alone – that’s just one institution,” said O’Donnell, “You could easily turn the statistics round and ask ‘why has it gone up so little’.” Well he could ask that, but taxpayers would ask the opposite.
Guido has in four years only twice been contacted by a government spin merchant unprompted.