The LibDems lost thousands of pounds in deposits last week and are struggling to keep their headquarters going after losing the opposition “Short Money”. Mark Wallace began picking up on this yesterday, but it seems there is to be an absolute massacre of staff at Cowley Street. Partly out of blame for the dismal election results, and partly for financial reasons.
The whole campaigns department is facing redundancy, all thirty-two officers across the UK. They have been told that the Department is being cut back to only nine positions. Guido’s sandal-wearing source even confirmed that one of these Campaign Officers found out she was being sacked via Facebook as high command forgot to invite her to the redundancy meeting in London because she was on maternity leave. Very new media!
Elsewhere the Yes2AV backlash has begun, Andy May who was the grandly titled “National Manager of the Regional Staff ” has written a damning and must read report exposing the chaos of the campaign. A lot of blame is being shifted towards Tom Smithard, the loathed Field Operations coordinator. Guido has had dealings with Smithard before after he popped up doing dirty tricks for the LibDems in the general election campaign, and it’s not hard to see how he lost so many friends, so very quickly, during the campaign. Take his charming email style for example:
From: Tom Smithard
Sent: 27 April 2011 ██:██
Subject: Calling all attractive people
████ ████ requires your presence at Vauxhall Cross bus / tube station for a photo op at 9am sharp tomorrow morning. Should only take 20 minutes and then there’s a 344 bus direct to the office.
I get to decide who the attractive people are and you (just about) qualify. See you tomorrow?
PS can you let me know if you can make it.
Deputy Head, Field Ops
The words used to describe Tom to Guido are not publishable on a family blog, but lets just say they’re not “attractive”. While the rest of the Yes campaign work out what the hell they are going to do next, Smithard took great pleasure in rubbing salt into their wounds. He was not afraid to share his own good news, with his own special brand of charm:
From: Tom Smithard
Sent: 09 May 2011 ██:██
Subject: Re: Debrief and learning lessons of the Yes campaign
No matter the result I don’t think any one of you should regret your time at Yes. Many of you are early on in your careers; I just want to reassure you that the experience you gained in this short, sharp, single-issue and high-profile campaign will stand you in great stead for any future career you want to pursue in politics at whatever level.
I’m returning now to the Lib Dems, from where I was seconded, to become Political Advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister. I mention this for two reasons: firstly, to prove that being associated with this campaign is not career-ending(!). Secondly and more importantly, because I know a lot of you will be searching for jobs in the political sphere in the near future.
Yes, that’s just the sort of feather-smoothing, polite, modest and humble help that Nick Clegg needs in Downing Street right now.
UPDATE: An outraged Sandalista emails demanding a correction: “She did not find out through facebook, a colleague informed her over the phone.” Much better.