Politics is a Mug’s Game

Back when Boris swept to power, we were all labouring under the delusion we’d leave the EU on October the 31st. The Government was so confident, they introduced a range of branded merchandise into the cabinet office, including mugs saying ‘Get Ready for Brexit on 31 October’.

The failure to Brexit meant Downing Street had to go about hiding the 540 mugs they’d ordered. Given they cost the taxpayer £1,984, Guido was delighted to receive his smuggled out, limited-edition mug this afternoon – here’s hoping it doesn’t meet the same explosive end as his old ‘Controls on Immigration’ mug.


mdi-timer 15th January 2020 @ 5:00 pm 15th Jan 2020 @ 5:00 pm mdi-comment Comments
Downing Street Summoning Privy Counsellors to Civil Contingencies Secretariat

Project Vote’s latest theatrical production sees No. 10 breathlessly invite all serving Privy Counsellors still in the Commons to go to one of two closed briefings at the Civil Contingencies Secretariat tomorrow on the ‘impact of no deal’. Which also happens to be based in the Cabinet Office…

This has been described to Guido as “outrageous bollocks”, and “a gross abuse of serious people”. DExEU do the ‘No Deal’ planning (Tom Shinner in Policy & Delivery Coordination has the responsibility). Using the Cabinet Office’s Civil Contingencies Secretariat to try and spook grandees whilst simultaneously appealing to their vanity “is pure bullshit theatre”. Transparently so, it seems, for those invited…

mdi-timer 6th December 2018 @ 12:01 am 6th Dec 2018 @ 12:01 am mdi-comment Comments
Damian Green Report (Finally) Imminent

The Damian Green decision has been “imminent” at various points over the last 10 days depending on which paper you read. Guido understands that the final evidence was taken earlier this week and we are finally at the point where the findings can be announced. Green is answering questions about Brexit to the Lords EU committee at 2:15 pm. Everyone wants this wrapped up as soon as possible, Sue Gray’s report could be published as soon as this evening or tomorrow. 

Green’s survival comes down to how he and Number 10 answer the following: Did he lie? Did he break the ministerial code? Has he had any other inappropriate workplace relationships? Did he brief the press about Kate Maltby? Did anyone in Number 10 know about any of this before it became public? If the answer to any of these is yes, things are going to get messy…

mdi-timer 20th December 2017 @ 11:49 am 20th Dec 2017 @ 11:49 am mdi-comment Comments
Tory MP Demands Cabinet Office Investigates Sir Craig’s Book

Following Guido’s story on a potential breach of the Special Advisers Code of Conduct in Sir Craig Oliver’s memoirs, a Tory MP has written to Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood demanding an investigation. Andrew Bridgen asks the two killer questions: why was Sir Craig permitted to publish information that the Cabinet Office admits could prejudice relations with the US? And did Sir Craig breach the SpAds Code of Conduct by failing to discuss his memoirs with the Cabinet Office prior to signing the book deal? This line of the letter is particularly interesting:

“If the rules were broken, there is precedent to confiscate the profits of the book sales. In 2000 the Government obtained a court order for it to be paid £90,000 of royalties owed by the publisher Jonathan Cape to George Blake for his unauthorised 1990 memoir “No Other Choice”. I hope you will investigate these serious issues promptly.”

If the government did confiscate Sir Craig’s profits that could mean an extra £350 to the NHS…

mdi-timer 17th October 2017 @ 3:44 pm 17th Oct 2017 @ 3:44 pm mdi-comment Comments
Government Plan to “Hack” Unemployment

cabinet office

The Cabinet Office think they might have found the solution to long-term youth unemployment in the UK: they’re going to “hack” it. Later this month they are are hosting a “Job Hack” where a “diverse group of talented and creative people who will collaborate to find solutions” to youth unemployment.

It’s not clear exactly what the government expects the crack team of “solution architects” and “creative people” they are inviting to a “Digital Catapult Centre” to do, with the Cabinet Office vaguely saying only they are hoping for “new ideas“.  Good luck with that…

mdi-timer 12th October 2015 @ 2:22 pm 12th Oct 2015 @ 2:22 pm mdi-comment Comments