SpAd Movements: New No.10 and DCMS Hires

A few changes to our SpAd List this morning – Guido hears Karen Bradley’s adviser Aidan Corley has been promoted to Number 10. The Culture Secretary has brought in two new SpAds to fill her team: former IDS aide and Coadec chief Romilly Dennys and the Mail on Sunday’s ‘Girl About Town’ diarist Charlotte Griffiths. Charlotte already has all the goss on the Cabinet, from Theresa May’s meritocracy hypocrisy, to how Boris “humiliated” David Davis and how one top former SpAd dumped his fiance for a fellow Tory aide. Poacher turned gamekeeper at the Ministry of Fun. Lunch?

DCMS Rebranded, Sort Of

DCMS is changing its name to DDCMS, except it will still be called DCMS. Confused? The government explains:

“In a move that acknowledges the way the Department’s remit has evolved, the Prime Minister and Culture Secretary Karen Bradley have agreed a departmental name change. The Department will continue to be referred to as DCMS in all communications, but is now the department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.”

Saves paying to have everything in the department rebranded. Though they’ll need to redo that logo, it’s missing a comma…

Press Gallery Chairman Craig Woodhouse New DCMS SpAd

A raft of new SpAd appointments is expected imminently and Guido understands the headline move will be Craig Woodhouse joining Karen Bradley at DCMS. It’s a smart hire for the new Culture Secretary to poach an industry insider – Woodhouse is a newspaper veteran, the respected chairman of the Press Gallery and chief political correspondent at The Sun. He is well-liked by MPs of all parties which will help in a notoriously adversarial brief. The long-suffering Sheffield Wednesday fan might even be able to pick up a freebie or two along the way. The Lobby loses yet another leading name to SpAd-dom…

See Guido’s SpAd List in full here.

Before You Go Incognito…

It’s gone midnight and before readers, er, go incognito, they might be interested to learn the government is going to make it harder. DCMS today launch a public consultation to require porn websites to ensure all their viewers are over 18. The plan is that Jack Dromey et al will have to sign in to an identify provider such as their bank or mobile operator before they open up the “private browsing” section. Sites that do not abide by the new law will face civil action or even be blocked, Chinese-style, which seems unworkable at best and draconian censorship at worst. No technology has been or ever will be invented that can stop teenage boys looking at pictures of naked girls…

Dimbleby’s Questionable Tirade Against “Right-Wing”

dimbleby-partisan

Any Questions last night came from the Royal College for the Blind in Hereford with the Lord Blunkett, David Davis, the dotty General Secretary of CND, Dr Kate Hudson, and Quentin Letts. The mix compered by Jonathan Dimbleby. At the end, as the audience was still sitting there, Dimbleby gave them a lecture about the horrid right-wing wanting to close the BBC and urging them all to write to their MP, ministers etc. Oddly partisan for a Dimbleby…

Not only was this unusual – and quite a test of his status as an impartial presenter – there is also the fact that Hereford is the seat of Jesse Norman, chairman of the Culture Select Committee, which has just launched a savage judgement on the BBC Trust, calling for it to be scrapped. Jesse’s report also took the Beeb to task for organising that round-robin letter by BBC stars to try to speak up for the Beeb. Dimbleby is swimming in quite dangerous partisan waters here, surely…

Vaizey: Minister of Fun from Day One

Ed Vaizey has today become the longest serving Arts Minister ever. Harold Wilson appointed the first arts minister in 1964, Jennie Lee. Today Vaizey will beat her (nearly) 6 years in office. Here’s some of the highlights:vaizey-collage

He has certainly been the Minister for Fun…

DCMS Fun Police Called Off the Case

Who called the fun police? These tweets were swiftly deleted from the DCMS account this afternoon:

As Christopher Robin said to Winnie: “You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think”. Unless you’re the person who wrote those tweets…

BBC Licence Fee Lobbying Circle Jerk

With impeccable timing, every MP has received a DVD and slurpy letter from the BBC’s lobbying wing.

Ostentatiously designed to show MPs the quality of recent BBC work, it’s no coincidence that the targeted lobbying campaign has taken place in the same week that Whittingdale launches his BBC Charter Review Green Paper.

The BBC really don’t help their cause sometimes.

Using licence fee payers’ cash to lobby MPs not to cut the licence fee because – as they claim – there is no room for cuts in the corporation.

Here is an easy rump saving: say goodbye to the ‘Head of Corperate Affairs’. And his entire lobbying team…

LEAKED EMAILS: Sony Boss Plotted to Get Ed Vaizey Fired

Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton conspired to replace Culture Minister Ed Vaizey with a socialite called David Macmillan. The plan has come to light in a series of extraordinary emails between Michael Lynton and Macmillan via the publication of a searchable archive of last years ‘Sony Hack‘ by Wikileaks:

Lynton claimed he could use his influence with George Osborne to get Ed Vaizey fired and then introduce Macmillan to Conservative supporting business boss Sir Charles Dunstone. Lynton then claimed the chairman of the Carphone Warehouse would recommend Macmillan for the ministerial post:

“I am sitting here with Bella and conspiring as to how to make you Minister of Culture and Sport. You are perfectly qualified. First step is to get ed Vaizey fired. I will do this with George Osborne. Next step is to get you appointed. This requires you meeting CHARLES Dunstone and having him recommend you. I will make the introduction in September. The games afoot !!!”

Macmillan claims to be up for it, but points out the obvious flaws:

“Need to be elected to parliament or raised to the peerage to proceed further with your plan, but love the idea.”

Intriguingly, Macmillan points out that Osborne might be fearful of upsetting Vaizey because he would want to “avoid the publication of various school time photos,” the Sony CEO assures him that the “Photos are in the cloud. They will be gone soon.What incriminating photos could they possibly be talking about?

Hush Luvvies

Guido understands that Sajid Javid is off this week to the government art collection to decorate DCMS, but there is already good news for arts luvvies who have been sounding off about the new supposedly “philistine” Culture Secretary’s credentials.

The hippies will be pleased to know that virtually the first thing that the newly promoted Secretary of State did upon entering the Culture Ministry last week was hang a painting he owns in his office.

Of Maggie.



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Quote of the Day

John Curtice on fiscal policy:

“Attitudes to taxation and spending are basically counter-cyclical. If a government comes in and tries to reduce spending and taxation, after a while people will get worried about the state of public services. If a government increases taxation and public spending, after a while they’ll get concerned about increasing taxation…. In as much as there are lots of ideologues out there who think the state should be this proportion of GDP, they’re all wrong. Because the public’s view is counter-cyclical to the recent experience. It’s basically impossible to satisfy the public.”

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