Monday, February 28, 2005

When SPADs Attack

80 Special Advisers ("SPADs") are at work in Whitehall for the Labour party. Essentially they are political commissars with open party affiliations paid for by the tax-payer so as to enforce the party line on the civil service. Under Thatcher there were a a dozen or so across the entire government - Portillo was one of them - nowadays Blair has 20 or so in Downing Street alone.

The opposition parties are screaming foul, but to be honest what can be done to level the playing field - besides making the parties pay for them out of their own funds? Which is not bloody likely.

The fact is that the SPADs will now be working full time for a Blair victory, only once the election date is announced will they move from Whitehall to Labour HQ or the constituencies in to which they have been parachuted...

Defending Spads
You seem to have forgotten the £5m in "Short Money" that goes to opposition parties who are free to spend it on Special Advisers or on paying the leader's wife to do fuck all.

Special Advisers exist to protect the Civil Service from becoming politicised. This is generally thought to be a good thing.

Why should taxpayers pay for any of 'Em?
They can go and get a real job like the rest of us. If they were supposed to stop the civil service becoming politicised they've failed.


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