Posts Tagged ‘Andy Parsons’

Thursday News Review

18/11/2010, 07:00:25 AM

Two down, how many more to go…

It is only a few days since it emerged that David Cameron had put his personal photographer Andrew Parsons and film-maker Nicky Woodhouse on the civil service payroll. To make such a move just as redundancy notices go out to thousands of their new colleagues is the kind of misjudgment that suggests a leadership damagingly out of touch with the real world. But Cameron is becoming expert at the swift and more or less unblushing handbrake turn. Parsons and Woodhouse are back on the party books. That, however, leaves two other questionable appointments more exposed. Samantha Cameron’s stylist, Isabel Spearman, has been made a Downing Street special adviser, also at taxpayers’ expense. And Anna-Maren Ashford is also now a temporary civil servant. She was the party brand manager during the election: jobs don’t come much more political than that. – The Guardian

The Prime Minister admitted he blundered by making his personal snapper Andrew Parsons and film-maker Nicky Woodhouse civil servants with taxpayer-funded wages. The pair will return to Conservative Campaign HQ and again be paid by the party. But Mr Cameron stubbornly insisted other Tory ex-staffers, including internet guru Rishi Saha and brand stylist Anna-Maren Ashford, will stay in cushy Whitehall posts. – The Mirror

Labour take the lead

Labour has surged to a five-point lead following the London student march marred by violence, according to a new poll. Experts say the growing support for Ed Miliband’s party may also be due to the reality of the looming spending cuts starting to sink in. Labour is now on 42 per cent, according to a YouGov poll published today, with the Conservatives on 37 per cent and Liberal Democrats on 10 per cent. This compares with the Tories and Labour level-pegging on 40 per cent in a poll carried out last Wednesday, the day of the student demonstration, and Thursday. The Lib-Dems were still on 10 per cent. – Evening Standard

Support for the Labour party is at its highest level for three years as public confidence about the economy — and the private sector’s ability to mop up laid-off public sector workers — continues to ebb. Satisfaction with the coalition government, which has announced a raft of austerity measures since last month’s Reuters/Ipsos MORI political monitor, has dropped significantly in the past month. If the public were to vote now, the Labour party would take more of the vote (39 percent) than the Conservatives (36 percent) or the Liberal Democrats (14 percent), and poll data showed that support for Labour this month was strongest since October 2007. –

Brotherly love

Labour leader Ed Miliband’s new son has helped bring about a reconciliation with his politician brother. The two spent several hours together when David went round to Ed’s house to see his nephew Samuel. The brothers have barely spoken since Ed narrowly beat David to win the Labour leadership race. – Daily Record

The pair have barely spoken since the Labour leadership race – but had an “emotional reunion” as David, 45, visited two-week-old nephew Samuel. A source revealed: “He went around to help out. He was bouncing the baby and giving Ed a bit of time off from childcare while he is on paternity leave. However, David’s American-born violinist wife Louise Shackleton, 49, shunned the North London trip. She is believed to still be hurt at her husband’s defeat to Ed, 40, in September. – The Mirror

Celtic cuts

Health and social services will be forced to find millions of pounds of savings each year as they face a real-terms cut in funding over three years. Although the One Wales Labour-Plaid Assembly Government took steps to protect health and social services, there will be little increase in the Budget between 2011 and 2014. The Assembly Government’s own figures show that although the budget will remain around £6bn a year, there will be a 6.3% cut in real terms. – Western Mail

The SNP government will this week order a one-year pay freeze for 250,000 public sector workers. Finance secretary John Swinney will announce the hammer blow when he presents his Budget at Holyrood on Wednesday. The Scottish government have £1.3billion less cash next financial year as a result of Con-Dem cuts. The wage freeze – which will apply to all workers in the devolved public sector earning more than £21,000 – will save £300million. Swinney, who claimed it would protect 10,000 jobs, will try to soften the blow by announcing a council tax freeze for next year. – Daily Record

Consensus on Irish bail-out

Conservative and Labour MPs, who may end up having to defend a £7 billion loan to Ireland, have expressed a willingness to see Britain help Ireland out of its current difficulties, but they have raised concerns that the full extent of Ireland’s debts are not known. During an urgent debate in the Commons yesterday, financial secretary to the treasury Mark Hoban repeatedly insisted that it was in Britain’s “national interest to see a successful Irish economy, so we stand ready to support Ireland in the steps that it needs to take to bring about stability. – Irish Times

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Cabinet Secretary says it’s ok for Cameron to hire army of political vanity staff as civil servants

13/11/2010, 10:22:32 AM


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David Cameron’s vulgar obsession with image

10/11/2010, 09:02:41 AM

by Tom Watson

It was Vladimir Dmitrievich Nabokov who wrote “complacency is a state of mind that exists only in retrospective: it has to be shattered before being ascertained”.

When the history of the Cameron-Clegg administration is written, Andy Parsons will be a footnote to the coalition chronicles, a fleeting fact in a wider story of ultra-pragmatism and opportunity. He will feature more prominently on photographic bookplates than amid the text.

And yet, in the last week of the sixth month of this unique political construct, Mr Parsons has come to symbolise something more than the unbounded personal ambition of Messrs Cameron and Clegg.

He is an expression of the super-ego of the Prime Minister. And as any Zen Buddhist will tell you, the ego, unlike an Andy Coulson bad news day, is hard to extinguish. (more…)

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