Job from Hell in the Guardian

From Today’s Guardian Jobs section:

‘We are looking for a creative Chief Press Officer, with a sharp news sense, and the ability to form strong media contacts and quickly develop a complete grasp of the Government’s policy direction to fill a key role in the Prime Minister’s Office & Cabinet Office Communications Directorate. The Directorate exists to provide communications advice and delivery in support of the policy objectives of the Prime Minister

I think this is what clients used to call in the advertising business “a challenge”. The words were only ever uttered while briefing the agency on Mission Impossible.

I suspect the first task for the unluckily successful candidate would be to establish the thirteen different versions of Coalition policy, and then why the Prime Minister didn’t seem to mesh with any of them. Doing that could easily turn into the pilgrimage of a lifetime, but would in fact be just the beginning. The tricky bit would then be surmising HTF to juggle the following imponderables:

*EU policy *Tax policy *Economic policy *Banking reform policy *Energy policy *Countryside policy *Prison policy *Education policy *Small business policy *Health policy *Crime Policy *Fiscal austerity policy *Policy rationale policy *Rational policy policy *Spinning policy clarity policy *Paedophile cover-up policy

On top of this would be the unspoken policies: What to do about Vince Cable/Boris Johnson/the 1922 Committee/Hackgate/Jeremy Hunt/Nick Clegg/Tom Watson/Nadine Dorries/Michael Gove/George Galloway etc etc etc.

But if I have a talent for anything (and that’s always been in doubt) I’d say it is for honing down to radical simplicity in all things: cut the crap, what are we trying to do here? So were I mad enough to want the job, I would have only one focus – keeping Rancid Cameldung in power. The two obvious reasons for applying those criteria far above any other would be (1) it’s what the boss wants and (2) if he falls, you would slide down a snake with him anyway.

Personally, I think the job should go to Lord Alistair McAlpine. He clearly knows far more about how to get his way and manipulate the media than all the rest of the current shower put together.

22 thoughts on “Job from Hell in the Guardian

  1. Is this that machevellian thing or should it be called Lord McEvellian? Maybe its to do with this ‘ shut up plebs and quit complaining ‘ new idea. Judicial review? Who needs such time wasting crap we have policies to push through at the behest of our donors..


  2. Quote from job description:
    This post is in the Minister for the Cabinet Office/Efficiency & Reform Communications team part of the Communications Directorate.
    Glad that’s all clear then.
    JW – thanks for bringing this to my attention. I may just pass it on to qualified applicants of my acquaintance.


  3. I nearly fell off my chair laughing at that last paragraph.

    Vis-a-vis your mention of Chris Spivey, I just think Spivey will be left alone because the rumours have been on the net for years.

    There’s something about the way the Alistair McAlpine legal team are going for Twitterers and mainstream broadcasters that just looks like they’re making a point where it was new and where it had broken into the mainstream.

    Why wait until now to be so strident, when David Icke and Scallywag went there in print years ago?

    Scallywag went bust, but why not put the record straight anyway? For one so sensitive, this seems a late hour to correct what Scallywag wrote all those years ago.

    One other point, vis-a-vis Chris Spivey and his account about Lord Boothby. If one domino falls, they all fall. That was what protected Boothby. Gave him his confidence.

    How can we be sure such a thing would never happen again?

    And why has The TImes still not published its interview with Ben Fellows?

    At a very odd, late hour, there’s a ‘mistaken identity’.

    And an interview simply spiked.

    It’s all innocent enough.

    Lord Boothby, Cyril Smith – the Powers That Be wouldn’t repeat that.

    Would they?


  4. Why do I get the impression that these ‘positions’ (postures, more like) are just another make-work excuse by those who are trying to insulate themselves further and further from the consequences of their own behaviour or, indeed, lack of it? Someone else to pass the buck – or rather a steaming and very smelly turd – to, you couldn’t pay me enough.


  5. Why would he bother suing Scallywag when John Major had already put them into bankruptcy over a much less scandalous story?


  6. Lets just examine that first line for a moment. “‘We are looking for a CREATIVE Chief Press Officer…..”

    Oxford Dictionary: CREATIVE “creating; able to create; inventive, imaginative; showing imagination as well as routine skill”

    and for the record……

    Oxford Dictionary: REPORT: “give a spoken or written account of something that one has observed, heard, done, or investigated”

    Reporting the truth is not required…..the abilty to creativly make stuff up IS required. Guilty from the words of their own Advert….. whoever gets the Job !


  7. I’d do it.

    Imagine the pleasure you’d get some months down the line (after you’d carefully presented DC & Co. as the very paragons of virtue and probity) as you called the hacks in for a routine press conference …

    “Thank you for coming in ladies and gentlemen … just a brief update – or ‘sitrep’ as our newly militaristic Dave has taken to calling them.

    1) The economy. Neither he nor Osborne have a bloody clue. They look like rabbits in the headlights in there, and they couldn’t find their arses using both hands and referring constantly to a book entitled, “Finding Your Arse Using Both Hands’. They both know what needs to be done, but (a) they are both spineless nobs, and (b) they take their instructions from abroad anyway.
    2) McAlpine – the plan is obfuscation, confusion, protection of the guilty and condemnation of the innocent. Hope that’s clear enough.
    3) Mp’s exes. Direct quote from DC himself: “How dare the public have the ruddy nerve to poke their noses into our affairs. They should pay their taxes like the good little plebs they are so that we can enjoy a very comfy lifestyle thank you very much. Any more of their whinging and we’ll tax them even more. In fact, George – Do it anyway”
    4) Defence: Even I have been shocked at the double standards on display here. They’ve been busily reducing the armed forces to a shadow of their former selves, insulted an entire generation of servicemen and women, and are now plotting a totally illegal engagement in the Middle East which the country cannot afford in terms of either blood or treasure. The silly sod actually believes that our Forces will merge seamlessly with our European neighbours. If the top brass in the army had any sense they would organise a coup while they’ve still got the manpower to do it …..


    At this point, of course, several large and unsympathetic gentlemen with hearing aids and lumps under their armpits will have dragged you away to assist with their enquiries .. but it would have been fun!


  8. Advice from the 16th century that may assist the applicant – should assistance be required:
    A prince, therefore, need not necessarily have all the good qualities I mentioned above, but he should certainly appear to have them… He should appear to be compassionate, faithful to his word, guileless, and devout. And indeed he should be so. But his disposition should be such that, if he needs to be the opposite, he knows how. …
    You must realise this: that a prince, and especially a new prince cannot observe all those things which give men a reputation for virtue, because in order to maintain his state he is often forced to act in defiance of good faith, of charity, of kindness, of religion. And so he should have a flexible disposition, varying as fortune and circumstances dictate. As I said above, he should not deviate from what is good, if that is possible, but he should know how to do evil, if that is necessary.


  9. @GrahamD: Excellent point. Which makes me think…wouldn’t it be also appropriate to change the minister titles accordingly:
    Minister of Creative Defence, Creative Chancellor of the Exchequer….Minister of Creative Justice…


  10. “… If the top brass in the army had any sense they would organise a coup while they’ve still got the manpower to do it …”

    Methinks they are also somewhat lacking in the spinal and gonad departments.


  11. Talking of jobs from hell and the Guardian, I wonder how long it will be before there’s an advert for a new cartoonist at the paper?
    I’d reckon that Steve Bell won’t be there next year after he drew this cartoon a day or two ago:-



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