Civil Service

Whoever you vote for, the Blob wins

22 June 2024 9:00 am

At the age of 66 I feel like a first-time voter. As a member of the House of Lords, I…

The asexual revolution

18 May 2024 9:00 am

Who could have foreseen that half a century after the sexual revolution we’d be facing its exact opposite: an asexual…

Fish out of water

9 September 2023 9:00 am

As a one-nation Tory, Rory Stewart was not a good fit in the party’s new incarnation. We discover how his desire to make the world a better place was always going to work against him

The battle with the Blob

3 June 2023 9:00 am

Most prime ministers fall out with the civil service at some point. David Cameron attacked the ‘enemies of enterprise’; Tony…

The civil service’s exercise in navel-gazing

3 June 2023 9:00 am

Navel-gazing in the civil service

Who governs Britain? Not ministers, it seems

14 April 2022 4:00 pm

Who governs Britain? It’s a dangerous question, as Ted Heath learned half a century ago. But while he was concerned…

Who would join Boris's No. 10?

4 February 2022 9:35 pm

Munira Mirza’s resignation over Boris Johnson’s refusal to withdraw his Savile barb at Keir Starmer led to Downing Street bringing…

Letters: Our broken civil service

22 January 2022 9:00 am

Beyond the party Sir: Rod Liddle is spot-on in arguing that the attitudes revealed by ‘partygate’ extend to senior civil…

The truth about that No. 10 party

15 January 2022 9:00 am

People seem surprised and a little doubting that the Prime Minister is incapable of remembering if he attended a party…

Boris should keep copying Blair

8 September 2021 10:05 pm

Having written here at least once before that Boris Johnson is the heir to Blair, my first thought on the Prime…

Was the civil service compromised by the Salmond affair?

18 March 2021 4:23 am

The fallout from David Davis’s intervention in the Alex Salmond affair is all about the messages. The texts which the…

Is Britain a nation in fear of safetyism?

7 September 2020 5:26 pm

It should come as no surprise that Britain’s city centres remain, in the words of CBI chief Carolyn Fairbairn, ‘ghost…

Can Simon Case restore stability to the heart of government?

6 September 2020 8:08 pm

Boris Johnson does not get everything wrong. The appointment of Simon Case to be head of the civil service at…

Government jobs don’t have to be in the capital

5 September 2020 9:00 am

Home-working shows how many government jobs can be moved out of London

The Tories cannot afford a war with the civil service

7 March 2020 9:00 am

Thirteen years ago, when John Reid became Home Secretary, he declared the ministry he presided over ‘not fit for purpose’.…

Will Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings be knocked off course by Sir Philip Rutnam’s resignation?

2 March 2020 1:07 am

There are a handful of big things to watch out for following Sir Philip Rutnam’s resignation as Home Office Permanent Secretary:…

What difference will ‘weirdos and misfits’ make to the civil service?

11 January 2020 9:00 am

Dominic Cummings has written a modest blog inviting mathematicians, physicists, AI specialists and other experts to help him revolutionise the…

I admit it: I enjoyed the Women’s World Cup

6 July 2019 9:00 am

I was asked on to the BBC Today programme — my old manor — last week to talk about the…

The whole narrative of Dynasties was too suspiciously shapely. Image: BBC NHU

How does David Attenborough know what the monkeys are thinking?

17 November 2018 9:00 am

The opening episode of BBC1’s Dynasties — the new Attenborough-fronted series from the Natural History Unit — introduced us to…

How Aristotle would hire civil servants

4 June 2016 9:00 am

The civil service is to be allowed to find out what job applicants’ ‘socio-economic background’ is. What abject drivel is…

Brexit, George Osborne, and the art of post-factual politics

28 May 2016 9:00 am

The Chancellor and PM are using every dirty trick in the Blairite book to win a Remain vote

300 signatures can be wrong. How about 2 million?

21 May 2016 9:00 am

Name check 306 business people signed a letter to the Daily Telegraph saying that Britain would be better off outside…

The ‘leave’ campaign is right not to lay out a plan for Britain’s future

23 April 2016 9:00 am

The ‘remain’ campaign is having some success with the line that the ‘leave’ camp cannot say what Britain outside the…

Mandarins routinely take Fridays off and sometimes can't spell ministers' names. Why does this go on? 

7 December 2013 9:00 am

It’s a fact that most ministers are most scared, not of their political rivals but of their civil servants. Ministers…