18 November 2011

Thinking Paper #203: How many SpAds do you need to make a daisychain?‏

By Ron Ford Golightly


SpAd is an acronym. It stands for 'Superious Penisium Aflictum Denique' which is Latin for 'Super Penis Strikes Again'. SpAds were invented in 1898 by Margaret Thatcher's great Aunt who proposed that Ministers needed the help of a 23 year old graduate to run a government department. Traditionally, the SpAd should have prior experience of reading the Metro and be skilled at sending "trumpety" emails.

And what the miggins do they do?

A SpAd's main job is to make sure that the Minister they work for receives positive news stories about what shoes they wear. When they fail at this task they tend to get really angry and shout at bureaucrats who are scared of them because they don't use words like "kind regards" at the end of emails. Historically, SpAds have been responsible for David Cameron's hairstyle, Gordon Brown's smile and Tony Blair's wars.

How many SpAds make a daisychain?

In short, the answer it seems, is quite a lot. To clarify, a daisychain is an online phenomenon in which multiple participants displeasure each other in a circular formulation. Preferably the group should consist of a nice mix of Tory and Lib Dem spads.

According to "sources" (is this you Rupert Harrison IV of Wingbourne?) David Cameron summoned all Tory special advisers to Downing Street for a good old fashioned bollocking this week. He was said to be miffed because too much of the coalition's inner workings were being briefed out to journalists, specifically stories about Mr Rasputin himself, Steve Hilton and that beloved rogue, Gideon "the wallpaper" Osborne.

Policy recommendations

The IIPBA likes SpAds because they are a positive stalwart against bureaucracy. However, it is apparent to this think-tank that they may also have quite a negative impact on politics, mainly because their very presence reduces politics to a game of briefing and counter-briefing. Despite its entertainment value, this detracts from the real issues that affect real hard working people e.g. the state of Steve Hiltons shoe collection.

Overall, the IIPBA doesn't mind SpAds: they're good to drink with, have interesting gossip about those silly Ministers and are sometimes quite attractive. The real shame lies in the fact that most of these pretty young things will themselves go on to be the politicians they themselves have helped create.

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