Boris wields the sword-maybe!

A member of the Blairite stay-behind forces then. This is where Tony Blair screwed up - he picked compliant but incompetent people to do his bidding.
when he was given an OBE, I suggested it was for being scared of his own shadow.
I don’t think he likes me.:)
 
Sadly that disappeared a very long time ago. The plethora of SPADS, and carefully selected appointees to key jobs has been ongoing for some time. The change in climate I witnessed between 1993 and 2003 was astonishing. That said, huge swathes of the civil service are unmoved by the political direction of travel. In these cases, however the influences have been effectively neutered
I was going to suggest that you applied to be the new PUS of the FCO - after all, you have extensive experience of working with both FCO and DFID, and can be trusted not to favour either of the shotgun wedding participants, but instead hold them both with all the... respect, yes respect... that they so richly deserve. But perhaps now you should throw your hat in the ring for Cabinet Secretary; after all, you are an expert at returning once mighty, but now wrecked, machinery to its former working order.
 
An intriguing 'observation', and worth watching to see what, if anything, comes out over the next few days.

'One of Boris Johnson’s closest allies, David Frost - who has been negotiating the terms of the UK’s future relationship with the EU - is to become National Security Adviser, in succession to Sir Mark Sedwill, who is standing down both as cabinet secretary and NSA.

'This is an unusual and controversial appointment because Frost is a political appointment, a special adviser, in his current role - and will continue as a political adviser rather than becoming a member of the civil service. There will be a formal process to find a new cabinet secretary. Frost is close to Dominic Cummings, and is routinely referred to as "Frosty" in Johnson’s circle. So anyone who has persuaded themselves that Cummings's influence has waned may need to re-think. Cummings's pervasive influence was also manifest in the Ditchley Lecture given by Michael Gove, which contained more details on Cummings’s long-standing plan to end alleged Whitehall groupthink by replacing traditional mandarins with data scientists and physicists (or at least supplementing the humanities crowd with those from "harder" disciplines).

'But back to Frost - whose appointment is bound to cause a bit of a big gulp among the spooks and military top brass. "They are not happy," said one military source.'

 

chimera

LE
Moderator
Mark Sedwill was perhaps (in hindsight) the wrong person to be Cabinet Secretary. Undoubtedly massively capable and experienced in Diplomacy and Foreign Policy, and "deep" National Security, more happy with long term relationships and labryinthine strategic objectives. So bang on for NSA. You don't get to do everything he did by being an idiot.

But it seems he was less happy in the bear pit of domestic political affairs as Cabinet Secretary with a new Government, Covid, BREXIT, a certifiable loon as President across the Pond, and some dude called Cummings giving it large, all happening at the same time.

So why take the heat? Pension that will be well into six figures, and no doubt a bucket load of non Execs in offing, at 56 years old, enjoy life!
 
Mark Sedwill was perhaps (in hindsight) the wrong person to be Cabinet Secretary. Undoubtedly massively capable and experienced in Diplomacy and Foreign Policy, and "deep" National Security, more happy with long term relationships and labryinthine strategic objectives. So bang on for NSA. You don't get to do everything he did by being an idiot.

But it seems he was less happy in the bear pit of domestic political affairs as Cabinet Secretary with a new Government, Covid, BREXIT, a certifiable loon as President across the Pond, and some dude called Cummings giving it large, all happening at the same time.

So why take the heat? Pension that will be well into six figures, and no doubt a bucket load of non Execs in offing, at 56 years old, enjoy life!
I was on a dial-in with him a few days ago and he seemed to me to be a very tired man. I've met him before at a few things and on this occasion he seemed to be lacking his normal joie de vivre.
 
I'm surprised that our man on the inside track, BL, has not dropped in to give his expert opinion in five words or less. :-D
Do not joke, it will just end up another thread I try to keep away from.
 
So the UK moves closer to US-style government administration. I seem to remember the UK priding itself on the fact that the CS was apolitical and provided continuity and a 'steady hand' no matter the flavour or experience level of the government. Now it appears that a new government will instead put in its own political appointees who are aligned with the views and policies of the dear leader, and who will then be removed with their boss when he/she eventually goes.
I suspect many of us would agree with your opening statement but have highlighted the word in bold, that I think many of us also now find this not to be no longer the case and is a sad indictment of the current Civil Service.

"I seem to remember the UK priding itself on the fact that the CS was apolitical and provided continuity and a 'steady hand' no matter the flavour or experience level of the government."

edit diction
 
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Truxx

LE
I was going to suggest that you applied to be the new PUS of the FCO - after all, you have extensive experience of working with both FCO and DFID, and can be trusted not to favour either of the shotgun wedding participants, but instead hold them both with all the... respect, yes respect... that they so richly deserve. But perhaps now you should throw your hat in the ring for Cabinet Secretary; after all, you are an expert at returning once mighty, but now wrecked, machinery to its former working order.
I did have a punt at a senior role as you know but got beaten ( in the final two ) by that well known man about town Geoff Hoons scriptwriter.

clearly the best man won enabling me to pursue other passions.

so they would have to crawl over broken glass chanting my name to even get me to glance anywhere near that side of the road

you should apply.
 

Truxx

LE
I suspect many of us would agree with your opening statement but have highlighted the word in bold, that I think many of us also now find this not to be no longer the case and is a sad indictment of the current Civil Service.

"I seem to remember the UK priding itself on the fact that the CS was apolitical and provided continuity and a 'steady hand' no matter the flavour or experience level of the government."

edit diction
The vast majority of the CS are apolitical. The trouble is that the vast majority do not get to pull the levers and press the buttons.
 
It would have been along the lines of "Sedwill is not going anywhere" . . .

Which, reading between the lines, is true.
An intriguing 'observation', and worth watching to see what, if anything, comes out over the next few days.

'One of Boris Johnson’s closest allies, David Frost - who has been negotiating the terms of the UK’s future relationship with the EU - is to become National Security Adviser, in succession to Sir Mark Sedwill, who is standing down both as cabinet secretary and NSA.

'This is an unusual and controversial appointment because Frost is a political appointment, a special adviser, in his current role - and will continue as a political adviser rather than becoming a member of the civil service. There will be a formal process to find a new cabinet secretary. Frost is close to Dominic Cummings, and is routinely referred to as "Frosty" in Johnson’s circle. So anyone who has persuaded themselves that Cummings's influence has waned may need to re-think. Cummings's pervasive influence was also manifest in the Ditchley Lecture given by Michael Gove, which contained more details on Cummings’s long-standing plan to end alleged Whitehall groupthink by replacing traditional mandarins with data scientists and physicists (or at least supplementing the humanities crowd with those from "harder" disciplines).


'But back to Frost - whose appointment is bound to cause a bit of a big gulp among the spooks and military top brass. "They are not happy," said one military source.'

Continuing from the @SkippedOnce link . . . .

Johnson is generous to Sedwill in a handwritten letter to him, thanking him for being a bridge to the new order of things since he became PM 11 months ago.

And Sedwill will have an enduring role on the UK’s behalf, chairing the panel on global economic security when the UK assumes the presidency of the G7 group of leading industrial nations next year (which seems an odd appointment, given that Sedwill’s expertise is in the world of spooks not economics).

But there has been gossip in Whitehall for months that he was not performing the central role expected of cabinet secretaries.

One cabinet member said that since Simon Case was appointed to the new role of 10 Downing Street's permanent secretary "Mark has been invisible".

One important question - that will be answered by an expected future public inquiry - is what kind of role Sedwill has played in the coronavirus disaster.

Senior Whitehall figures have complained he has not gripped the crisis to the extent they would have expected.

However, the PM in his letter praised Sir Mark’s work on limiting the damage of the Covid-19 epidemic and in helping to deliver Brexit.

In Sir Mark’s letter to the PM he acknowledges that his dual role as cabinet secretary - the most senior member of the home civil service - and national security adviser was exceptional.

 
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This has a certain relevance...


I was on a dial-in with him a few days ago and he seemed to me to be a very tired man. I've met him before at a few things and on this occasion he seemed to be lacking his normal joie de vivre.
I have a suspicion that he's not been 100% content for some time, constantly fire-fighting, subject of much negative briefing and then, Bang! hit by COVID-19. He knows that he can step comfortably into some non-executive directorships, enjoy his fellowship (non-stipendary) at an Oxford college, and possibly even becoming the head of one of the colleges before too long. So, upon returning, from his convalescence to find he's fire-fighting, subject of much negative briefing and.... he's decided '**** it' and gone.

But he's exacted a peerage and the global economic security job as his golden goodbye.
 

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