Sunday, 30 January 2011

Let’s Hear It for the Boy

Uncle Eric has two Special Advisors but some have questioned their skills and experience to perform thier role. They are certainly good at securing the front page of The Daily Mail with a constant stream of rubbish about bins but what else do they achieve? They seem to have indirectly managed to insult, defame and generally annoy a lot of people. Here is the latest FoI request about their recent training.

Dear Chums
Last night I had the chance to relax from all this Armchair Auditing nonsense and kick- back to enjoy an old VHS tape of Footloose. In my ecstatic revelry, as I was dancing along to Deniece Williams singing “Let’s Hear It for the Boy” I got thinking about Uncles Eric’s special boys.

I think the sterling work of the special advisors is often over looked. Where would we be without Nick Sheridan-Westlake and Giles Kenningham? Certainly the Department of Communities and Local government would not be held in the regard that it currently is by local councils and other observers if they were not contributing so much.

Many of their duties go unnoticed. All that printing papers at short notice, booking lunches, photocopying and telephoning The Daily Mail every five minutes does not happen by itself. They also have the unenviable task of stopping Grant Shapps sounding stupid every time he opens his mouth – some may suggest they need to try harder on this task. I know that DCLG’s SpAds are bright young lads and no doubt have lots of A* GSCEs between them but some still questioned their training and relevant experience for the job.

Can you please help put these harsh baseless rumours to rest? Can you tell me the dates and titles of courses/ formal training provided to Nick Sheridan-Westlake and Giles Kenningham since they joined DCLG? Specifically can you address training that covers the following please?

1.      1.  Courses in research methods. Can these be split between qualitative and quantitative techniques?
2.      2.  Dealing with press offices and general media training
3.      3.  Training in evidence based policy
4.       4. Legal training (especially dealing with defamation, libel and slander laws)

Your special admirer,


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