Managing politicians can be a terrible job. You can be like Malcolm Tucker or like Captain Panic Pants…somewhere in between is the perfect demeanour. I am ofÂ theÂ Malcolm Tucker persuasion and so the panic pants types give me the shits.
The pommy version of Captain Panic Pants is talking…he shouldn’t be, but he is:
One of the Prime Ministerâs key advisers has admitted that most of his time is spent on âday-to-day crisis managementâ, amid growing Conservative unease that Downing Street is losing control.
In his first interview, Oliver Dowden, David Cameronâs deputy chief of staff who oversees domestic policy, disclosed that he was âsurprised on a day-to-day basisâ by the news agenda.
The admission will add to concerns that the Prime Ministerâs office is âdysfunctionalâ and unable to influence events following the resignation of key members of staff.
The Daily Telegraph has learnt that several members of the Cabinet are now privately giving warnings that the growing allegations of government incompetence will undermine the Conservativesâ re-election efforts.
One Cabinet minister said that Mr Cameron needed to âsharpen and hardenâ the Downing Street operation as the Conservatives would be judged on âcompetence, not compassionâ.
In an interview with an American public broadcaster at the end of last month, Mr Dowden, nicknamed âOliveâ by other aides, gave a rare insight into the uncertainty inside Downing Street.
He said: âMost of my time is spent on day-to-day crisis management â is the term we use.â
The aide jokingly added that âwe are not permanently in crisisâ before disclosing how he was trying to ensure that Conservative MPs stayed âon messageâ during media interviews.
However, he admitted that he often only discovered the daily political agenda by listening to BBC Radio 4âs Today programme.
âOf course, the first thing I do in the morning, if Iâm not woken up by my very young children, I turn on the Today programme and hear whatâs going on,â he said. âHopefully we will have some sense of whatâs coming up anyway, but often youâll get surprised by whatâs going on âŠâ
Asked when he was last surprised, he replied: âIâm surprised on a day-to-day basis. There is no accounting for the conduct of individuals.â
Heh, maybe Captain panic Pants can reite that nickname and use “Olive” instead?