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Amusing civil service memo leaked to the Sunday Telegraph shows preparations among civil servants at the Department of Communities and Local Government for a Conservative Government included "role playing." There were also a series of top tips for the mandarins on coping with their new masters.

  • Drop such words as "families," "radical," "neighbourhoods" and "progressive" into the conversation.
  •  "There may be challenge over our part in what they see as failed policies/ delivery." The answer is to "talk of efficiencies / value for money without prompting" use such phrases as: "Congratulations! I had so much confidence in you, I might get complacent!"
  • Avoid "using 'we' when we mean the previous government."
  •  While the "Minister's agenda" is different from "our own agenda" – the department should be "willing to flex our own agenda." A touching concession to democracy.
  • Be prepared for challenge to cit the Department's budget by up to 40%. Be ready fo such questions as: "Why are we doing this? How soon can we stop doing it? Can we take 40 per cent of the costs out?"

The Secretary of State, Eric Pickles, has responded via Twitter:

Enjoying leaked memo on how to handle new Ministers. Wonder who played me in Role Play-secretly hope Brian Blessed. 

The rest of the Ministerial team at the DCLG has been announced. The Ministers of State are Grant Shapps and Greg Clark. The Under Secretaries of State are Bob Neill and Baroness Hanham (both Conservatives) and Lib Dem MP Andrew Stunell. Congratulations to all of them. (I have so much confidence I might become complacent, etc,…)

9 comments for: DCLG civil servants used “role playing” to prepare for Pickles

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