Back in the time of Margaret Thatcher, there was a revolving door in politics: here, business folk and politicians passed through, gaining contacts and directorships as they went. This habit has not gone away. Now, it is lobbyists and advisors that pass through the door, as demonstrated with the release yesterday of a list of Special Advisors (SpADs), together with details of their remuneration packages.
Head SpAD, not surprisingly, is Andy Coulson (and trousering an agreeable 140k with it), but look further down the list to those attached to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, and you will see the name Susie Squire. Susie who? Ah well. La Squire is a former staffer at the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance (representing less than one tenth of one per cent of all taxpayers, and still not publishing full accounts).
No actual salary is shown for her, but given the PB2 grading, this will be somewhere between 60k and 70k – not bad for someone whose CV features such highlights as “Identifying Council non jobs”, while filling one herself. La Squire is one of the new users of the latest revolving door: last month part of an Astroturf lobby group, and now on the Government payroll.
That’ll be the payroll that the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance says is too high, and funds too many hangers on. Hey, even its former “campaign director” says so. And who was that “campaign director”? Step forward Susie Squire!
Can you smell a faint whiff of hypocrisy?