ARCHIVE: Looking for that special someone: the enduring relationship between politicians and special advisers

[First Published on Thursday 29th July 2010]

The following post was first published on ConSoc’s previous site. It is recorded here as a window onto issues as they were at the time. For more up to date news on the Constitution and Constitutional reform, make sure to follow the ConSoc blog.

“There’s nothing new under the sun”, wrote satirist Ambrose Bierce around a hundred years ago, “but there are a lot of old things that we don’t know.”  That quotation came to mind while researching the role of ‘special advisers’, forever associated with New Labour’s desire to control the news agenda.  Countless frothing commentators fulminated against this supposedly new species of supposedly public servants, accused of blurring an unstated but sacred line between party interests and public service.  But are they really a new phenomenon, or just an ‘old thing that we didn’t know’?

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