What’s the reality of No.10’s control over government? Is our supposedly superpowered centre really strong enough to command all the organs of state? Do we have too many generalists and too few specialists, and do we even need Special Advisors? Nick Timothy, Theresa May’s former Chief of Staff, joins us to look at the dismal science of “deliverology”. Plus, what will Joe Biden’s arrival mean for Britain? And what was it like dealing with Donald Trump from within No.10?
“I mainly spend my time thinking ‘Thank God I’m not advising a Prime Minister right now’…” – Nick Timothy “For a highly centralised state, we have a surprisingly weak centre of government.” – Alex Thomas“Downing Street was a bit like a sleeping drunk at a party. You’d be going about your life but periodically Downing Street would wake up and start shouting. Then you’ve have to put all your energies into getting them back to sleep.” – Nick Timothy“It’s a real problem that Cabinet doesn’t sit down and set out collective objectives… If you’ve got 570 priorities then you don’t have any.” – Jill Rutter“Special Advisors can be all-powerful or nothing at all. They can practically run a department or be a bag-carrier – or try to run a department with the abilities of a bag-carrier. I’d scrap them altogether.” – Nick Timothy“Donald Trump was a terrible President to deal with but even he didn’t manage to ruin the UK-US relationship.” – Nick TimothyPresented by Bronwen Maddox with Alex Thomas and Jill Rutter. Audio production by Alex Rees
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