The Secret Life of Special Advisers by Peter Cardwell
Hardback/Paperback, 304 pages
14 June 2022 / 27 October 2020
Shadowy geniuses whispering, Rasputinlike, into the ears of our elected politicians under a cloak of secrecy, or a crucial but undervalued cog in the machinery of government? …Or just a rag-tag band of weirdos and misfits?
Despite the acres of speculation devoted to special advisers in recent years, from Alastair Campbell to Dominic Cummings, their role is much misunderstood. Who are the people Piers Morgan once called ‘these miserable little creatures’ and just how much influence do they have?
Peter Cardwell served as SpAd to four Cabinet ministers, acting as media adviser, political fixer, troubleshooter and occasional wardrobe consultant. In this candid, compelling and frequently hilarious insider account, he takes the reader into the heart of Whitehall to reveal what the job really involves, from dealing with counter-terror emergencies in Cobra to explaining to the Justice Secretary what a dental dam is, to having your inside leg measured in a government office.
Packed with advice on navigating the perks and pitfalls of the job, The Secret Life of Special Advisers will inform and entertain anyone who has ever wondered what these mysterious figures really do all day.