Winning Minds pp 109-114 | Cite as


  • Simon Lancaster


Cabinet reshuffles are an exciting time in Whitehall. As speechwriter to a cabinet minister, you never know whether the boss is going to move; nor can you be sure that, if they do move, they’re going to invite you along with them. In 2007, I moved with Alan Johnson when he was shuffled from the Department of Education to the Department of Health. Instantly there were a number of major speeches and parliamentary statements to write. I was plunged head first into a series of meetings to acquaint me with the issues. These meetings were horrendous. Everyone spoke this awful jargon. Everyone was constantly saying words like benchmarking, collaborating, beacons, deliverables, frameworks. I emerged from one of these meetings and said to the official beside me, someone who had been working at the department for years: ‘I didn’t understand a word of that.’ ‘Oh!’ she said. ‘Thank God! I thought it was just me!’


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© Simon Lancaster 2015

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  • Simon Lancaster

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