Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Tactical Briefing

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Tactical Briefing

Article excerpt

Tactical Briefing

From: The Unit

To: GB

Subject: Caryn

* So, pretty good week all in all. Obviously, by the time you read this we'll know the situation in Crewe and Nantwich and then we'll be able to say whether it's been a really really good week (in the case of a victory), signalling a temporary reappraisal of the universal expectation of a general election defeat, or (in the case of a defeat) just another in a long run of "pretty good weeks" for us.

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* Now there is a difficult matter I have been loth to raise with you up until now. But I think at this point it would be unhelpful to pretend that all is well here at the Unit. Resentments have been simmering for some time, and anyone who has seen the ad hoc "demarcation line" built of box files and back issues of Prospect that has been constructed across the middle of our office will know: two camps have now formed here.

* I like to think of the rival factions as the "Practical Positive Realists"--that is, me and Waldorf the work-experience person -and the "Stupid Cynical Idiots", that is, Caryn and Rob. I think that even Caryn agrees that these labels are a fair summary of our two positions.

* When the Unit was a larger operation any differences that arose could be subsumed. But after the recent exciting weeks, each repackage and relaunch has seen morale go from strength to strength and more and more talented people have left No 10 -until, as you know, the Unit now comprises me, Waldorf the work-experience person, and Caryn and Rob. …

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