Gordon Brown's much trumpeted retreat from spin will be nothing of the sort and this is perfectly illustrated by the appointment of Michael Ellam. Also at the same time while there WILL be a reduction of special advisers these will just be replaced by politicised civil servants who are special advisers in everything but name.
More than a few journalists have been on the receiving end of a threatening e-mail from Ellam who, although, he is officially a Civil Servant, has, it appears, gone fully native under Brown. I understand that The Times Lobby team wrote a piece about the politicisation of the civil service a number of months ago based on activities originating from within the Treasury, including off-the-record briefings and emails from civil servants within HM Treasury who were doing party political work NOT Treasury work. Sadly, this piece was pulled at the last minute by the editor.
Perhaps this story will resurrected in the next couple of days - or perhaps not. Lobby journalists will be keen not to upset the man who will be leaking stories to them over the next few years. They well remember how off the record chats with Alastair Campbell would suddenly dry up if they wrote anything negative about him.