The types and tribes of Westminster – the boys

Written by The Go Getters on 21 July 2011 in Diary
Diary
There are all kinds of men wandering around Parliament, but what are they really like? Felicity Parkes breaks it down for you

You can read the first part of Felicity's guide here

A few weeks ago I described a few different groups of female staffers in Westminster. Because we don't want the poor dears to be left out, I've put together a few for the male staffers.

There are other groups for both genders which I could mention but frankly the Mother of all Parliaments is filled with so many weird and wonderful people I would be here all day.

Always in a sharp suit with fashionable shoes, this chap is the professional networker. He won't leave home without a stack of business cards and his gym bag. If he doesn't know who you are then he soon will but only for as long as you're a good connection to have. He is more likely to read GQ than Total Politics.

A typical alpha male – what he doesn't know about you or a particular subject will be made up for in confidence and pleasant smiles. Before getting into politics, the Go Getter might have considered being an actor. Their friends will often say “nice chap but a bit of a prick.”

Likely to say: “I said the same thing to the PM last week at a drinks event and you know what? He agreed with me.”

The Attack Dogs

No matter how hard the Attack Dog tries he will always look like he has just rolled out of bed. Crumpled suits and stained ties abound but he doesn't care as he has far more important things to worry about. No stone is left unturned and no statistic has been missed, the Attack Dog hunts down and consumes information like a fat kid left alone with someone else's birthday cake. He'll have a dedicated folder for 'enemy leaflets'.

Friendship, socialising, sleep and manners mean nothing to an Attack Dog on a mission. The deadliest of all staffers.

Likely to say: “They ran the story on their front page and three days later he resigned. That scalp is mine!”

The School Boys

Forever in blue blazers and school ties. The School Boy is making a real effort when he's wearing his bow tie or cravat. Any night out will always involve cigars, champagne and quite possibly at least one rendition of God Save the Queen. Politics wasn't really a choice since everyone in his family is in some way in the business. He didn't try all that hard to get a job in an MP's office because he didn't have to.

Conversations not centred around boat racing, cricket or what his friend Biffy recently got up to will confuse him.

Likely to say: “Of course I am allowed on the Terrace. Do you know who my father is?”

The Class Warriors

He battles against the system and the evil elitists whilst wearing a TopShop suit and reading the New Statesman. When he's not working with union liaison managers he's in the Sports & Social looking for a chance to prove how progressive he is. The Class Warrior is as unlikely to have a cross party friendship as the School Boy. He's an enthusiastic worker but will irritate his colleagues by constantly recounting his experiences on the 'front line' with Billy Bragg. He will have most likely been on holiday in Italy at the time of said riot.

Likely to say: “Have you seen my iPhone, it's the one with the UkUncut screen saver?”

The Office Wizards

The revered political geek. Quiet and shy is the dear Office Wizard but that's only because he has so much going on in his head. It's not easy remembering every single political and electoral fact since the turn of the last century. He lives in a world of academic research papers and think tank articles. It's hard for him to grasp the human element of what he does and might wistfully refer to himself as a scientist. They have been known to develop an ego and double cross their older brothers.

Likely to say: “You're thinking of a DWP debate in 2007 – March 12th. I have the Hansard at home and it's page 42 I think...”

Tags: Felicity Parkes, Researchers, Westminster

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