Dear Leader

IT’S not plain old ‘Dear Sarah’ any more! And don’t think about addressing her with a humdrum ‘Councillor Hayward’ either. No, no, no, no…

Chief staff at Camden Town Hall were told this week in an email from admin support that the new Camden Council boss Sarah Hayward – who said on her appointment last month that she was “humbled” by her ascension to the top job – must have all of her correspondence begin with ‘Leader’ or ‘Dear Leader’. Underlings must now be shuddering to think what punishment awaits if an offensive ‘Dear Cllr Hayward’ slips through…

The internal email sent this week confirms: ‘Any correspondence to Councillor Hayward should be addressed to her as “Dear Leader” or “Leader”. Please inform all staff.’

Yes sir!

14 Comments on Dear Leader

  1. Cllr Tom Simon // June 14, 2012 at 4:05 pm //

    Shades of North Korea?

    They even made a song!

  2. Casey Brodkin // June 14, 2012 at 4:25 pm //

    I used to work for Luton council, same thing happened. I think this is something that people assume they should say, like Madam Mayor, but it is all a bit silly. I doubt ‘Sarah’ (if I can call her that) would actually want.


  3. That was nothing to do with me. I’m just plain old Sarah – or anything anyone else wants to call me (so long as it isn’t offensive!)

  4. Richard Osley! I saw the link to this story via Facebook, good works matey bubble. The hubris of power, is Hayward a protege of any of the 1990s Labour Islington mafia?

  5. Richard Osley // June 14, 2012 at 5:08 pm //

    Sarah says it has nothing to do with her… so who is the Smithers in the workforce who came up with the idea? We deserve to be told.

  6. Bill Gifkins // June 14, 2012 at 5:35 pm //

    Come on Osley! Don’t keep us in suspenders, who was it that leaked it to you?!!

  7. Mike Cooke // June 14, 2012 at 8:30 pm //

    The truth is duller than the speculation. It seems that a junior officer wondered, during a conversation, that it might be respectful to do this. One thing led to another and someone heard it as a new practice and an email was sent. I’m all for staff using thier initiative but on this one we will not be changing our very long tradition of using first names (other than in formal meetings). Councillors and officials don’t need to address each other formally to know that there is lots of respect for each other including for the office that councillors hold. Besides, being called Mr Cooke or Chief Executive all day would drive me potty.

    Mike Cooke

  8. As far as I know there’s nothing in writing in Greenwich but officers and Labour councillors frequently refer to Councillor Chris Roberts as “The Leader” rather than by name. Somehow he has made it known that he likes to be so described.

  9. Does she not realise that this smells a bit like North Korea? Speaking of which….

  10. Sarah’s not all bad she will be flipping burgers at our Funday this Saturday with Theo !!!!

  11. Dear, Dearest Richard,
    council staff addressing the leader of the council as leader started with Nash Ali. Evidence of this is from webcasts of Cabinet meetings. All except big Mike though as he addressed Nash as chair. Ha. We know who really is in charge.

  12. Keith Sedgwick // June 22, 2012 at 2:41 pm //

    This blog’s sphere of influence seems to be far and wide. Radio 4’s Today, this morning, ran a piece on this and lifted Sarah’s quote. How does it feel, Richard, to be in the premier league of journalism? How long will it be, before you’re gracing our screens, mic in hand, giving us live coverage of the Camden Labour group clubbing together, around their ‘Leader’, blow by blow?

    “….the rabblement shouted, and clapp’d their chopt hands, and threw up their sweaty night-caps, and uttered such a deal of stinking breath because Sarah refused the crown”

    Sarah, beware the ides of March!

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