Friday, March 31, 2006
EXCLUSIVE: LibDem Seeks New Job: Proven Fundraising Skills
The Liberal Democrats have tried to paint themselves as whiter than white over the recent political funding saga. But some of us remember how they were slapped over the knuckles by the Electoral Commission for the way they handled the £2 million donation from the bizarre character Michael Brown. It's interesting to note that Charles Kennedy's former Head of Office, the redoubtable Anna Werrin, is making great play of her political fundraising skills in the CV she is circulating to would-be employers, now that Kennedy no longer has a job for her.
Among the many skills she displays is "playing a leading role in the fundraising activities of the Party". And it seems she played a very leading role indeed. She goes on to boast that one of her key functions was "representing the Leader at all fundraising functions and acting as the link with key donors (e,g, personal responsibility for “pitching” at major donors and securing donations to the Party of £3,000,000 plus in the last five years)". Quite a boast.
Now I have never worked in a Leader's Office, but if I had, and I was Head of the Office, I'd make damned sure I steered clear of "pitching", as she puts it, to major donors. Surely that is not the job of an apparatchik, let alone the apparatchik who was regarded by everyone as Charles Kennedy's representative on earth. But more to the point, what a stupid thing to put on your CV at the moment.
Another key skill Ms Werrin is keen for a future employer to be aware of is "managing the Leader’s relationship with key party management committees to include assisting with the election of individuals to key posts". Now what on earth can she mean by that? Particularly the last bit.
We should not forget, however, that Charles Kennedy thought extremely highly of Ms Werrin. In his resignation statement he thanked friends and colleagues, saying: "They are far too numerous to mention individually, save one - and that person is Anna Werrin. A finer friend and colleague you could not wish for - throughout my first 23 years in politics! High praise indeed.