Job descriptions are not always a good description of what doing a job will really involve, nor are they always a good indication of what’s really going on. The job description for Tim Farron’s Chief of Staff (interim Chief of Staff Ben Rich keeping to his promise to set things up and move on), however, is one of the more revealing ones.
Aside from the opening joke (40 hours a week? yeah, right), and the wince at the missing apostrophe, it is a job description that is full of party management tasks.That’s a good sign because it means Tim Farron is serious about delivering on the many commitments he made during the party leadership election which will require significant changes to how the party operates. From aiming for 100,000 members through to radically improving the party’s record on diversity, the steps required keep on coming back to delving deep into the more obscure recesses of how the party is run.
It’s notable how frequently party management tasks feature in the job description, along with working with the Chief Executive and President, both of whom are mentioned above the MPs and Director of Communications – a clear sign of where the priority for this role will be.
The description also hints that whilst Tim Farron has taken on chairing the Federal Policy Committee, it will be his Chief of Staff who turns up to all the Federal Executive (FE) meetings with Farron a less regular attendee. Having your senior member of staff fully committed to working heavily with the FE is better than being a leader who nominally attends but only does so infrequently and for short parts of the meeting.
Now there’s just the small matter of who will get the job…