Cameron’s head of policy ‘has foot inside ENO’

Cameron’s head of policy ‘has foot inside ENO’


norman lebrecht

January 03, 2016

The Guardian’s Mark Brown has spotted that the Morgan Stanley banker Huw van Steenis, recently recruited onto the board of English National Opera, is married to Camilla Cavendish, head of David Cameron’s policy unit at No. 10.



That’s promising in all sorts of ways. ENO has long been seeking to get a political big-hitter on board. Martyn Rose, who resigned as chairman a year ago, was meant to be a man with the right sort of friends but he didn’t last long, or bring any friends on board. An approach to Michael Portillo signally failed.

But a board member married to a Downing St insider could make all the difference, even if (as must be assumed) the couple never discuss their work at home.

The link allows ENO an emergency red telephone for when the Arts Council pulls the plug and – even if the imaginary phone never has to be used – it makes the ACE think three times before further pursuing its long-running vendetta.

It’s a tiny glimmer of hope in a very gloomy situation. Orchestra and chorus cutbacks now loom large.

Read Brown’s article here.


  • Eddie Mars says:

    Or it could be like having a Gauleiter’s spouse in your boardroom. I see nothing positive in this whatsoever. Quite the reverse.

    • CDH says:

      My first thought too.

      • DESR says:

        Mr Mars,

        Your Nazi analogy would appear to be another example of Godwin’s law…ahem! And dear me…

        • Eddie Mars says:

          Another poster with NOTHING to say.

          • DESR says:

            On the contrary, will comment when I have something to say that isn’t pure speculation, but you need to be kept to your own apparently high standards old chum.

            They dish it out…

        • Eddie Mars says:

          Blah, blah, empty neocon ad hominem blah

          • DESR says:

            YOU complain of an ad hominem attack?

            Surely your cheeks must be blushing now?!

            Just calling out hypocrisy: you had complained of those who use Nazi analogies… And then used one.

            Hypocrisy is not the preserve of either left or right. But you must be vigilant of yourself as well as of others!

  • Mathieu says:

    A head with a foot. Striking image.