By Tim Fish

17 Oct 2012

Scouring the 5,000,000 words in 200 issues of CSW and its predecessor Whitehall & Westminster World, we’ve picked out the stories that made the news, set the agenda, offered an insight – and revealed something fascinating.

Wading through 200 issues of WWW and CSW to prepare this feature has been a fascinating experience; one that’s revealed not only a dramatic transformation in the newspaper’s style and content, but equally massive changes in the civil service’s culture, approach, challenges and morale. When we launched in February 2004, the biggest challenge facing civil servants was how best to spend rising departmental budgets; that dynamic has been neatly reversed (though civil servants struggling to manage an increasingly difficult relationship between the government’s two most powerful politicians may reflect that, on this front at least, less has changed).

I hope you enjoy this trot through some of our best content: we’ve chosen the interviews, news articles and special reports with the most contemporary relevance. Alongside them are columns by Gus O’Donnell, Mark Lowcock, John Hirst and former editor Matt Mercer, plus an entertaining page entitled ‘Did I really say that?’

But the most important thing to say here is: ‘Thank you!’ Without the support of our readers, interviewees, contributors and clients, CSW wouldn’t exist. And without us, I believe, civil servants would be a little less well informed as they work to realise public objectives in that environment of constant, overwhelming change.

For our best bits, please see:

  • Interviewees who went on to greater things
  • Ten interviews with interesting messages
  • Reflections on CSW from civil servants and our former editor
  • Our ten best scoops
  • Five revealing special reports
  • Did I really say that?


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