CAMPAIGN DIARY: IPA’s sober suit Raad shows his rarely seen wild side at send-off

For more than two decades, John Raad has been the IPA’s backroom bureaucrat and the author of countless industry position papers to Whitehall mandarins containing such memorable bon mots as ’Ministers may wish to reconsider the desirability of ...’

For more than two decades, John Raad has been the IPA’s backroom

bureaucrat and the author of countless industry position papers to

Whitehall mandarins containing such memorable bon mots as ’Ministers may

wish to reconsider the desirability of ...’



So it came as a bit of a shock to learn last week that the deputy

director-general isn’t the old sobersides people think he is. According

to one story doing the rounds at Raad’s combined retirement party and

60th birthday last week, Raad enjoys dressing up in cowboy gear and

singing unsuitable songs like Wild Thing.



Sadly, we could only trace photographic rather than aural evidence of

this schizophrenic behaviour.



A tad more believable is the story that Nick Phillips, the IPA’s

director-general, told of Raad and the office badminton tournament.



The idea of it wasn’t to get everybody in shape, he confessed. There was

already shapeliness enough among the preponderance of females

involved.



The true purpose was to raise the morale among the sad old gits who

relished the thought of all those lissome Joan Hunter-Dunne types

flashing their thighs and knicker elastic.



Raad not only missed the whole point of the thing by not only trying to

win but actually succeeding.



When it comes to sangfroid, however, Raad is without equal. With the

Belgrave Square offices destroyed by fire in 1984 it fell to Raad to

break the news to David Wheeler, the then director-general, who was in

China.



Any problems? Wheeler asked. Nothing serious, Raad replied before calmly

adding that an accident had just turned Wheeler’s car into a mangled

wreck and - oh yes - the IPA had burned down.



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