his circle of able intimates...A bit of slackness

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Could you any of you help me with this underline phrase, what do they mean?
Even during Cameron's ascendant period, his circle of able intimates always felt smaller than Blair's. Now, with his policy guru Steve Hilton absent much of the time on an ambiguous "sabbatical" in California, and his spin doctor Andy Coulson lost to the phone-hacking scandal, Cameron is served by a No 10 that many observers of Whitehall consider underpowered or even chaotic. "David is not an intellectual," says his former adviser. "A bit of slackness and complacency can creep in. He is coasting a bit now."


Thanks in advance!
  • JustKate

    Senior Member
    Forum rules require that you ask just one question per thread, so I'll talk about "his circle of able intimates." If the other two ("a bit of slackness and complacency" and "coasting a bit now") still confuse you, maybe you can post them in separate threads. The reason for this requirement is to make the forum easier to search.

    Circle here means "small group of advisers." Able here means "competant" or "skilled." So this entire phrase means "the group of close advisers that he relied on most and that are the most skilled."

    I hope this helps. :)
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