Monday, 25 May 2009

Hot air, spin and a media strategy from the political class

After the entire political class was caught on the back foot by the expenses furore, the spinmeisters are now taking charge again. Ed Miliband and Alan Johnson must share the same media trainers, who would have advised something like:
Don’t try to explain it away. Explanations sound like excuses, and the public isn’t interested. They’re only interested in action. Don’t look backwards - the media will always have 20/20 hindsight vision. Look forwards, place yourself at the front of the fight to reform a rotten system. And in case there’s a skeleton, or even a small metatarsel lurking in your cupboard, say you’ll put money aside to pay what isn’t allowable once the new system is agreed and in place. And don’t, please don’t sign a cheque for £40,000 to pay back maintenance work on your moat. (Media Mentor)
So Miliband and Johnson throw a red herring of radical reform into the ring knowing full well it hasn't a hope of being considered before the next election, but it does the job of distracting the news media and puts them on the track with Gordon in the more-radical-than-thou media race.

Meanwhile Richard North over at Eu Referendum accuses Cameron of a snow job on reform. I'm not so sure. Unlike Miliband or Johnson, Cameron's limited proposals are realistic and workeable and could be in place fairly quickly. Cameron, in other words, unlike Miliband or Johnson, could be genuine rather than playing out a media strategy.

There is a creeping suspicion that Labour's media strategy - keep blaming the system, don't admit guilt, don't sack anyone, don't pay anything back and promise unrealistic radical reform - may be beginning to work. The Labour spin machine must be giving off smoke as they desperately try to regain the front foot. But will the news media be smart to Labour's spin strategy, or just ride the spin as the BBC is content to do? It's a huge gamble, and could well rebound on them.


ascotinlessables said...

It seems to me that Richard North needs a very long holiday. He is becoming much more than a grumpy young man but is turning into a total bore. He really needs to understand that the world inhabited with people is and never will be up to his exacting standards. We all have faults but he seems to think we are not allowed any!

Anonymous said...

After the spin, manipulation and refusal to accept responsibility, only a fool would vote for any of the 3 main rotten parties.

Guthrum said...

A Constitutional Convention is required keeping any member from this Rotten Parliament well clear

Anonymous said...

I think it would be a mistake to throw out the baby with the bathwater,,,

Paul Murricane said...

I'm the 'guru' who wrote the advice at the beginning of your blog - glad to see it's been picked up! The aim is exactly what the comments have been advising: forget spin, take action. Time was when you could be economical with the truth. Not any more. What the public demands is honesty, transparency, and accountability. And (are you listening Gordon Brown?) a plan!