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April 04, 2007


Mark Wadsworth

I was chatting to an American on the Tube recently, and he said he was a Labour-supporter. I reminded him that they were totally incompetent and corrupt, and his reply was "Ah yes, but what about the Tories? What about David Mellor?".

Now that's what I call news-management!


Isn't it because it's only recently that the Treasury agreed to release the papers?

Critics of Brown have always attacked the ACT relief abolition; these papers were always going to be used as a peg on which to hang those criticisms, and to make them stick better; this could have happened any time since the FOI request two years ago.

The more interesting point is how Brown, not his opponents, is trying to trying to manage the voters. He reckons it's better for this to come out now than in a couple of months. Your analysis thus suggests he's made a good tactical move - it will have blown over by the leadership contest; but a bad strategic one - it allows his critics "a platform from which cue dependency and repetition will help ram home future bad stories about" him in time for the GE.


I remember Gough Whitlam's speech to the Australian parliament on his dismissal as prime minister. His story about what happened changed during the three-quarter of an hour (?) speech -- a very real demonstration of a politician's belief in spin.

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