Sunday, July 29, 2007

So what's the story?

I have just read an interesting piece by Charles Moore in Saturday's Telegraph. It is entitled "Calm Cameron may understand the story".

It is based on the premise, which I had not thought that much about before, but chimes nevertheless that the media get a story in their heads, and can't let go. The current story is that Gordon Brown is not Tony Blair, which I have to say is not much of a shock to me.

Hence, when Labour were caught with a million pound donation from Bernie Ecclestone and changed policy on banning smoking advertising, that was not the story, because the story was that Tony Blair was a straight kind of guy. In fact Charles says this on the matter:
For example, Tony Blair's exemption in 1997 of Formula One from the ban on tobacco advertising because F1's Bernie Ecclestone had given money to the Labour Party was a big story. But it never really took off because The Story then was that Mr Blair was, as he put it, "a pretty straight kind of guy".

When "cash for honours" - actually a much less clear case of corruption - came along, however, The Story had changed. Mr Blair was now regarded as a lying sleazeball, and so poor little rich curry kings and property developers who had been so rash as to lend to Labour were pilloried for years. The Story demanded it.
In essence what we need to do is to stay calm, and look to grab the story when we can. The flooding may provide some help as a close look indicates cuts in flood defence budgets that need explaining.

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