The Bigotgate Blunder

April 29th, 2010 by

Gordon Brown’s “bigotgate” blunder yesterday was a PR mistake in another way, too. Modern political PR operators have lost their nerve. They have become control freaks, obsessed with managing away every hint of risk from their candidates’ daily schedules. ”Ordinary” members of the public are wheeled up, carefully selected for their doglike devotion to Party and Candidate. They receive their pat on the head, they wag their tails and off they go. The Prime Minister’s reaction yesterday when he found himself actually talking to a real member of the public (albeit a lifelong supporter of his Party) was as interesting […]

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How to Counter Clegg

April 19th, 2010 by

God, what a wonderfully gripping election campaign this has become. Even before the Leaders’ debates, it was full of fascination and intrigue. For once we actually had real policy differences. Should there be a National Insurance hike? Should we delay the budget cuts? And, as if selected by Central Casting, we had two party leaders who could hardly have seemed less alike. The glowering, fearsome bull and the smooth, twinkle toed matador. But, on this occasion there was real uncertainty over whose blood would be soaking the sand of the Plaza de Toros when the bullfight was done. We were […]

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Romania at the Point of Lift-Off

April 8th, 2010 by

In Bucharest for most of last week, visiting Chelgate’s office there. We’re in new offices – our third move in the past five years, and they are a delight. Comfortable, elegant and close to almost everything that matters. People are often surprised when I say Bucharest is one of my favourite cities. But perhaps the charm of the place is that you have to dig a little to find its beauty and its secrets. But, one early evening, sitting in the sun in the wonderful, restored old town, sipping a glass of cold Ursus beer, I realised that all the […]

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