I am indebted to one of the commenters on yesterday’s blog for the inspiration for today’s.
You see – I do read them; and the ones on Twitter, and the ones on Facebook. I like the comments. I like the ones from people complaining we’ve blocked their response, when it is already up there.
I love the rabid Tory ones going really agitato when I suggest Dave is nothing more than a not bad spin doctor who would not have a clue how to run a government, whose stance on the economic crisis alone was evidence of his unfitness to govern, whose foreign policy is a blank piece of paper and whose European policy – the one area he has one – consists of cuddling up to racists and homophobes as the first step in taking Britain to the margins of Europe.
So keep ’em coming, oh rabid ones, all ye who refuse to see the evidence of your own eyes – a Britain better, stronger, fairer and more modern as a result of 12 years of Labour government.
Keep ’em coming too, ye fellow believers who realise the damage a return to Toryism would do … Which brings me to my inspiration, signed only as Em.
‘People hate the media,’ she says. ‘A good sales pitch should include the notion that DC’s success with journos only points to him being the wrong man… The media alone is excited about DC. Twelve years ago the British people were alive with hope and energy to build a new Britain with TB. Nothing even remotely resembling this kind of spirit is surrounding DC.’
There is a lot in there. Let’s take the hatred of the media first. Hatred may be too strong for some, but people do not trust it as once they did, and they know that the media are players not just spectators. Their one-sided cheerleading for Cameron, as opposed to the ‘GB can do no right’ prism through which they cover the PM, could easily provoke a backlash, as the argument builds that Cameron is trying to make the debate a policy-free zone.
But the question then is whether Cameron’s success with the media can be made into a problem for him. And here Em has a point, born in an ancient rule of strategy – turn your opponents’ strengths into weaknesses. Cameron only has one strength – he has got the media slurping out of his hand.
What does it say about him that his success comes in that area? It says everything.
Ah, go the Pot-Kettle-Black brigade, but it is what you and TB did, got the media all squared and onside. One, no we didn’t … We had a fairer leveller media playing field than Neil Kinnock or John Smith, but the songs of the right have always been sung loudest because most media owners are right wing and it remains the independent media that sets the tone and the prism for the broadcasters.
Secondly, whilst TB was undoubtedly good at communications, he was good at a lot more than that – notably the two things Dave appears hesitant even to embrace. Policy. And making difficult decisions.
The power of Em’s observation is that Cameron is a mediaman. For the media. Of the media. By the media. Giving not two tosses about the public other than as the means to be delivered into power.So the Tories and the media have a shared interest in saying the game is over, and it is only a matter of time.
There is the makings of a good line of attack in here – the media love him because all he cares about is what they say about him; they’ve decided he’s home and dry … but shouldn’t the public have their say first?
Meanwhile, instead of claiming he has achieved nothing, constantly point up his one big achievement – turning the media into pussycats.