Oh dear. Ming's image is apparently about to undergo a much needed overhaul, but it's already suffered a blow. The man deputed with Mission Impossible 4 is former LibDem Candidate and current MD of Burson Marstellar Gavin Grant. His solution is to turn Ming 'common'. An anonymous LibDem MP (surely not his chief of staff) tells today's Daily Telegraph...
"During our conference Gavin Grant went up to see the leader in his hotel room, where he was preparing for a speech, and found him with a plate of fish and chips on his lap watching Strictly Come Dancing. This is the side people never see."
Indeed it is the side people never see. And neither did Gavin Grant - mainly because Strictly Come Dancing wasn't on television at the time. And neither was Strictly Dance Fever. I've checked the schedules. I suspect the fact of the matter was that he was listening to the Home Service on the Wireless sipping a glass of malt and eating a smoked salmon and cucumber sandwich with the crust cut off. The truth of the matter is that you can't make a silk purse out a sow's ear. They should play to Ming's strengths and not try to turn him into something he clearly isn't. It won't work and people will see through it.
I rather fancy the Limp Dums are seeking to manufacture a Sow's Ear of the People from a Silk Purse, actually.
How very NuLab.
What next? De-elocution lessons for the poor old soul, perhaps? ("For Chrissake drop the aitches, lovey...")
The truth of the matter is that you can't make a silk purse out a sow's ear.
Or the other way round, in this case.
If Ming's spin-doctor is correct, then civilization in the UK is now in decline. From here on, it's a race to prove how low-brow and squalid you can be.
How long before the press release claiming
"he was er.... watching it on DVD, oh no that's not too posh, I mean err it was a video, in fact he wasn't really watching it at all he was looking at the pictures of some of the contestants in 'Now' magazine.. err yes that's what I meant"
You have to laugh, the poor lib-dims can't even spin properly. I suppose you don't need to be able to spin when you face in every direction simultaneously.
People aren't impressed by Blair, whose accent is normally so middle-class that he refers to Coventry as 'Cuventry', stopping his glottals. It sounds false, and patronising. I won't vote for David Cameron, but at least he speaks the same way all the time. If you read Susan Crosland's biography of her late husband, one of the things that impressed working-class left-wing Labour MPs such as Dennis Skinner was that Crosland didn't try to alter his accent. Had he done so, they would have considered it patronising.
Likewise, one of the problems with Ruth Kelly, apart from her managerial incompetence, was that horrible Estuarine foghorn drone (which probably wasn't acquired at St Paul's).
Campbell is so old-fashioned that he refers to people going out with each other as 'walking out' with each other. If they start trying to get him down the Ministry of Sound in the early hours, or enthusing about Puff Daddy, it just isn't going to work. It's bad enough watching Gordon Brown declare that he listens to the Artic Monkeys in the morning.
Well spotted Iain. That anecdote meant to make him seem more homely and empathic was a crafted deliberate lie.
This is how the political class operates, without any compunction they will lie, lie, and lie again if they think it serves their interests.
What vile creatures are professional politicians.
I'm loathe to argue the toss over something so pointless (is this really the best you can some up with Iain?), but I'm bored. What date were the Daily Telegraph referring to, and what date did you check?
Rob, as you well know, if David Cameron had said this you;d be the fgirst to point it out. the key quote is "During our conference Gavin Grant went up to see the leader in his hotel room". This means it has to be your Spring conference - the programme wasn;t running at that time. Even if they meant the Autumn conference (when he wasn;t leader) it wasn't running at that time either. Nor was Strictly Dance Fever.
It's not a big thing in the wider scheme of things but it displays a desperation and is a sign of amateurishness. I think you'd have to agree with that.
Smoked salmon and cucumber sandwich? That is not a recognised sandwich filling, pleb!
It is a bit rich for a Conservative to go down that line of criticism, Iain. Cameron, like Blair, is a master of inventing his class. Ming should stick to being the rather classy gentleman he is and not go estuary on us like the other pair of frauds.
"They should play to Ming's strengths and not try to turn him into something he clearly isn't. It won't work and people will see through it."
The same could be said of Brown and his pathetic attempt at rebranding... Cameron plays to his strengths, however they are not the same as those of Brown and Campbell, for their own good the other parties should not try to "out-Dave" Cameron.
Quite something to be proud of aswell....'At least when we regularly bullsh!t the public we do it with professionalism'. Congratulations - Lets usher in a Cameron government now!
I like Rob Knight's blatent disregard for Limp Dim lies. As Iain rightly says, had a Conservative made a similar claim about David Cameron, his friends on the left would be up in arms - along with a piece on his own blog no doubt.
But then, do we really expect better from the Lib Dems and their blind-eye followers?
Should you not have said "a sow's ear out of a silk purse"???!!!
I think our Prime Minister may have been giving him an idea on what to reinevnt himself as.
Can anyone provide the jpegs of Bling Bling Ming in his Crack Crib?
Or to put it another way with Ming it's fish & chips with Dave it's the name Dave & football.Idoubt whether the electorate believes either of them!
It does seem some rather odd spin. I wonder if a focus group has said Ming is to posh and the story was planted in an attempt to counter this. However I think people will see through anything to false so they shouldn't bother.
Can't imagine Sir Ming eating anything on his lap, let alone fish n' chips - I can see him sitting down to strangle a pheasant, but that's about it.
I think it's feasible that he might have been watching a similar show - ITV's Dancing on Ice, the final of which was on the night before Ming's speech at the Spring Conference. I've no way of knowing if it's true, and I find it even harder to care, but it neither strikes me as likely or unlikely. Given that the comments are (at least) second-hand, it's not at all unlikely; I've never watched any of those kinds of shows and would struggle to tell the difference. (dear God, I've wasted 10 minutes of my life unearthing that information). Either way I think it's a daft piece of PR, if that's really what it was.
Iain, you rightly point out that I've had many a pop at David Cameron over the last 6 months. But I don't think I've ever sunk to the depths of questioning his TV viewing habits. I might question his sincerity, or his attachment toenvironmental issues; generally I try to stick to matters of substance, insofar as there is anything of substance to discuss.
archer-are you sure about the !h! in pheasant?
But Rob can't you see it has NOTHING to do with his TV viewing habits. It has to do with integrity, or the lack of it. The Lib Dims released a statement that was untrue. Iain reported it. And you shoot the messenger. Desperate is not the word. Next time just tell the truth and then there won't be a problem. So will the Lib Dims be telling us what Ming the merciless WAS watching and eating?
Michael - the name of the programme went through two people in this case (Gavin what's-name and the MP who actually made the quote). The first could have got it wrong from what was presumably a quick glance at the TV, and the second because it was passed-on information.
Michael - what I'd like to say is that I've got better things to talk about than Ming's eating or TV-viewing habits, but my argument has been somewhat undermined by the PR man in question.
Put it this way: I think it's entirely feasible that the version of events presented was true. The only discrepancy is the name of the programme in question - was it Strictly Come Dancing or Dancing on Ice? The timing fits perfectly for the second option and I know that I'd have a hard time telling the two shows apart from a brief glance at the TV (I must admit that I have never watched either of them, though I'm aware of the former's existence and was not aware of the latter until Iain caused me to have to look it up).
I'll admit that it was a pointless bit of PR fluff that should never have been judged important enough to be worth talking about, if you'll admit that it wasn't some mendacious plot to fool the public into thinking that Ming might occasionally watch TV. Fair deal?
I just think if you release a press statement that is false, you open yourself up to ridicule. Maybe it was incompetence, maybe it was dishonesty. Dabble in trivia at your peril.
I agree Iain. Ming is Ming and no attempts at changing an already established image will ever work. There are so many examples of where this just ends up a confused mess. DC's strength is that in the public mind he has no history. Too many of our former leaders were associated with the Thatcher era. It was a great era but Labour spun it into the negative which all those that came after suffered from.
Ruth Kelly was at Westminster, not St Pauls
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