Thursday, May 31, 2007

Gordon (Re)Names His New Spin Doctor

With the news today focussing on Andy Coulson, not many people seem to have noticed that Gordon Brown has appointed his own Heir to Alastair Campbell Director of Communications today, Michael Ellams - or at least reannounced his appointment.

Gordon Brown's much trumpeted retreat from spin will be nothing of the sort and this is perfectly illustrated by the appointment of Michael Ellam. Also at the same time while there WILL be a reduction of special advisers these will just be replaced by politicised civil servants who are special advisers in everything but name.

More than a few journalists have been on the receiving end of a threatening e-mail from Ellam who, although, he is officially a Civil Servant, has, it appears, gone fully native under Brown. I understand that The Times Lobby team wrote a piece about the politicisation of the civil service a number of months ago based on activities originating from within the Treasury, including off-the-record briefings and emails from civil servants within HM Treasury who were doing party political work NOT Treasury work. Sadly, this piece was pulled at the last minute by the editor.

Perhaps this story will resurrected in the next couple of days - or perhaps not. Lobby journalists will be keen not to upset the man who will be leaking stories to them over the next few years. They well remember how off the record chats with Alastair Campbell would suddenly dry up if they wrote anything negative about him.


Anonymous said...

Slightly off the point but related I hope.

I have often wondered why the Lobby correspondents and political journalist don't stick together more. Of course they are in competition for stories and scoops but if they collectively agreed to boycott politicians and spin doctors who abused their positions they would starve them of the publicity they crave and rely on.

Campbell was a disgrace and I would have thought it would have been possible for the Lobby to do something about him if they had acted in concert. On the other hand perhaps the Murdoch empire was too powerful and Campbell could have outflanked any joint actions by the Lobby via the Sun, Times and Sky?

Not much point of a free press if they haven't the courage to stand up for themselves.

I'm not attempting to make a point. I'm genuinely curious.

Anonymous said...

So NuLab appoint a new spinner and NuCon appoint a new spinner,I think boy dave will be spinning way past the next GE wondering why he didnt get in ,people or just me are/is cheesed off with spin, so dave go and spin your head ,maybe it will put some sense into it ,you are going to lose the next GE for the Conservatives otherwise

Gareth said...

What a pathetically pavlovian bunch the lobby journos appear to be. How do they live with their consciences?

Anonymous said...

Ellam is a class act.What's left of the Tory Party please note.He's quality.

Anonymous said...

Alistair Campbell's tactic with journalists was simple and effective: Divide and Rule. To face him down they would have needed the patient, unequivocal support of every editor in Fleet Street.

Which was too much to hope for.

Newmania said...

Having just wandered through the alien world of the New Statesman I noticed that 50 ideas for Brown included ending spin
( The other 49 seemed to be new taxes of one sort or another) .Did anyone ever seriously think that Gordon brown was interested in open government. He meant to say that what appears attractive( i e not him) might not be .There is no more to it than that and yet he gets away with this guano when surely the Journalists writing their hagiographies know better . I am becoming concerned that he is being given a free ride . This is the very architect of the New Labour fiasco and its as if he was a shy political virgin no-one wants to offend .
I am sure we can rely on nice Mr. Dale to lead the charge if the Conservative Party lack the cojones and it is to be hoped he will relax he strictures on the language avaiable on occassion for this purpose.
With Brown the other faces recede into indistinct grey . Only he occupies the picture.

Anonymous said...

Ah, of course! Gordon Brown's appointment shows he is continuing the spin whereas Cameron's new "director of communications" is merely there to objectively describe Tory policies... or is Iain applying his own spin to today's news?

Anonymous said...

The price for an exclusive!

Chris Paul said...

Yawn. Is everything spin then? News management, press relations, impression management, etc.

This post is itself spin as is most of the IDD ouevre at this rate.

So sharp it may cut itself.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for thrilling us with your acumen Chris.

Anonymous said...

Just wait until the EU summit sellout for a bit of REAL spin.

Anonymous said...

Interesting story in the Daily Mail today by Benedict Brogan about how Labour has spent £988,679 of taxpayers money promoting political interests.

More Brown corruption.