Wednesday, December 12, 2007

On the Road With Brown Tours

Sky News's Glen Oglaza has a fascinating ACCOUNT of the media's trials an tribulations on the PM's visit to Afghanistan. It was so shambolic that they couldn't even file most of their stories. It's yet another example of how the government's media operation is falling into disrepair. No wonder there are rumours of an Alastair Campbell comeback. It certainly wouldn;t have happened on his day. Whatever else you can say about him - and there's a lot- at least he was competent.


Tapestry said...

Alastair Campbell might be willing to work with Gordon Brown. But I doubt he'd make much difference.

What's clear from his diaries 'The Blair Years' is that he and Blair worked well together on a close basis - a classic creative relationship - with complementary strengths and weaknesses.

I doubt Brown would allow Campbell enough rope to actually do any good, as he would feel threatened by having someone else telling him what to do/or not to do in an honest kind of a way.

Campbell would tell Blair when a piece of a speech wasn't right, and Blair would accept his opinion. I cannot imagine Brown doing so.

Campbell would be driven mad with frustration, and quit within a few weeks - that is assuming he was even willing to give it a try.

The only answer to Brown's inability to lead is for him to cease in his attempt to do so. It's clear that he's not up to the job, and voters will punish Labour for keeping him in situ. If I was a Labour MP I would be planning a proper rebellion, sufficient to move Brown on.

Anonymous said...

and didn't he make the trains run on time ?

The Remittance Man said...

It also smacks of an outing planned and organised in a rush. Now from which disaster did Gordon need to suddenly escape this week?

Anonymous said...

Firstly, no sympathy for the journo's, I've had to deal with them abroad and they are a greedy, self-important lot. Secondly, little sympathy for the squadies. They are supposed to be professionals, they joined through choice and the last time I looked, Britain wasn't at war. They need to get over it or find another job. One might also ask what in God's name this Government thinks it is doing getting involved in so many overseas excuresions like Afghanistan when other Nato members get to sit it out.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:44. A bit harsh but we do seem to be continually poking our nose in where others successfully manage to stay away and still manage to do business. Were we more like New Zealand in so many ways - with the possible exception of the accent!

Richard said...

Causing the temporary discomfort and inconvenience of a few journalists is the least of the failings of the MoD media operation - which would not have happened anyway if the media were prepared to invest in bureau staff in theatre, instead of parachuting in staff for specific occasions.

Of far more significance was the closing down of the publicity machine during the early stages of the operation, under the guise of “operational security”. This meant that most of the details of the progress of the operation was obtained through Taliban spokesmen and residents of Musa Qala rather than from official channels. See here and here.

This represented a major failure of the publicity operation, discussed here, which was actually raised in PMQs yesterday by Ann Winterton, and is being pursued further in PQs and, hopefully, in an adjournment debate.

No doubt, Iain, you will be following these developments with your usual assiduous attention to detail.

Anonymous said...

To get back to the subject of Iain's piece, yes, Campbell was "competent" if competent means:

1/ Being in charge of things he should never have been put in charge of, eg, national security, the Prime Minister, etc.

2/ Being smart-alecky enough to have done the things in (1) and yet when challenged on them, blow a huge huff in public.

3/ After (2) get a tame justice (M'Lud Hutton of pro-government fame) to adjudicate that it was all the BBC's fault.

4/ Having emasculated another key feature of our democratic liberties in Britain, eg, the right of the BBC to report independently on government matters, er, resign. Er, that's it.

Marvellously competent.

Anonymous said...

"Were we more like New Zealand in so many ways - "

That is the most eloquent summation of this site'that i've ever read!

Good for you!