Friday, June 06, 2008

Telegraph Column: The Influence of Steve Hilton

My Telegraph column today looks at the influence of Steve Hilton and whether it will wane when he leaves for California. Read it HERE.

UPDATE: David Singleton has an article in PR Week on Andy Coulson's planned summer offensive.


Anonymous said...

I would give the gurus a wide berth. Alistair Campbell became the story, which was wrong because he should have been in the background.

I think you may unthinkingly be contributing to Hilton's eventual downfall by even acknowledging his presence, let alone his influence.

Call me old fashioned, but I don't like the idea that Cameron is rehearsed by a team before PMQs. Churchill and Thatcher in the past and people today like Vince Cable and William Hague rely on intelligence and wit. Vince Cable may have rehearsed the "Mr Bean" gag but at least it was his.

If DC was really struggling to tussle with his opponent all this background scripting might be justified, but as it is, he has an open goal. What shocks me is how often he fails to get in the back of the net.

the orange party said...

A nice piece, Iain, very insightful. But haven't you missed the point somewhat?

Hilton's leaving was no surprise. His job was to make Cameron's Conservatives 'electable', not to get them 'elected'.

He's done that job, well. But the Party will use different people for different times.

Anonymous said...

Snore ... WTF cares?

Anonymous said...

Sorry I am not on topic but I would be grateful if I could leave the link to this Downing St petition and beg your readers to sign it.
We are a Labour marginal which is a narrow notional Tory seat under boundary changes.
We have 3000 empty properties for sale or rent. We have only 30 people on our social housing list but Gordon wants to build up to 20,000 houses on greenbelt, half of which will be social.
The cost of the 'council tax' in a so-called eco town is 3 times that of the usual average bill. Those in social housing will not pay it. It will have to be meet by the Tory Council [which was won back from Labour and is now doing very well] and local taxpayers.
Please sign.

It would be great if this topic could get more airtime.
Some Tories are fighting these things as if their constituancy depended on it, because it does.
Labour will leave misery and concrete choas and social breakdown on a doorstep near you...soon.

Anonymous said...

As one of the Liberals who've switched to supporting Cameron and the Conservatives, I couldn't disagree with the Telegraph more, Iain.

Hilton's utopianism and angry disdain for party loyalists alienated Liberals like me as much it did Conservative party loyalists themselves.

The absurd love in with Polly - put a peg on your nose and vote for Blair - Toynbee, the downright soppiness of some of the campaigns and stupidity of others, the arrogant claims that party loyalists would put up with being treated badly because they'd nowhere else to go - didn't all of this emanate from Hilton?

What first drew me to the Conservatives was Cameron's charismatic naturalness, his obvious capability and calm self confidence and the feeling he might just be more trustworthy than other politicians.

If all of this was just a clever construct of Hiltons, why did it seem to fall away as Hilton's influence grew - and couldn't Hilton construct it for himself? Am I correct in thinking he stood for parliament and failed to win a seat?

Rather than 'love bombing' centrists like me, Hilton simply bombed for me and I suspect many others.

His influence eroded my support for Cameron and I imagine that of many other centrists, as well as that of long term party members. Isn't that why Cameron's poll ratings dropped for a time?

It seems to me that Cameron and his poll ratings have dramatically improved since Andy Coulson joined his team. Many of us have found our initial enthusiastic support for DC has returned since then.

The effect of Coulson who appears to be happy to stay in the background and not become the story, seems to me to have been a return by Cameron to himself, to the easy going naturaln charisma and confidence of his early days as party leader.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous - And you don't think Wm Hague etc was pre rehearsed?
Would you make a speech, go on stage, deliver a presentation without rehearsing? Get real.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous (1), I'd be interested in some examples of the Thatcher wit. Her best-known gag "the lady's not for turning" was written for her and had to be explained to her as a wordplay on the title of a famous play after she complained it didn't make sense. Her only attempt, as far as I'm aware, was renaming the CHOGM (Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting) as Coons' Holiday on Government Money. My aching sides....