Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A PR Snake In The Garden

Trust in me, just in me
Shut your eyes and trust in me
You can sleep safe and sound
Knowing I am around

I am getting increasingly concerned about the way slithering PR firms are relating to politics .
On the own hand there is the growth of soft funding. This is when a Party is subject to rules but a separate body that is supportive of a given Party like Doughty Street can be financed without any limit
It is going to be exceedingly hard to control moneys swilling around this nebulous terrain .A recipe for graft and the PR companies are bound to use the loophole to please important contacts . George Walden noted they are all part of an elite nexus anyway that constitute the new Establishment. At local level the standards board would be having apoplexy.

PR and the Constitutional and societal debate of Politics are becoming confused . Focus group lead policy and even legislation have cursed the Blair years and the malign influence of a Hilton or Campbell is the Evil Grand Vizier to every handsome Prince .
If PR, marketing and their attendant evils of amoral follower-ship have seeped into the polity then I fear an equally grave problem is money that seeps out of the Public purse into the hands of the PR gurus . As before it is not quite straightforward sinecures but rather related income streams .

The NHS consultation "Your health, your care, your say" which closed in November 2005 had a total bill to the taxpayer of £1.39 million out of the department's running cost budget. £1.05 million of that went to Opinion Leader Research. That is the same Opinion Leader Research headed by long standing Labour Party consultant, member of the Smith Institute, and friend to Gordon Brown, Deborah Mattinson. She of the bogus pro Brown Surveys conducted with 100 people and placed in the Sun, Guardian and Newstatesman The NHS running cost budget is ultimately in the hands of the Treasury .Subtle
.Consider this new example . Mike Lee the PR director and special adviser to Lord Coe on the Olympic bid has picked up a sexy beast of a new contract to advise “ Visit Britain” formerly known as the Tourist Board on how to use the Games to attract Tourists ! Public money in other words is building Good will in PR companies (in the technical sense). They make their money elsewhere but rely on political contacts. Well if that’s stays straight it will be the first time ever.

Conservatives should retain untwisted knickers . The Local Standards Board has been a foolish costly disaster by outlawing employing anyone known to the Council who might be qualified to do the job. In defence of a malicious action in its Kangaroo Court lately cost Islington Tax Payers £300,000 and for what ? We accept I think that business works on contacts and that personal recommendation is a benign corruption with much in its favour.
We must on the other hand be wary of Public Money indirectly funding political campaigns and the insidious creep of aforementioned Followership and media before principle

More than ever we need good investigative Journalists to watch the money streams. In this complex new world some will certainly be flowing into the wrong bank account. Guidot is a hero but the dead tree press seem to have given up investigation. Lets not kill the PR snake ….but we had better tread carefully ….


Ed said...

How do you stop "soft money" though?

Swift Boat Veterans for Truth

Anonymous said...

I for one am looking forward to a few contracts coming my way when Dave is in power. He still owes me money from a game of Gin Rummy in 1987

Electro Kevin said...

Too many suits.

Electro Kevin said...

Let's have a moratorium on training lawyers etc

Newmania said...

How do you stop "soft money" though?

I don`t see how you can Ed and I `m not much concerned really. Its when that soft money is direclty bebefitting interests of the giver or reciever that the problem arises. We will never cure this and it would be silly to try IMHO . You just need to watch it

Newmania said...

I wear a suit EK don`t leave me naked will you . Not a pretty sight

Ellee said...

PR has to be different today, it has to be open and transparent, people are fed up with propoganda and spin. This is the reason why the profession is having difficulty in embracing the social media, they are used to spinning and having message control. Nobody wants that any more, PR is evolving to be what the public wants and businesses, as well as politicians, have to listen and be interactive. They's my spin on it, anyway.

Newmania said...

They's my spin on it, anyway.

Ha ha ha very good Ellee !!It is unrealistic to be anti PR its like being anti the modern world . There are some worrying signs of corruption and it bears watching but we cabnnot strat being antui business and profit .
I`m ambivulent

Ellee said...

Newmania, You wait and see how it is all going to change, the part social media is going to play in all this, it is going to be astounding.

Philipa said...

I hope you're right ellee, it's a numbers game.

Lilith said...

The Judeo Christian scene has given snakes a really bad name.

Newmania said...

Yes Lillith and women and sex .. a lot to answer for .

Newmania said...

It will be interesting to se what happens at the locals and the general election of course Ellee. I `m, glad to see you actually I wasnt` thinikng asbout you when i wrote this and it occurred to me that you muight think I was having a dig at you.

Not at all I should imagine you are brilliant at your job .

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