Posts Tagged ‘David Cameron’
Before even gobbling down her first kangaroo gonad, Tory Nadine Dorries has unleashed a storm of criticism for her decision to appear in televisual Hades I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, with David Cameron yesterday backing her suspension from her duties as MP. A rash of politicos have been quick to follow suit.
But let’s not be too quick to dismiss her stunt. It’s a bold move, and I applaud her bravery. As we know from her outspoken stance on abortion in 2011, Dorries’ is not a woman afraid of the limelight. Appearing in a show like this takes guts, and it is heartening to see a politician willing to take a risk, particularly in a week that has seen political paranoia ramped up to the max in the wake of Savilegate, resulting in the retrospective inquiry into the allegations of child abuse in North Wales.
She has taken advantage of an opportunity to bring her brand to a younger generation who feel disconnected with politics. Play her hand well, and she could genuinely change the way an apathetic public think about politicians, or even prompt them to think about them at all. In the jungle, she will have a space to air her views in terms the man in the street will relate to- and with 16 million watching, it is a platform not to be sniffed at. Whether the timbre of her stance on sexual politics will resonate with ordinary people remains to be seen.
It’s a high risk move. She has perhaps underestimated the power of the edit. The ultimate winners will of course be ITV, who have once again served up a compelling cast of those blinded by fame and ambition; a collection of individuals worthy of Greek tragedy. Gifts from reality TV producers are rarely what they seem and should be handled with care.
As far as Dorries goes, the proof of the pudding will lie in the eating. Will she have the personality, wit and humanity to survive and prosper in the jungle? Or will she ultimately prove as unpalatable as a scorpion’s scrotum?
What a week for political communications. ‘Pastygate’ is a uniquely 21st century scandal which, regardless of what it reveals about the government’s relationship with the everyday person, certainly says a great deal about the effectiveness of its PR machine. At the same time, whilst Ed Miliband has arguably had a decent week for once, the Labour party has been shaken by a much publicised defeat in Bradford West at the hands of none other than downright weird man-cat George Galloway.
First, those pasties. For me, the entire affair was summed up by Paxman’s expression to camera on Wednesday’s Newsnight. The look I’m talking about came as Tory MP Nadim Zahawi defended his party leader’s inability to recall the precise location at which he last enjoyed a pasty. Comprising disdain, crumpled bemusement and downright remorse, Paxman’s face radiated not only scepticism toward a party unable to connect with its voters, but disbelief at the fact that this had been deemed a suitable topic for interview.
The video of Polish politician Katarzyna Lenart stripping for votes has generated the kind of online buzz that other party political broadcasts (and I use the term in its loosest sense) could only dream of. Shot on what appears to be a pretty low grade camera and featuring a swivel chair that wouldn’t look out of place in the head office of a packaging company in Slough, it looks a bit like something you’d find on Babestation at 3am. Still, at least she doesn’t stoop to airbrushing.
The knee-jerk reaction is to dismiss this out of hand. It’s not just crazy, it’s obvious. Surely even the voyeuristic, big brother guzzling, internet porn fed, fetid mess of a world we live in wouldn’t fall for something so desperate. It may be getting watched, but it won’t win votes.
Having said that, futurology is a tricky discipline, especially in the fad happy world of politics. Perhaps Lenart’s dance is so mad that it works. Lord knows we’ve been waiting for something to kick off the ‘digital elections’ repeatedly promised- and denied- through campaign strategies over the past few years.
I went along to the Mirror’s Pride of Britain Awards (airing tonight on ITV at 8) the other night, and in addition to having a bloody great night it got me thinking about how a good tabloid can get things exactly right. The Mirror’s repeated airing of what is a classic piece of event TV is pitch perfect.
This is event TV- as are Britain’s Got Talent or the X Factor, for instance- because it gathers and broadcasts true, impactful stories in a major instance, drawing together disparate audiences and engaging them in irresistible conversation. Like the funfair sideshows of old, it’s a destination show, with unpredictable appeal and undeniable allure.
It’s a brilliant publicity stunt: with David Cameron, Prince Charles and Ed Miliband in attendance the Mirror benefits from ready-made gravitas and a direct line to the great and the good. Since John Hegarty’s seminal Guardian interview in June on the continued value of TV to advertisers, the accepted wisdom that TV is dying a death has been challenged and re-appraised. Its now official: event TV, with real stories, still has the power to grab attention, start conversation and really boost brands.
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It’s an absolute fact that once you’re in the public eye everything changes. Politicians in particular struggle to get used to being public property. Perhaps it should be called the Camcleg law of diminishing contact with everyday realities, at least for the duration of this Parliament.
‘Call-me-Dave’ Cameron and his wife Sam’s latest PR stunt is a classic case of hubris gone awry. Why take a budget weekend break in Spain to prove to the great unwashed that he’s ‘just like us’? It is unrealistic: we all know that his life has long since left the realms of normality. Read the rest of this entry »
It really is fabulous news, in such tough economic times, that the cuts will not affect everything. In 2011 there will be something for the whole nation to celebrate, especially the merchandise sellers, caterers and makers of bunting. It’s really an early Christmas present for them all.
And better still, it’ll take place 30 years after Charles and Diana’s wedding. We will have a new Princess of Hearts – and the same sort of economic straits then as now. Perhaps we’ll get anniversary riots in Brixton and Toxteth too, only to have the wedding calm them down.
Margaret Thatcher’s great spin man Bernard Ingham knew a thing or two about pragmatism. He kept himself out of the Westland Helicopter Crisis as he knew that even a whiff of his involvement would damage Thatcher. And he was surely very glad of the off the record Downing Street briefings that kept his name out of most of the other stories he promulgated.
How things change. The continued attempts to shake down Andy Coulson, who occupies Ingham’s position for David Cameron, are relentless – and are now getting to seem more than a little supercilious. Coulson is caught in the political version of some over-hyped heavyweight brawl – he is being pummelled on the ropes but his opponent is congenitally unable to administer the knockout blow. Read the rest of this entry »
The first is the production of Yes, Prime Minister that has just transferred to the West End. It’s a great show; very funny, very well acted and rather more radical than one would have expected from a comedy institution that makes it to the stage 20-odd years after its heyday. Buy a seat now! Read the rest of this entry »
David Cameron is THE great communicator in the new era of politics. His effortless performance on the Today programme earlier must have sent a shiver down the spine of the journalistic community. How will they get at this moderate, articulate, confident, unflappable and frankly relentless Old Etonian
OK, Dave is enjoying surfing on the bubbly froth of post-election hype and confidence, but frankly he is a fit-for-purpose, well-designed, media-facing PM. A shiny Middle England man in an M&S suit broadcasting his POV like a airline pilot transmitting a pre-flight weather forecast. Evan Davis could not get a word in edgeways . Instead, he was left covered in Cameron-slick as the PM steamrollered his questions.
Obviously Dave is briefed very well and is prepared for every battle; after all he is an ex #PR flak. But I detect a secret weapon lurking in his arsenal and I suspect has been trained well to apply it with maximum force. It’s a frightening technique I have not witnessed before – one that seems unique to Smooth FM Dave. Read the rest of this entry »
Clegg and Cameron are making a surprisingly good fist of unity thanks to the brand new and shiny PR machines behind the scenes, not to mention the PR machine that is Cleggameron. It’s working so well that even Rory Bremner admits to being unsure about how to satirise them.
I can’t help but feel a little unease at the way they present themselves, and the PR wheels running the Cleggameron image juggernaut. I wonder if this honeymoon period will last longer than the usual ones – remember Tony Blair amiably wandering down Downing Street predicting that by the time he left office, the gates Thatcher had installed to keep the terrorists out would have been removed? How ironic that seems now. Or Gordon Brown’s five minutes of popularity when he took over? Read the rest of this entry »