I was reading a rather good political commentary in The Guardian yesterday (spotted via a David Brain tweet) by Danny Rogers, the editor of PR Week UK, in which he laments the lack of strategic communication counsel at 10 Downing Street.
In his concluding remarks, he says:
[â€¦] A former Labour party adviser, now a PR consultant, says: "There is a feeling that the [political] strategy again lacks boldness. It only contributes to an image of administration paralysed by fear, rather than driven by true ambition and zeal."
However, Brown believes all is not yet lost. Certainly he realises that simple PR tactics are unlikely to make him any more likeable personally – wearing brighter ties and trying to smile more proved a waste of time – but some bold policy moves, handled properly, could still strike a chord with the public.
There is some confidence within his office that the media will eventually tire of the almost constant narrative that his government is doomed, simply out of boredom. And any brighter economic prospects would certainly help.
But what Brown needs at No 10 is a trusted and respected strategic adviser to tell him some tough home truths and to provide a single clear direction.
Reading some of the opinion in the US surrounding Senator John McCainâ€™s choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate in the forthcoming US presidential election, one comment by Dave Winer really struck me and which I think is at the heart of the problem we have here.
I can apply Winerâ€™s comment – aligned with the quote from the former Labour party adviser Rogers references, above, in his â€˜ambition and zealâ€™ comment â€“ directly to the UK:
[â€¦] We need someone who is an over-achiever, not just curious, but a sponge for ideas, information, perspectives. Someone who can’t stop reading and asking other people what they think.
Thatâ€™s what we need here, too, at the apogee of government. And I mean someone who really does this with utter conviction and credibility, not simply spins the words.
I just donâ€™t see anyone in the current government who matches that job description.
No wonder Iâ€™m apathetic about politics.