I watched the film ‘In the Loop’ for the first time this weekend. And all the political spin I saw in it made me want to keep as far away from politics as possible.
However, events over the last couple of days have made me suspect that there is very little ‘spin’ going on in Brown’s office.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with ‘In the Loop’, it’s a film based on BBC2 satire ‘The Thick of It’ which is all about political spin. One of the main characters is said to be based on the prolific former spin-doctor for Blair, Alastair Campbell.
However, maybe it is not reflective of our current Government.
News broke yesterday that Brown spelt the name of a soldier killed in Afghanistan wrong in a letter of condolence to the soldier’s mother. This comes across as incredibly insensitive and a damaging enough mistake in itself.
But now today, The Sun has published a story which contains a recording and transcript of a telephone conversation between Brown and the mother. She challenges Brown over equipment shortages in Afghanistan and heart-breakingly tells the PM all the details she knows about her son’s untimely death.
To think that the Prime Minister has ended up with this highly damaging phone conversation splattered across The Sun’s website, just goes to show the complete lack of control he has over his image at the moment.
The letter in itself was bad enough- just look at the handwriting! Yes, I know he has a glass eye but he’s the PRIME MINISTER. He should have image consultants who ensure he has the kind of handwriting which gives off an air of authority and composure rather than clamor and complete lack of control.
The importance of image
Some may think ‘spin’ is unimportant, and as long as you do your job properly, then your image will take care of itself, but I beg to differ.
During the recent credit crunch, many companies opted to pull most of their advertising to keep costs as low as possible and try to ride out a difficult time financially. It was their marketing departments which took the biggest blows.
But there were other companies, who despite also be affected by the recession, decided that in fact their marketing department was one of their most important, and that this is exactly the time when you should be advertising.
The thinking behind it is that firstly, image and branding are incredibly important to the success of a product. And secondly whilst all of your competitors are taking a bashing on the image front, this is exactly the right time for you to be enhancing your own and keeping your product firmly in the minds of consumers.
Brown needs to start taking a lot more care of his image if he’s going to have even a slight chance of winning the next general election. At the moment it’s looking more and more like a landslide for Cameron, mainly because of poor ‘spin’ from the Brown side.
He needs to take control of the situation, sort out his messy handwriting and start acting with more dignity and authority towards the people of the country he is supposed to be running.
Better policies of course need to follow, but at least with an image overhaul he may at least have an ounce of credibility when implementing these. At the moment his image is a shambles and it is severely damaging his popularity.
Just look at pictures like the one in this article and tell me I’m wrong.
By Sophie Hudson