Friday, July 08, 2011


You would have thought one of the most important attributes of a politician is to have good judgement. The ability to intuitively smell a rat. An instinct to know right from wrong. The perception however seems increasingly to be that your judgement isn't really that important. All that you actually need is good PR.

Our prime minister - an ex PR man himself - employed as his director of communications the former editor of the News of the World - a Sunday newspaper with a notorious reputation for juicy and salacious tittle-tattle. It didn't acquire the nickname The News of the Screws by accident. Yet the prime minister obviously thought a former editor who could flog 2-3 million copies a week of this paper would have his finger on the national pulse.

Yes, he probably did know how to tickle the nation's fancy. But you only had to take a brief look at the newspaper he was producing each week to see that he was obviously a specialist in engaging the national interest by stimulating what goes on below their waistline as opposed to trying to engage with whatever goes on above their shirt collar. Aim low is what a man like this will tell you.

Given the choice between being seen canvassing the opinion of an intellectual academic or alternatively finding out what the latest nineteen year old pop starlet thinks, politicians increasingly want to be seen discussing matters with the singing poppet because, they will be told, it will guarantee they get that all-important male 14-55 demographic to sit up and pay attention. This is what hiring the former editor of a tits, gossip and sports tabloid will tell you.

Yes, it goes without saying that 90% of men's attention will almost instantly be diverted by the appearance of a good-looking young woman but that doesn't automatically mean we'll all instantly disconnect if we're presented with a slighly more intellectually rigourous scenario.

Tabloid editors know what sells and the brief they get from their bosses is to sell more of it and do whatever you can to get those sales. As the News of the World scandal rumbles on and politicians from across the political spectrum desperately try to work out how to redefine their relationship with the popular press whilst simultaneously trying to retain its support, we can only hope it leads to an outbreak of discussing important matters on their merits and not solely on whether it can conveniently be presented alongside a nice pair of tits.


Terra Shield said...

A newspaper scandalous enough to have the story about their closing down being in the Malaysian papers

King of Scurf said...

Terra Shield: And this story isn't dead yet; not by a long chalk.

sabrina said...

Well sex and politics do go together so he prob thought it would be a good pairing....seems about to bite him in the arse in a big big way!

King of Scurf said...

Saby:In my bedroom sex and politics never go together :)

He's a public schoolboy so he will have spent most of his teenage years biting arses.