The PM’s spokesman Alistair Campbell dismissed media reaction to
the Women’s Institute annual meeting’s reception to Tony Blair’s
self-penned ’overtly political’ speech as ’24-hour babblology’ and
insisted that the Government was still delivering on its agenda.
This was out of synch with most commentators who saw the ’handbagging’
as further proof that the Government is sliding rapidly downhill. The WI
took the opportunity to reinforce its desire to be seen as a campaigning
Polly Toynbee in the Guardian (8/6) would have preferred the PM to have
engaged in dialogue rather than conducting a ’hit and run visit’.
Several commentators saw Blair as the victim of Government spin doctors,
described by Labour MP Tony Wright as ’the curse of modern politics’
The term ’PR disaster’ was widespread, with Daily Telegraph political
editor George Jones calling it Blair’s ’biggest PR fiasco since becoming
Prime Minister’. The conclusion might be that the PM should listen more
and write fewer speeches.
Analysis and commentary by Echo Research.
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