OPINION: THE BIG QUESTION - What is the worst stunt a political leader could pull to win a few votes?

Tony Blair revealed a love of rugby league recently, presenting

medals at the cup final. He was then spotted wearing glasses for the

first time. Can the forthcoming election be a coincidence?


Max Clifford Associates

'William Hague could invite Michael Portillo to join him and Seb Coe on

the judo mat to attract the pink vote. Then, they could all go to the

pub for a ten-pint session to attract football fans and black up John

Townend to attract the ethnic vote. Tony Blair could invite Sophie

Wessex to take over his PR, with special advice from Murray Harkin

Blair might shift mortgage benefits and a company passport agency into a

department run by Peter Mandelson. Or how about Charles Kennedy aligning

the Lib Dems with Hague and the Conservatives? Finally, Hague could

launch a neighbourhood harmony campaign to be PR'd by Bernard



Cunning Stunts

'Tony Blair could show his support for the countryside by doing a One

Man and His Dog-style stunt. We could have him and a sheepdog leading a

sheep back into a pen with Cherie standing to one side, scowling.

William Hague could be in a long queue going around a hospital, out

there with the masses queuing for a bed to show he's one of us. Two Jags

could be with his two cars up for sale in a second-hand car showroom and

him sitting on his bike to show that he means what he says. And Ken

Livingstone could invite the pigeons from Trafalgar Square back to his

garden and he could be scattering seed around to persuade the birds to

take a holiday and put this to bed once and for all.'


Freelance journalist

'The problem is that there have been so many bad stunts in real life.

Hague wearing a baseball hat was one of the worst but I suppose it could

have been worse: he could have turned up to meet Nelson Mandela when he

was in the UK last week. Politicians could write in their manifestos

that they support their local football teams and then end up supporting

their rivals. But even that has happened in real life with former Tory

cabinet minister David Mellor claiming to support Fulham then coming out

as a Chelsea fan. I guess the worst thing that they could probably do is

anything involving their mum and dads, which always ends in disaster.

Parents always end up saying the complete opposite of what has been said

by their offspring in the first place.'


The Communication Group

'Tony Blair doesn't need to engage in PR stunts when The Sun is

predicting a majority of 227 seats. However, the Prime Minister has

probably already pulled off one of the biggest PR stunts in recent

memory by not just kissing a baby but fathering one at his time of life.

Also, we have now had Lucie the lamb and Phoenix the calf - brave

attempts to exploit the popular vote. Perhaps the Government will try

the stunt of ordering that all meat unfit for human consumption should

be dyed Tory blue or Lib Dem yellow? No amount of stunts could help the

Tories' PR. William Hague has not landed a glove - let alone a judo

throw - in months. He still has to live down the image of the

14-pints-a-day lad who wears a baseball hat on a day trip to Alton


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in