EDITORIAL: Communications is key from within

The allegations of treachery and betrayal flying around Tory

central office this week reached a peak as head of media Amanda

Platell's secretly filmed election video diary was aired. Tory bigwigs

swiftly closed ranks to condemn the Australian woman outsider for her


Not so fast. In the interests of putting forward a defence of the PRO,

it is worth noting that the allegations Platell made on Channel 4 last

Sunday against former shadow foreign secretary Francis Maude and aides

of fallen Tory idol Michael Portillo are far more serious than the

charge of betrayal against her.

Certainly, she is unlikely to feature on PR recruiters' most wanted

lists. But the effect of her undoubtedly devious - perhaps unforgivable

- actions is only being felt now, a long month after the election in

which all concerned were supposed to be on the same side. The effect of

Maude and Portillo's alleged machinations - and it bears repeating that

they are angrily denied - was to undermine the party they claimed to

support while it was involved in a fierce election battle.

The first rule of clear communication requires all those on the same

side to avoid undermining their team-mates. It is remarkably similar in

content to the government doctrine of collective responsibility. With

such widespread violation of this principle as we have seen in

Westminster during recent weeks, no one emerges with much credit.

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