As the Tory leadership election turns nasty, right-winger Iain
Duncan Smith (aka IDS) - more than his rival Ken Clarke - is proving
increasingly sure-footed in political communication.
Certainly, the media has been entertained by both teams' blunders. No
sooner did Clarke enter Westminster folklore as the man who delayed his
entrance to the race because he was selling cigarettes to the developing
world, than IDS's team failed to spot the BNP-backing Edgar Griffin in
the midst of its Welsh campaign.
Despite this, IDS deserves credit for his adherence to strict PR
The textbook response to news of Griffin's far-right links in The
Mirror - phone the Press Association, go public, appear decisive and
principled - did not kill the story. But it did much to minimise the
damage the party seems unable to avoid whenever the issue of race rears
At the time of going to press the result is anyone's guess, but momentum
seems to be swinging Duncan Smith's way. He has, at least in part, good
PR to thank for this.