EDITORIAL: Brown's Whitehall spin masterstroke

As PRWeek goes to press, Chancellor Gordon Brown will be geeing himself up to tell us how much more he will be taking from our pay packets in the coming year.

His appearance at the Despatch Box has been preceded by the sort of PR masterstrokes Westminster-watchers have got used to seeing from this journalist-turned-politician. Morsels from Brown and his media briefing economics adviser Ed Balls have been dropping on to targeted news desks throughout the past few weeks.

Brown always had a fine appreciation of the art of giving each segment of his audience the sort of story they wanted to hear. He honed this skill under the guidance of his former spin doctor Charlie Whelan, who went on to great things when he was drummed out of the Treasury.

Either the Treasury is by far the leakiest government department, or Whelan's successor, special adviser and press secretary Ian Austin, together with Balls, has successfully picked up the key tricks of Whitehall spin.

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