Diary: Hobsbawm v Madge in Podcast battle?

Podcasts have, for many, become all the rage, and were thus the logical choice for Julia Hobsbawm to use as a media conduit for her new venture, Editorial Intelligence (EI): 'Where PR Meets Journalism'.

Hobsbawm convened a stellar array of top PROs and journalists to a launch party in Notting Hill last week and wowed many with her plans.

Most notable, perhaps, is her intention to organise monthly podcasts - the first of which is a 'radio show about EI presented by Smooth FM's David Prever' that has already triggered 'emails from Canada'.

'People at the party were saying we're going to knock Madonna off the top of the iTunes chart,' Hobsbawm adds, eagerly.

In the face of such enthusiasm, it would be churlish to wonder if some guests had overindulged at the event's Diageo-sponsored bar.

Clifford's motion: celebs are in power Do celebrities have more influence than politicians? A debate on the matter this week enlivened the House of Commons, where Max Clifford and The Independent on Sunday columnist Peter York took on Austin Mitchell MP and Jonathan Bracken - chairman of the CIPR Government Affairs Group - to propose the motion that yes, they do.

A call from the floor described Clifford and Bracken as 'two PR people - one known as a famous liar and one known for trying to promote the truth'.

Clifford seemed to agree, asserting: 'Lies are a big part of PR - I have always admitted that.' In a final speech he warned cryptically: 'You are probably not as aware as I am of how celebrities use their power - with the help of people like me - to change things.' Bracken said while celebs could influence people to have their navels pierced, they could not effect 'fundamental public policy change'.

'How dull I sound,' he reflected.

In the end, the ayes had it.

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