The prospect of a Major vs. Blair TV debate has some pundits shuddering
with disapproval. They rail about how politics is being submerged in a
morass of American-style image fudging - junk food politics at its most
As further evidence, they point a trembling finger at the televising of
Parliament, and the increasingly inane spectacle of Prime Minister’s
Question Time - conveniently forgetting that PMQs ceased to be anything
other than a farcical anachronism long before TV drew the public’s
attention to it.
Presentation will never replace policy. Voters, like consumers, are
quick to spot when the reality fails to match up to the hype. But
political parties, like cola manufacturers, have to deal with the
reality of how a media literate public receives its information. If you
don’t win the presentation battle, you may never get the chance to put
the policy into practice.