Editorial: Keep spin out of the spotlight

After the furore he created with his TV tirade in 1994, it is somewhat surprising to find oneself agreeing with Matthew Parris on the subject of public relations.

After the furore he created with his TV tirade in 1994, it is

somewhat surprising to find oneself agreeing with Matthew Parris on the

subject of public relations.



He had the decency to admit to the IPR conference that his earlier

attempt at a critique of the business was unfair. But he reiterated his

essential point - that over-managed and over-controlled public relations

can be self-defeating, because the message becomes obscured by the

mechanics of manipulation. In other words, heavyhanded spin doctoring

makes your audience suspicious.



This is the Government’s problem - that the PR machine which helped

maintain party discipline and propel them into office is perceived as

too heavyhanded for Government. This is why the simmering row about the

overbearing influence of political spin doctors and the culling of civil

service information chiefs will not go away.



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