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.