THIS WEEK’S BIG QUESTION: What would you ask Alastair Campbell?

Campbell is to be questioned this month by a Parliamentary committee about the GICS

Campbell is to be questioned this month by a Parliamentary

committee about the GICS

Ian Wright

Boots the Chemists

’Alastair Campbell has revolutionised the way ministers communicate with

the public. However, the civil service and Government Information and

Communication Service (GICS) don’t understand where they fit into the

new process. The issue for Campbell is how can he keep up the quality of

communications at ministerial level, while harnessing the power and

objectives of the GICS so that they too can play their part without

feeling compromised?’

Simon Nayyar

Citigate Group

’As the PM’s spokesman, Campbell is effectively head of the government

machine and should admit it. Isn’t he involved in appointing heads of

the government information service, department by department? If so,

aren’t special political advisers largely accountable to him, and if not

why not? And shouldn’t he himself be more accountable to


Hugh Colver


’With an eye on the next election, it is clearly important to Alastair

Campbell that Labour continues to get its political message across while

in office. However, the Government has a separate duty to explain to

taxpayers how their money is being spent. Does Campbell accept that

these are two distinct activities? I’d like to know how he proposes to

ensure that the GICS continues exclusively in the latter function.’

Mark Adams


’It seems hardly a week goes by without one minister contradicting

another and causing a media splash. Clearly, it’s one thing to tell

shadow ministers how to behave, and another to keep them under control

once they are in power and have a government to run. I wonder, at what

point did Campbell discover that keeping ministers on message was rather

more difficult than keeping shadow ministers on message?’

Michael White

The Guardian

’What concerns me about Labour’s media operations is that they often

seem to be short-term and media-driven. How will he keep up that sort of

pace for five years? Neither the media nor the voters will carry on

believing it once the honeymoon is over. And does he not think that

playing footsie with Rupert Murdoch is like riding the proverbial


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