Tony Blair admitted in an interview with Parents magazine that he had
smacked his children on occasion. While the other Labour front bench
members maintained a united silence on the subject, the confession
struck the right chords with both commentators and the public alike.
Editorial columns came out four to one in favour of Blair with two
neutral abstentions. Feature writers at two to one were less supportive
while letter-writers were evenly split on the merits of the
administration of corporal punishment.
Of interest was the difference in favourability of the readership, which
shows that the lower socio-economic groups were exposed to more pro-
Blair coverage than those higher up the order, where perception was more
neutral. Depending on which groups are regarded as more crucial to the
re-election of Labour, one could envisage a series of announcements
coming from the Blair camp, each designed to bolster his image with
different groups, as a key election strategy.
Evaluation and analysis by Carma International. Cuttings supplied by
Standard Press Analysts. ‘What The Papers Say’ can also be found at: