DIARY: Burnside bangs the Unionist drum and offers expertise for Orange aid

David Burnside, the hard-nosed PR man who once flew the flag for British Airways, as director of public affairs, has been doing the same for the Union with a new monthly publication The Unionist. In the first edition, launched at last week’s Tory conference, Burnside, who is director of the Unionist Information Office GB, explains his loyalty to the Orange Order and offers this touching confession: ‘We do not understand why we are misunderstood, but then as a professional PR practitioner I blame it very much on ourselves for not explaining.’

David Burnside, the hard-nosed PR man who once flew the flag for British

Airways, as director of public affairs, has been doing the same for the

Union with a new monthly publication The Unionist. In the first edition,

launched at last week’s Tory conference, Burnside, who is director of

the Unionist Information Office GB, explains his loyalty to the Orange

Order and offers this touching confession: ‘We do not understand why we

are misunderstood, but then as a professional PR practitioner I blame it

very much on ourselves for not explaining.’



Meanwhile, BA’s current PR adviser - Lowe Bell Communications - has

apparently abandoned all pretence of political balance with its

advertisement on the back of the Tory party conference media guide.

‘Life is better with the Conservatives, don’t let Labour ruin it.’



Few people can have any illusions about where chairman Sir Tim’s

political loyalties lie, but the ad might prove a little embarrassing

for Lowe Bell Political’s Labour team - Neal Lawson and Ben Lucas.



Sir Tim is typically forthright. ‘We’ve always had an ad in the Winter

Ball programme - God knows how many thousands of pounds I’ve given to

Tory publications,’ he tells me. ‘As a company I think our business

prospers better under a Conservative Government than a Labour

Government. I happen to run the company... it’s not a democracy, nor

should it be!’



And for his fence-sitting competitors, Sir Tim has this message: ‘I’m

not prepared to be mealy-mouthed about it, like some others are.’



If he didn’t exist, you’d have to invent him.



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