Criticising sloganeering, with a campaign slogan strewn across a podium and a screen on the wall.
Lamenting ‘government by headline’ while sharing several social media posts designed to drive (no pun) the net zero narrative.
Decrying how politics is done as political aides feed MPs attack lines in readiness for battle with opponents.
As a comms professional, these inconsistencies stuck after the substance of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s net zero speech sank in.
The way politics is done today – short term, obsessed with headlines, shrouded in spin – fails the country, he said. Who, honestly, would disagree with that?
Therein lies the problem, because it made what followed Mr Sunak’s opening remarks a travesty. In setting a dividing line for Labour ahead of the general election, he can’t credibly claim to be thinking long-term at all.
More than ever, it demonstrated that the old way of communicating is alive and kicking. Labour posted a mock-up of Sunak in Liz Truss’ pocket, but hasn’t charged into battle.
We are already seeing that the facts around the impact of these policies get lost in the noise. Few people seem persuaded as advocates and opponents double down on their views.
Far from bringing in a new approach to politics, I fear we can expect more of this in the coming months.
Continue reading “New slogans, same old spin: Sunak’s net zero PR problem”
Setting out a path to growth, or repairing the damage caused by austerity?
Personal and political perspectives will doubtless cloud views on Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s budget and spending review statements on 27 October.
From the perspective of a communicator and director of a small business based outside London, the statement felt like a pitch from a man in control of the narrative. This is a prized asset for government set pieces. And it’s why officials trail key measures – around Net Zero, infrastructure, transport and skills – so heavily in advance.
These measures coalesce under a plan for growth, building on the Prime Minister’s claims that the country must move towards a model of higher wages and productivity. With growth anticipated to reach 6.5% next year, there is cause for optimism from this most spendthrift and statist of small-state Conservative chancellors.
Even if there were few surprises, there remains plenty to make sense of. How many of the commitments are new money? How can we access the funding? Do we know yet what ‘levelling up’ looks like? The third question is a touch optimistic, I know. People will make up their own minds on that one.
For those interested in place-making and development, here are some of the snippets of interest we took from the announcement.
Continue reading “Five points on place from #Budget21 and #SpendingReview”