The transcripts of the official inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. More…

Yes, it has. I mean, as I say, because the 24-hour news cycle means that there is no pause, as there used to be, say, after 8 or 9 at night, when the first editions went to bed, until some time later the next morning -- it means, then, that the public relations exercise for governments therefore must be (1) more numerous, must be much more pro-active and must always have a rebuttal ready and, if possible, another story ready. "Why are you concentrating on this? Here is a nice bright shiny story you have missed, and which you can have sometimes all to yourself."

So politicians and people who are concerned with public relations within politics would say -- and sometimes openly but always when talking off the record -- would say that is exactly what they are there to do. They are there to defend their masters or themselves from a press that has become, as they see it, ruthless, that they cannot expect any kind of good ride, if they are a left wing government, from a left wing press, or, if they are right wing government, from a right wing press. They can expect always a press hungry for scandal, who will find it sometimes in relatively innocent speeches, declarations and actions, and thus the politician must always be on his or her guard and must be extremely attentive to keeping the owners and the editors as happy as possible, so that the activities of both Mr Blair and Mr Cameron are explicable in that regard.

Keyboard shortcuts

j previous speech k next speech