Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Tactical Briefing

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Tactical Briefing

Article excerpt

From: The Unit

To: GB

Subject: Sticking the course

* So, pretty good week. Think everyone agrees now with our long-standing advice that you need to stick with a policy and presentational course. In retrospect, the bane of our approach over the past year has been too many relaunches (not relaunches), too many changes of direction (there have been none, obviously) and tone (think this has been notable in its consistency). We need at this point to simply decide on a course and--as we have done up till now--darn well stick to it!

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* The only addendum to this is that if we pick one policy and presentational approach to stick with (regardless of initial reactions, trusting that the public will give us credit for our steadfastness), it is absolutely vital that we pick the right course. Because if we are going to cleave unswervingly to anything, we need to be sure it's definitely a good thing to cleave to. No one wants to cleave unswervingly to, say, a family saloon heading through a motorway central reservation into oncoming traffic. Or an overloaded bobsleigh hurtling inexplicably into the silo housing a tactical nuclear missile.

* Re: this, we wouldn't for a second suggest that accusing the British people of throwing away too much ketchup or advising them to buy smaller tins of beans are necessarily the wrong way to go. Indeed, we think this penny-pinching, parsimonious, carping, reproachful, frankly depressing message may well be necessary. …

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