Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Tactical Briefing

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Tactical Briefing

Article excerpt

From: The Unit

To: GB

Subject: The world remade

So, pretty good week. I mean, a really pretty great week! Just when things were looking bleak ... out of the gloom has ridden a really, really terrible financial crisis. And this week, as things have got worse and worse, things have been getting better and better. The air feels different. We are nearly only 10 points behind in the polls!

It's a double positive whammy. Dreadful news of seismic proportions all over the front pages--but with little or no blame attached to the government. Indeed, all our polling suggests that large sections of the public tend to view you anyway as a doctor delivering very, very grave news of imminent personal sadness, loss and/or misfortune. It seems to come naturally. So they do seem to trust you in bad times. And since it seems there will be very bad times for the foreseeable future, we should make hay while the sun shines.

Plus, all the terrible, terrible news, which no one should be seen to be (or, obviously, actually is, and we really mean this) happy about, means there is practically no coverage of the Tories. And when there is it's great! We all gathered round to watch George Osborne's speech and I don't think I can remember such a party atmosphere since the day of the false reports of Charles Clarke breaking his femur in six places while skiing. It was like watching Prescott trying to do anti-union stuff. Osborne trying to do righteous indignation against "the bankers" got big, big laughs in here. …

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