Magazine article Marketing

Ministry of Free Time Is Here to Replace Smith's Ministry of Fun

Magazine article Marketing

Ministry of Free Time Is Here to Replace Smith's Ministry of Fun

Article excerpt

What you do is take people who have mastered their briefs and move them on

Those who didn't vote last week were absolutely wrong.

Elections do matter. Until the general election we merely had a Ministry of Fun. Now we have something completely different -- a Ministry of Free Time. One person who can be guaranteed to grasp the significance of this fundamental change is Chris Smith, who has a lot of free time ahead.

Smith's departure also highlights another contribution elections make to the running of the British political system.

What you do is take people who have mastered their briefs and who finally know what they are talking about and you sack them or move them on to something completely different, about which they know nothing. Smith might have got his because Wembley was a cock-up too far or, more likely, because more room had to be found round the Cabinet table for women.

The unfortunate effect, for the moment at least, is a lack of balance in the run-up to the Communications Bill. New trade secretary Patricia Hewitt has been involved in the process as a minister at the Department of Trade and Industry -- her evangelism on behalf of the internet and convergence will inform a particular perspective.

As for Tessa Jowell, this week will be spent mastering the briefing documents. She at least demonstrated on GMTV on Sunday that she had already grasped some of the essentials of a Ministry of Free Time when she noted the enormous increase in people signing up to gyms. …

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