Nicholas Jones - Blog and Archive Website

Appointing two hard-nosed national newspaper journalists to the top posts of chief strategist and media spokesman is the clearest indication that Ed Miliband believes the quickest route to establishing his authority in the Labour Party is by exploiting the news media.

Senior Metropolitan Police officers were not alone in their failure to get to grips with the scale of the student protests against higher tuition fees. David Cameron’s public relations team were similarly at fault for a lamentable performance in presenting the government’s case.

A top priority for the new Labour leader Ed Miliband is to appoint a media strategist who has the authority to help develop a disciplined message and then try to enforce it across a fractious party.Another psycho-drama is already unfolding fuelled by the divisive negative briefings which are the legacy of New Labour.

German politicians have much to learn from the unprecedented level of online engagement during the British general election of May 2010 and the American Presidential and mid-term elections.  In a lecture in Berlin to the Deutsch-Britische Gesellschaft (17.11.2010), Nicholas Jones said that online discussion of politics came of age during the British election.  He was convinced that German political engagement via the internet will have the same unpredictable results in the run to up to the Bundestag elections in 2013.  

By boosting his staff in Downing Street with a personal photographer and his own video-blogger David Cameron has jeopardised one of the coalition’s most successful pr strategies, the story line that the new government had turned its back on spin.