Tuesday 9 August 2011

No politician has yet caught the public mood

Every week now I write a column for Dale & Co, published on a Sunday, outlining who my Communicator of the Week is. See past columns here.

It is only Tuesday but already the news has been so heavy in the past 24/48 hours, focused on the looters and rioters in London, that this week's communicator must surely be related to these repulsive events. So far the politicians are playing catch-up; none have caught the public mood.

David Cameron made a firm but pretty uninspiring statement outside Number 10 earlier, Ken Livingstone has been shrill and cynically political, Theresa May was awful on this morning's media round, Mayor of London Boris Johnson has been met in equal measure on his tour of the worst hit areas by boos and cheers, while Ed Miliband seems to be preparing for the big moment when the House of Commons is recalled on Thursday.

The race is open as is the opportunity to make a defining intervention. It is moments like this that help to make or break political careers. While the priority is obviously to get a grip on the disorder, the battle in communications is fascinating to watch with no major figure yet grasping just how hurt London is feeling right now.

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