Friday, 5 August 2011

We need to see a top name politician on our TV screens

The whispers are beginning to build as bored Lobby journalists struggle to fill their quota of stories for their restless news editors during silly season. Don't be surprised if, by the end of today, the whisper has become a scream - WHERE IS THE PM/GEORGE OSBORNE/NICK CLEGG? etc. Delete as you see fit.

This is a reaction/over-reaction to the overnight plunge of the global stock markets caused by deep uncertainty in the eurozone - something that our elected politicians cannot influence. However, such is the culture of the modern news stream, blogging, and the rolling news channels coupled with silly season and a general expectation for politicians to micro-manage every crisis, I would expect real pressure to be put on someone to return from holiday in the next 24 hours.

In a crisis situation I advise clients to show they are in control - or at least demonstrate they are trying to be - which is difficult for British politicians as they have no direct influence on what happens in the eurozone. Despite the fact that I firmly believe all politicians, of whatever party, should be allowed a holiday, taking into account the way this issue is likely to snow-ball through the day, a house-hold name politician does need to make an appearance on our TV screens. With apologies to Justine Greening, who performed well earlier today during her media round, the cynical hacks of the Lobby will not be happy until someone further up the greasy pole is seen on Sky News.

That is unfortunately the sad reality of modern politics where an appearance on the TV gives the impression of action but is actually meaningless.

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