UK politics expert podcast determines how Spin and PR undermines UK politics
UK experts from politics, PR and Journalism gathered at the University of Westminster to examine whether British politics has been undermined by spin and PR.
The debate recorded and down loadable as a podcast, is part of a hugely anticipated event every year lasting around an hour which brings together some of the UK’s most respected media, PR and political figures for stimulating debates.
If you’re a journalism, politics or PR professional or student, or take an active interest in the aforementioned, the University of Westminster’s PR debate provides professional and rigorous debate to understanding contemporary politics and media.
This year’s experts were: Laura Sandys, a Conservative MP and former political consultant to PM John Major; and Kevin Maguire the Associate and Political Editor of Daily Mirror who vigorously claimed it had. Maguire intoned, today we don’t have a Prime Minister today but a Prime Spinner.
Lance Price, a Former Labour ‘spin doctor’, now author and commentator; and Francis Ingham, Chief Executive, Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA) argued differently.
Lance claimed without spin the Labour party stood little chance against a well-oiled conservative machinery under Margaret Thatcher whom mastered political communications.
He added whilst spin is nothing new, politicians require professional help to deliver their message and that the public are much more discerning, capable of seeing through spin that constitutes rhetoric and that which explains a government’s stalled message.
The perennial subject of spin and PR in politics has led to some choice aphorisms in British Politics. Fomer Labour cabinet minister Peter Mandelson said: “Crude clumsy handling of the media by overly controlling and politicised press officers causes more problems than no handling at all, because it undermines trust”.
Whilst that doyen of British journalism, the BBC’s Jeremy Paxman took the position interviewing politicians: “Why is this lying bastard lying to me?
The debate was chaired by Trevor Morris, Visiting Professor of Public Relations, University of Westminster, and co-author of ‘PR- A Persuasive Industry?’
Listen to the debate recorded as a podcast here.
This debate is hosted by the University of Westminster and organised by the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications, part of the School of Media, Arts and Design. A leader in its field, the department hosts the Communication and Media Research Institute – CAMRI – the UK’s top-rated media research unit, according to the Research Assessment Exercise 2008.
Situated in one of the world’s great cities, the school has close connections with leading businesses and media and a strong reputation for professional and practice-based education, matched by a distinguished record in academic teaching and scholarly research.
Following the debate the drinks reception was kindly sponsored by Bell Pottinger Public Affairs