ANY OTHER BUSINESS

TIME FOR A NEW MESSAGE

The Government and its communications team likes to tell us every day that we face a choice between the awfulness of austerity on the one hand, and the dreadfulness of austerity on the other.  There is no alternative because growth…

MISPLACED CONFIDENCE

The Celtic Tiger misplaced its confidence after coming second in a fight with the global economic downturn.  The scars can be seen in the unfinished housing that litters the countryside and the empty commercial premises that line the streets and…

PREMATURE ADJUDICATION

Even when the dust settles, it’s unlikely we’ll ever know the true cost of the phone hacking scandal that slayed the News of the World but my pen has been working with Google and the back of a fag packet.…

A TAXING PRIVACY PROBLEM

“Those with nothing to hide have nothing to fear.”  That’s the view of those who want more people in the UK, particularly those paid from the public purse, to publish their tax returns to show which side of the ‘we’re…

DROWNING ST PRESS OFFICE

The formative years of my PR career were spent in a trade’n’tech agency supporting clients such as an industrial food pump manufacturer, an electronic components distributor and a business that produced plastic bags to protect microchips from electrostatic damage.  Not…

DON’T STAND FOR AUSTERITY AIRLINES

His daughters were waiting at arrivals, excited about showing him the new lives they’d created in the big city. The arrivals board announced the plane had landed on time.  Then it advised ‘baggage in the hall’. Finally, the passengers began…

9MM SHORT OF A PRIORITY

OK. Let’s start at the beginning. The Houses of Parliament are home to Big Ben and the 650 Members of Parliament that make up Her Majesty’s Government.  These MPs, ably supported by an army of civil servants, do very important…

CHANCER OF THE EXCHEQUER

Gideon’s in a bit of a quandary. He wants to axe the 50% tax rate imposed on the 300,000 highest paid people in the UK by the last Government when he delivers his budget next week.  He fears the vast…

FIRST CLASS ABUSE

I don’t often find myself aboard a Southeastern commuter train on its way London at just gone midday.  Three things were different between this and my usual rush hour commute: it was bright outside; the train was almost empty; and…

LOCKING STABLE DOORS

The editor of the Press Gazette has argued today that the Prime Minister’s official spokesperson’s persistent reluctance to answer a direct question with a straight answer strengthens the case for better regulation of the public relations industry. The case for…