Sex, Affairs, Big Breasts, well that gets attention; could this be the way forward in political communication?
Iain Dale announces this morning that Andy Coulson, former News of the World editor, is to become the Conservatives' Director of Communications. He has a strong background in the media, but his involvement in politics could be seen as rather negative having presided over the Blunkett affair scoop described by more serious journalists as indefensible, and around whom many debates on privacy circulate following scoops on Princes Harry and William and the Beckhams. So one wonders what it is that he will offer the Conservatives.
Well he knows a thing or two about headline grabbing, but can a life in celebrity and controversy transfer over to politics? Well, Cameron clearly wants to have a celebrity status and image, and controversy clearly surrounds politics; but would Coulson know as easily how to suppress a story than defend it? He knows a thing or two about PR as well, but selling a newspaper that deals in the salacious is not the same as selling serious policies (read into that what you will). Moreover, as Dizzy notes, after the problems that Campbell as a tabloid journalist faced can Coulson do any better?
A lot of questions relate to this appointment. Will this mark a dramatic change in the Conservative Party's communication style, we shall see!