Friday, June 01, 2007

Michael versus Alan

As news of the appointment of Andy Coulson (right) to Head of Communications by the Conservative Party was circulated, Gordon Brown announces that his HoComms will be the current Cheif Economic Advisor Michael Ellam, former Head of the Performance and Efficiency Team in the Treasury’s Public Services Directorate and a man who has held a wide range of posts across 10 years at the Treasury, including Head of Communications and Strategy (2000-2003) and Private Secretary to Chancellor Kenneth Clarke (1994-96).

The contrast could not be more stark. A serious academic, Ellam was educated at the LSE. Coulson's department is taking the scalps of the rich and famous. One wonders how their styles will shape the communication of both parties and, more importantly, how they will combat each other's strategies. What seems clear is that Ellam will be far less high profile than his counterpart, or indeed his predecessors. You cannot even find a decent picture of him on the web and his background is not well publicised. Could this indicate a shift away from high profile communication and image management by Labour, but a shift in the opposite direction by Cameron's Conservatives?

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