Last week we looked at the ‘Dead cat on the Table’ strategy, but today we saw another amazing, yet depressing, spin job in operation as the Tories attacked a sensible Miliband speech on Foreign Policy.
Even before the speech was given the spin operations were of course in place – they have to be to trail the story and gain interest from journalists to let them know it may be worth reporting and turning up! It is sad but now standard part of our news cycle.
This is a story of what happens when it may have been overspun or journalists re-interpret the spin to get an opposition reaction to something that actually isn’t being said.
So as you can see from the reactions of the Tory Liz Truss and Nick Clegg is actually an over reaction to a point that is not even being made.
But Conservative minister Liz Truss said Mr Miliband appeared to be suggesting that David Cameron was directly responsible for those deaths, which was “absolutely offensive”.
And Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said “political point-scoring” on the back of a “total human tragedy” was “pretty distasteful”.
There is enough wriggle room for Truss as she used the ‘appeared’ to be… which in reflection she could say, – “it appeared he had but in fact he didn’t” – at a later interview. But of course that later interview never takes place and the story is running that Miliband has accused Cameron for being directly responsible for the deaths in the Med over the last week when in fact nothing of the sort has been said. Indeed a very sensible point about the lack of planning for post war Libya is a valid foreign policy point to make – considering the one thing we ALL learned from Iraq was to plan for the aftermath. By allowing Libya to turn into a ‘Failed State’ we failed in our duty. But of course by attacking Miliband for what would look like a pretty horrible thing to say, nobody discusses the main point of the failure of the foreign policy.
It is days like today that politics and the Westminster political lobby really annoys me. It did as an MP when nuance and reasoned arguments never got a chance to be studied – always cut down to bite size controversy.
To be fair to grab attention the spinners make this worse – but the whole façade relies heavily on the fact that 99.9% of people won’t watch or read the speech and about 95% of people who comment won’t either! To rectify that I am making sure I read every last word today and will link to the full text!