When I heard fellow Reading Lib Dem Jenny Woods was making a trip into Gt George Street to talk about the Communications Capability Development Programme PR snafu, I used my morning commute to send a few suggestions her way. It had been bothering me that the reaction to the leak over the weekend was strong, but perhaps not precise enough on the substance to make a full case against the CCDP proposals. She said it was useful (hopefully not just to soothe my ego).
So with a bit of tweaking for readability in my afternoon coffee break, here’s the email in all its sleep deprived glory:
First of all, let’s come right out and say that the messaging makes us look stupid, and leaves us open to all sorts of criticism. Whoever is advising Lynne Featherstone has just taken a huge whack out of her credibility; her email reads like the run-of-the-mill political parrot speak of an MP repeating lines fed to them by a dissembling back office advisor.
Second, I’d point out what a disservice they are doing to their loyal supporters. Stephen Tall’s post perfectly illustrates what was making me uncomfortable yesterday. Because the first wave of protest was mostly emotional and instinctive, it is far too easy to respond to it by saying, “I’m not going to get emotional, I’m going to stay rational – so here’s a nicely written rationalisation of the policy being handed to me”. By feeding loyal Lib Dems bad lines, they’re really just making it easy for good activists to dig themselves a hole.
(Edit: OK, I’m grumpy first thing in the morning. A bit harsh on Stephen there. But the whole “being rational” thing often annoys me; anger and rationality are not always mutually exclusive.)
With regards to the substance of the matter at hand, three points spring to mind that I’m not sure are being talked about:
1. Law is about principles, not technical implementation
2. INFORMATION Technology vs. Information TECHNOLOGY
3. Culture and confidence Read more