Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Press Ganged

Being attacked by a Tory still stands up to Dennis Healy's description of being savaged by a dead sheep.

It's not really any sort of secret that all parties work on press release templates for consituencies which get slightly amended by local party workers or unpaid interns, sent to the local press who then cut and paste them directly into the copy without any critical analysis. It's not a criticism of the journalists involved. With the print media desperately shedding staff and jobs to slash costs, local journalists simply don't have the time or budget to to it any more.

So it is slightly unfortunate that after some sniggering at local Lib Dems' expense, Reading Tories find themselves in the unfortunate position that Alok Sharma and Rob Wilson chose to press release their outrage over the crime figure pointing to a 198% rise in the figures in Reading straight from the central press pack.

Outrage at the drop of a hat is only to be expected from politicians, but highly embarrassingly if the figures they use don't stand up to any sort of statistical scrutiny. Even worse the Tory analysis is ridiculed by the very people they claim to be standing up for - the police.

The BBC's Mark Easton has done a nice demolition job on the Tory press release so as revenge it will only be a matter of time before the Tories hand over the broadcast media in this country to Rupert Murdoch as recompense for services rendered.

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