Friday, December 30, 2005


Geldof 'PR coup' could backfire

I was surprised to hear Bob Geldof had agreed to act as adviser on world poverty to David Cameron's 'New' Conservative Party. Geldof is poles away from the rightwing end of the spectrum and if the Tories think they have pulled off a PR coup they might well rue the day some spotty faced spin doctor in Central Office came up with the idea. Already the cunning plan has unravelled to an extent with St Bob explaining he will probably spend no more than three hours advising the Conservatives. Some commitment. But what is yet to come is the occasion when Bob suggests something in terms of spending on overseas aid which is anathema to George Osbourne.

He makes his pitch, his 'client' politiely says 'thanks, but no thanks'. Bob then goes public, says what reasonable things he wanted and then the miserable amount he was offered and PR coup becomes PR disaster . By taking on Geldof for the sake of a few headlines aimed at improving credibility with the under 25s, the Tories have placed part of their policymaking in hock to the Irish rock and roller. He holds them hostage and if he's politically as clever as I think he is, he'll demand an unacceptable ransom. It's the sort of mistake Tony Blair used to make when he was settingout to woo the heart of the nation. He's too smart to risk such a thing now.

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