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The Labour Party Gets Into Hackery

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The Labour Party gets into hackery

The Guardian today splashes: Labour condemns “catalogue of waste” on government “credit cards”.

Rishi Sunk and co have been flashing government cash on posh hotels, fancy photographs and exclusive restaurants, we read.

The story comes after months of investigation and Freedom of Information requests resulting in a “data dump” of some magnitude.

This is the sort of the thing The Graun does very well.

But this time, it isn’t the paper that did the investigating – the Labour Party did the work.

There’s nothing new in Labour saying the Tories are mired in sleaze, but it is normally following up on allegations from someone else.

So this development means the Labour Party is now doing actual journalism, rather than just whispering stuff to journalists.

For hacks, perhaps this is another avenue of employment once newspapers have finally gone to the publishing house in the sky.

For flaks it presents a different set of challenges I think. The Guardian is obliged to go to the Tories for comment before it publishes. The Labour Party is not.

The FT version of the same story was a bit more “he said, she said”, but the credit for the original work is still plainly given to Labour rather than the paper.

On LBC this morning, a Tory MP said that he didn’t know why Labour was making such a fuss of all this.

Nick Ferrari, an arch Tory, replied: Because it appals my listeners.

So Labour’s narrative here was the winning one, before the Tories had a response.

Spinning for the Conservative Party has always looked fairly thankless to me. Just now, I can’t see why anyone would agree to do it (for sacks of gold, I suppose).

Not coincidentally, leading Conservative business figure Iain Anderson, the founder of Cicero public relations, today quit the party after 40 years.

“I can’t defend it,” said the lobbyist, who previously must have defended any number of things he didn’t entirely agree with.

If the Tory party has lost the PR industry, who is left?

Press release of the day

What is the most stressed place in the UK? Every PR office in town?

This from says it is Blackpool, which tourists find a happy place but the residents do not.

Chesterfield and Kingston Upon Hull are also bad, with high anxiety and low life satisfaction.

There’s a “stress index” score for each place.

Stories that will keep rolling

1) How far shy of inflation are the latest UK pay rise figures?

2) Is US inflation tamed or still running wild?

3) Are shareholders going to back Tui’s share consolidation deal?

4) What’s the clever idea that fixes the UK’s broken housing market?


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