Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Bling Campbell, down with ver kids

Sometimes I wonder why I bother.

The BBC reports:

Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell has urged people to make greater use of energy efficient light bulbs - even though he does not have any himself.

He made the admission as he told BBC Radio One's Newsbeat that individuals had a responsibility to do their bit to save the environment.

What did Ming and his advisers think he was going to achieve by going on Radio One? Bling Campbell, down with ver kids? It doesn't sound very likely. You are allowed to turn invitations down.

Why didn't he have a better answer prepared for what was a pretty obvious question, particularly after his Jag became an issue during the leadership campaign?

I am not one to blow my own trumpet, as you know, but let me repeat a few lines from my recent Guardian article in the hope that someone at Cowley Street will read them:

"That Campbell should be ambushed so easily suggests that none of his supporters, who included many of the party's most eminent names, had given much thought to what it was about their man that might appeal to the public.

A little reflection would have told them that no one was ever going to vote for Campbell because they saw him as a hair-shirted environmentalist."

"the moral his advisers should draw from that is to be more careful about the invitations they accept. Instead they seem determined to reshape Campbell to meet the media's demands."

"The Liberal Democrats should play to Campbell's strengths and not try to sell him as something he is not."


Anonymous said...

I can think of a good reason for Ming to go on Radio 1 - because millions of people, many of whom will be first time voters at the next election, listen to it.

That doesn't mean he should bend his message to suit the Radio 1 audience, but it does mean that he shouldn't say "Well, 17-year-olds won't be interested in what a sixtysomething party leader has to say so we won't bother trying to communicate with them."

James Graham (Quaequam Blog!) said...

Isn't this a pretty good example of where not letting Ming be Ming might have been quite a good strategy?

Lobster Blogster said...

Ming is showing Lib Dem policy in the best light possible: it is all tokenism after all.

Anonymous said...

I thought I saw that he did have an answer to it, just one that the media have happily ignored - he keeps turning the lights off, so the bulbs haven't gone to be replaced in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Would you have rathered that Sir Ming didn't appear on Radio 1 newsbeat after interviews with Tony Blair (Monday) and David Cameron (Tuesday)? Would that not have been an even bigger blow to his "image"?