Tuesday, July 07, 2020

The recent career of Ryan Coetzee

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You remember Ryan Coetzee. He was Nick Clegg's special adviser and then director of strategy for the Liberal Democrats' 2015 general election campaign.

That was the campaign that saw the party reduced from 57 MPs to eight.

Nothing daunted, he then served as director of strategy for Stronger In, the official pro-remain campaign in the EU referendum.

After that, he went a bit quiet.

But today's Guardian brings us up to date with his career:
Hong Kong has turned to the former director of strategy of the UK remain campaign in the Brexit referendum to revive its reputation, amid further scrutiny of the role played by London-based political operatives that advise overseas governments.

The Hong Kong government awarded a £5m public relations contract to the Mayfair-headquartered Consulum as part of its Relaunch Hong Kong campaign, shortly before Beijing introduced a new security law designed to crush pro-democracy protests in the territory.

The Guardian understands the Hong Kong account is being led by Ryan Coetzee, who was employed on the unsuccessful 2016 remain campaign.
The paper also tells us:
Following his unsuccessful role trying to convince Britons to remain in the European Union, Coetzee joined Consulum where he continues to be heavily involved in projects to rehabilitate the overseas reputation of Saudi Arabia. These efforts were derailed in the international media by the 2018 murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The current Lib Dem leadership is much concerned with whether we should defend or disown our years in coalition with the Conservatives.

This is odd, because I doubt that voters in 2025 will be much interested in a Lib Dem defence of what we did ten or 15 years before.

But Coetzee's later career, like Nick Clegg's journey from pledging to go to jail rather than carry an identity card to becoming the front man for the data harvesters of Seattle, does not make one warm to those who were in positions of power in the party during the coalition years.


Matt Wardman said...

How will Hong Kong recover it's reputation?


Dan said...

He should have been seconded to run the 'No' campaign in the Scottish referendum in 2014.