From Today’s Guardian Jobs section:
‘We are looking for a creative Chief Press Officer, with a sharp news sense, and the ability to form strong media contacts and quickly develop a complete grasp of the Government’s policy direction to fill a key role in the Prime Minister’s Office & Cabinet Office Communications Directorate. The Directorate exists to provide communications advice and delivery in support of the policy objectives of the Prime Minister‘
I think this is what clients used to call in the advertising business “a challenge”. The words were only ever uttered while briefing the agency on Mission Impossible.
I suspect the first task for the unluckily successful candidate would be to establish the thirteen different versions of Coalition policy, and then why the Prime Minister didn’t seem to mesh with any of them. Doing that could easily turn into the pilgrimage of a lifetime, but would in fact be just the beginning. The tricky bit would then be surmising HTF to juggle the following imponderables:
*EU policy *Tax policy *Economic policy *Banking reform policy *Energy policy *Countryside policy *Prison policy *Education policy *Small business policy *Health policy *Crime Policy *Fiscal austerity policy *Policy rationale policy *Rational policy policy *Spinning policy clarity policy *Paedophile cover-up policy
On top of this would be the unspoken policies: What to do about Vince Cable/Boris Johnson/the 1922 Committee/Hackgate/Jeremy Hunt/Nick Clegg/Tom Watson/Nadine Dorries/Michael Gove/George Galloway etc etc etc.
But if I have a talent for anything (and that’s always been in doubt) I’d say it is for honing down to radical simplicity in all things: cut the crap, what are we trying to do here? So were I mad enough to want the job, I would have only one focus – keeping Rancid Cameldung in power. The two obvious reasons for applying those criteria far above any other would be (1) it’s what the boss wants and (2) if he falls, you would slide down a snake with him anyway.
Personally, I think the job should go to Lord Alistair McAlpine. He clearly knows far more about how to get his way and manipulate the media than all the rest of the current shower put together.