Politicians Passing the Buck – a PR Disaster

There’s a stand out news story in the UK at the moment. Members of Parliament have been ‘playing the game’ with exorbitant and frivolous expense claims. Worse, they have then used this taxpayers money to fuel property investments totalling millions of pounds.

My father-in-law is fizzing about this. We had an animated discussion about how politicians preach to us on the way we should behave before plumbing the depths of greed themselves. They levy ever-increasing taxes only to squirm their way out of paying there own dues.

It’s no wonder people are hacked off.

We know that the facts are that it’s just the way things have been for MPs. And since everyone has been doing it – none of them wanted to miss out on their own unscrupulous pay day.

But the startling fact is that out of the hundreds of MPs motivated to change public life for the better – it didn’t occur to any one of these lowlifes to blow the whistle.

They stumbled on a proverbial cash machine mistakenly churning out tenners – and have kept schtum while they filled their pockets.

It stinks.

How would a PR advisor deal with this? It’s a tricky one. I certainly wouldn’t even consider pleading innocence or apportioning blame. And no amount of baby-kissing will appease directorate baying for blood.

People say there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Perhaps this exception proves the rule.

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3 Responses to “Politicians Passing the Buck – a PR Disaster”


  1. 1 George Dearsley May 29, 2009 at 9:54 am

    I always think that in life there are two ways…the right way and the wrong way. In journalism – and in media training for that matter – I’ve always tried to do things the right way. It’s blindingly obvious that what the vast majority of MPs were doing was WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. To say things were done on the “advice of the fees office” is hogwash. The people in the fees office are scared stiff of rocking the boat and losing their jobs/pensions/CBEs. The ones caught out should GO. No ifs and buts, GO! No PR activity can save them. Indeed, any PR who tried would probably harm his or her OWN reputation. That must be one of the downsides of PR, when to walk away. I don’t like him at all but Max Clifford knows when to walk away. Rant over.

    Oh, and check out http://www.georgedearsley.blogspot.com

  2. 2 richardglynn May 29, 2009 at 10:10 am

    Rant away to your heart’s content George. (I know Mellor very well by the way – I’m just round the corner in Preston)

    Since I ranted too, there’s another issue which I missed but is important. We’ve all known this expenses thing is bent. And we’ve known it for years. But is it a coincidence that the story has broken in such a big and personal way during Gordon’s shift?

    I’ll blog roll your link too. I’ve been meaning to update my list for months!

  3. 3 George Dearsley May 29, 2009 at 10:16 am

    Thanks for the blog roll link. By the way, I’m Mellor, Stockport. Famous for…er home of the late Bill Grundy and Tony Wilson’s mum, Craig Cash drinks in some of the pubs, a nice (but expensive) golf course, lacrosse, and that’s about it. Oh, I almost forgot, one of the world’s greatest archeological digs about 200 yards from my house. No, I haven’t been. Beautiful scenery too.


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