|WW2 An all female Boeing aircraft factory worker crew assemble the wiring loom in a bomber...|
Julian Bray writes: Why are we considering the UK Conservative Party Race for UK Prime Minister on here, an Aviation Security blog? David Cameron after all will be at Farnborough International Air Show? But he is effectively yesterdays man, a wasting political asset, as his term of office as Prime Minister, and the power associated with it, runs out in just a couple of months.
We really need the two new contenders to pitch up at Farnborough International Air Show, in the early part of the week and purposely set out their respective stalls, directly to the aviation and milspec industries, be prepared to answer detailed procurement technical questions. Procurement is a long game, and if the UK is seen to be dithering, others will immediately jump in. If only to save face.
The UK voting public has voted in an 'advisory' referendum to exit the European Union and unravel some 40 years of Europe based faceless officials doing the back office 'coalface' trade negotiation work for us. The break-up won't immediately take place, as Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty has to be first enacted. In theory it could go on for years and years, in a post Brexit, pre-EU exit, leaving us in trade limbo.
On aviation, both civil and military, the ingoing UK Prime Minister has a huge pile of open files on the desk. It isn't just a domestic matter for the UK, as whoever gets the keys to 10 Downing Street in September almost immediately needs the mental capacity and intellect to make huge long term decisions on procurement. There is also the small matter of the extra runway (a hugely disruptive, expensive Heathrow or a cheaper non invasive Gatwick - who said I need to be impartial?)
And what is the future for the HS2 railway adventure, ripping up the conservative heartland of England? The Labour Party has its own leadership problems, and has now in the last few hours, opted for the renewal of the Trident missile submarines. Not to be outdone David Cameron has today (Saturday) announced a formal vote in the House of Commons on renewing the Trident missile system.
Mr Cameron said the vote on replacing four ageing Vanguard submarines will take place on Monday 18 July before parliament breaks up for summer recess.
He is going ahead even though his successor has not yet been chosen, generally there is broad agreement on his benches over renewal of Trident, ironically at a time of division over Europe.
Simply the row over The London Times reporting of comments freely and openly given by leader candidate Andrea Leadsom (said to be the runner up in this two horse race) and recurring questions over her investment banking career, sadly shows how Mrs Leadsom bidding for the top UK political office, does not understand simple basic media strategy, and how the UK really media works, and how her current press and public relations advisers possibly a bunch of second-jobbers.. really need to go back to PR school, and relearn basic PR communications skills.
Its not all apps, websites, soundbites and content towers. Hacks have ears and brains too, they know exactly what sells their story, and by all accounts the Times account is 'bang on the money' if your client wants to ignore advice and blag it and then after publication seek to introduce caveats on her uttered (and safely recorded) remarks; she/he is literally on their own, totally alone, and nakedly exposed... and that is they way it should be.
Be aware that Criminal trials in the UK and elsewhere, rely on the spoken word, without notes, not pre-prepared written statements or policy documents. The same goes for leadership challenges! Reading an autocue, or eyes down on a prepared statement and then ducking any questions simpl;y isn't on...
True the Labour Prime Minister Tony Blairs' Spin Doctor, an ex print newspaper editor Alistair Campbell, never really understood media relations either, he just used to 'beat' the assembled hacks (he had at one time or another either hired or fired many of them) into submission with a mighty big stick, and a nice juicy line of choice invective, phone calls and text messages, even unscheduled personal appearances, at any time of the day or night, and having a tough leather hide (or so we thought at the time) able to quickly deal with rejection and immediately bounce back.
So as we have few months of this to endure, here are a few ground rules, any junior political public relations person should bear in mind, and get their client to fully understand.
A biography in Wikipedia should be treated with respect. ANYONE can update it!
Any banking colleague you may have worked with on the way up is likely to discreetly 'tip off the press' if something isn't exactly the way he/she remembered it. One such person was spilling the beans on breakfast TV earlier today.
When any UK politician uses the word 'clear' or 'make it perfectly clear', the exact opposite is the intention.
and most importantly. ..
There is in 2016: NO SUCH THING AS AN 'OFF-THE-RECORD' COMMENT.
Most journalists and broadcasters having now lost the art of fast teeline, pitmans and other shorthand systems digitally record their interviews usually on an iPhone tucked in the jacket top pocket and sometimes directly streamed in real time live to the newsdesk.
The backstory Wikipedia etc., has to be above reproach and stand up to investigation.
Broadcasters have to give prior warning but the print media under the rules do not.
Ms Leadsom obviously trying to be helpful sets out what her campaign aims and objectives are but that is nothing to do with the editorial side of publications.
If Ms Leadsom only wants her sanitised remarks reported the way she expects them to be, then pop down and see the advertising department, pay for the space and they'll print it exactly as you want... or as the MP for Peterborough recently snorted: "suck it up"
JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581 Aerospace & Incident Management Expert, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476 www.aviationcomment.com