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This is spot on! The present press office team are out of their depth.

You can't completely write off the written press and only concentrate on broadcast media which is what seems to be the case.

Who could argue with this? I've been suprised that a leader who is far more image conscious than his last three predecessors should have allowed so many mistakes to happen. I don't want a Tory Alastair Campbell 'though!

It certainly needs improvement.

This is the first suggestion I totally agree with. I've just watched a Tory MP - chair of the defence committee - on C4 news, defending Lord Goldsmith's decision to end the SFO investigation into the Saudi arms deals with BAe. Whether one thinks this investigation was a good idea or not - it's not a "Tory vs Non-Tory" deal - it's absolutely ridiculous that a Tory MP steps up on the news to defend a deeply unpopular government decision. Let them take the flack for their cack-handed "governance" of arms deals.

Spot on - press events need people to be better briefed and better rehearsed, along with rapid rebuttal from press officers of Labour's attacks. Some of Labour's criticisms and catchphrases have been allowed to gain traction, to the extent that they're even repeated by conservatives on here as fact from time to time.

I don't want a Tory Alastair Campbell though!

If only! I would disagree with Campbell about almost everything, but he was good - always got his message over in the end.

I think the ways in which he did his job and the very methods he employed meant that no-one else would be able to operate in the same way again, however.

No Richard, I most strongly disagree. Campbell was a sleazy hack and a liar who has debased politics throughout his sordid career.That he should have been in a position to produce a dodgy dossier and a sexed-up dossier which led this country into a war is almost criminal. I hope Cameron would never appoint such a figure.

I don't deny, Malcolm, that Campbell was a little unhinged, especially so towards the end of his period in Government, and I agree that the amount of power he had in Whitehall was horrendous. He was a formidable political operator, though, and got a job done.

Surely it must be possible to find someone who combines that same tenacity with a little integrity to run a comms operation!

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