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Good advice.

But will he read it?

The final paragraph is particularly good.

This is good stuff.

My only addition would be don't be afraid to follow your instincts and ignore those claiming "things can't be done" or "we've tried that before" or "I've been around the lobby and they are saying ...".

Unfortunately the team AC is inheriting is not the best. The media operation has declined markedly (and possibly deliberately) in the last couple of years.

As a consequence those claiming seniority are not of sufficient calibre and are in reality promoted beyond their level.

AC needs to keep a calm head and follow his instincts and tell media staffers and Cameron's office media team in particular that "its my way or the highway".

He's seriously good news and I wish him all the best!

Some good ideas here. The best of all though is 'champion the strivers'.It worked for John Howard it could work here.

I'm sure Coulson will be grateful for CH's advice. No doubt he will be getting plenty more over the coming months.

While much of this is good, no, DC ought not to go down the flag-waving route, it looks fake on Brown and an attempt to defuse the WLQ.

Also, that the message is not "excruciatingly metropolitan" has been borne out by two amazing sets of local election results with victories in the non-traditional territory of the NW and SW.

Let Cameron be Cameron is the best advice of the bunch, but I disagree with the Ed's definition of the same. Our poll ratings soar whenever he's on TV. He's authentic and passionate enough. Your job is to get the man in the news cycle. That's all that's needed.

True, the right is back, but flat comparisons are misleading. Sarkozy may well represent a shift towards common sense in France, but to Britain he is a dangerous Europhil. From our point of view a Gaullist lefty at the Elysee might be more convenient.

You refer to patriotism. It will never work if it is a cheap, plastic patriotism on the American model. European patriotism is more complicated and more dangerous, which is not to say that the left are justified in trying to suppress it entirely. Where the US is a blueprint society into which anyone might be coopted, Europe's nations have arisen through centuries of common experience, which means that mass immigration is a much more problematic experience for them. For our societies to heal, therefore, there must be a sharp reduction in the annual inflow of foreign nationals. All these Brownite exhortations and meaningless municipal rituals are sops, sideshows and red herrings. They distract us from the reality on the ground.

On the EU Sarkozy is dreadful, Simon, but he's such a welcome contrast with Chirac on most things. I personally am very encouraged by the leadership he has shown on Darfur. Maybe something will actually start to happen now after years in which so many lives have been lost.

I'm certainly not suggesting plastic patriotism. I'd begin with a Conservative commitment to ensure that British history is taught poroperly in our schools.

Tiles is bang on the money. The CCHQ media operation has been woeful in recent months.
Until AC's appointment we had a head of media who had never worked in the media (ex-fruit farmer), a head of broadcast who had never worked in broadcast (ex-banker) while only two press office staffers had ever held down full-time occupations as jobbing journalists. The rest, all hard working people, have been drawn from the ranks of graduate PR consultancy schemes, local authority and Brussels press offices.

By contrast no-one in the Labour party press offfice is allowed to brief a journalist unless they have had at least two years front-line media experience in local papers/local radio/rolling news.

It's rather like sending the Girl Guides into battle with the Waffen SS

I quite agree about history in schools, but first we have to restore the schools. Judging by the Civitas report on our politicised curriculum, any attempt to deepen a sense of national identity will founder on the rocks of comprehensive bolshiness. The cat's cradle of interlocking problems left to the country by this Labour government is terrible and daunting. I think that is why so many of us on the right turn on each other in our despair. Just where do we begin?

Three things (i) the public is fed up with political spin; under Blair/Brown, it has become extreme propaganda. We want more openness, (ii) we want to see and hear more from other members of the shadow cabinet, not just DC and (iii) our education policy should heed Sheila Lawlor's comments quoted on p8 of yesterday's Sunday Telegraph.

Coulson has a lot to do.

He should disregard what has gone before. Cameron's press has been poorly handled in terms of event management and press secretary.

He should lay down what he wants and not be afraid to hire and fire.

It will be hard work. The Westminster Lobby does not respect Cameron's press team. So he needs to roll his sleeves up and talk to Political Editors as well as newspaper Editors.

He should aslo beware those with other roles - messaging, focus groups, campaigning - who seek to take over press management. Thats not their job and they don't know what they are talking about.

He has nobody to fear and nobody to listen to. Others don't have the nous or experience he has. So should do it his way.

Generally good advice. First key thing is to sort out how the policy groups are announcing ideas and avoid the few silly ideas that overshadow the many good ones. If we have too many silly ideas, by the time we want to announce the official agreed package, people won't want to listen anymore.


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