Monday, 8 October 2007

Out of a spin

As the inquest continues into the non-story that was the non-election, the Guardian's story from Patrick Wintour and others provides some fascinating insights into how people in the government would like to spin things.

For me, the most interesting bit of the story is that:
Some cabinet members privately regard Mr Brown's visit to Baghdad last week as a presentational disaster, which gave the impression the prime minister was playing politics with British troops.
I think it is quite legitimate to write about what ministers are saying "privately" if that is different from what the official line.

By contrast, it's not clear whose views are contained in this next bit,
Ed Balls, another member of the Brown inner circle, also shifted against a poll in the wake of evidence that the Tory promise to cut inheritance tax had, for the moment, made the Conservatives look like the party of aspiration and change.
Why is this qualified, "for the moment"? It does seem fairly clear that Labour wants to admit that the inheritance tax proposal went down well, believing that they can neutralise it, either by attacking its credibility or by doing something similar. But whose view is being set out here? It starts as an apparently factual statement that Balls changed his mind but then appears to mutate into something that sets out his spin on the short-term nature of the Tories' gains.

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