The Guidoisation of politics continues with news of the appointment of Andy Coulson*, formerly editor of the News of the Screws, to become the new propaganda chief for Dave. He’ll bring a more robust tabloid headline sensitive approach that is more likely to connect with people than a Letwin speech. Guido suspects this will signal a much needed change in the tone of Tory propaganda. Trying, as Osborne recently did, to frame Gordon Brown as a leftie won’t work. The approach to Gordon has to chime in with the truth that people instinctively sense. He is an unpleasant, difficult to work with, psychologically flawed, malevolent, grudge-bearing control freak. These aspects of his character are even more of a negative than his tax and spend, big government, micro-managing policies. Going with this grain of truth will resonate popularly.The Cameroonies are set against negatively attacking Gordon’s character and personality. They want to concentrate on policy and present an optimistic “change” agenda. Ordinary people are not interested in the details of policy wonkery, they just think there is something creepy about Gordon. Tapping into and co-opting that sense of unease is a key component of a comprehensive strategy to defeat Brown. If Coulson can navigate the somewhat dysfunctional CCHQ environment, he might be the man to formulate and project that media strategy. Once Gordon takes over his people will aggressively target Cameron with a negative class-based attack. To borrow a cricketing metaphor; the Tories will need to bowl bodyline. Coulson is a player, not a gentlemen, he could be their Larwood, they have far too many Jardines already.
UPDATE : Benedict Brogan reckons Andy is on £400,000-a-year.