Daily Archives: December 2, 2010

Stage managed events

Usman Ahmad

Stage managed events, speeches, ceremonies and the like have always been a part and parcel of political life – designed to thwart investigation and comment and present an extremely filtered and polished image of the political classes. They are the arena in which masterful politicians and spin doctors contrive to manipulate the media and thereby the general public. In the Regan era, he and his media guru, Michael Deaver, were consistently brilliant in their capacity to present Regan against a flattering backdrop and seldom did a poor picture of the president or a weak sound bite enter the consciousness of the American people. In the era of ‘Spin’ in the UK, Tony Blair and his now ubiquitously labeled ‘New Labour cronies’ were so manipulative that many remember their time in government more for its public relations and rhetoric than policy and substance.  One of the most memorable instances of this was in Tony Blair’s very first day in office, when images of him entering Downing Street mobbed  by massive crowds were flashed across the globe. Later the whole event turned out to be a contrived spectacle  in which party members were mechanically transported en masse to greet and ‘cheer for’ the victorious Prime Minister.  As Machievelli put it, ‘one who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived.’ Continue reading

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