Would PM Miliband get the same fawning treatment?
Exactly a year ago today the Guardian asked breathlessly whether any previous incoming prime minister had had such a first month in office having to deal with one “crisis” after another.
To recap there had been some storms, a failed terrorist attack in Glasgow and some animals had got ill. Out of the ordinary? To a limited degree but nothing on the scale that several other incoming prime ministers had had to grapple with. Yet the mood of the time led many in the media to suspend their critical faculties – none more so than the people behind the Guardian piece above.
To compare dealing with a few storms and a failed terrorist attack with, say, Churchill’s first month in May 1940 beggared belief. And what about the first period of Harold Wilson’s incoming government in March 1974 government as he sought to deal with the miners’ strike, the oil crisis and the events that led to the overthrow of the power-sharing agreement in Northern Ireland?
And, of course, John Major took over in November 1990 just as the build up to the first Iraq war was taking place.
But as we contemplate the possibility of a third Labour prime minister in less than eighteen months could the new man or woman expect the same fawning media treatment – or will what happened with Gordon make them more sceptical?
Would, also, the opposition parties be so blanked out of the news agenda again as they were in the July-September 2007 period which I regard as the single most important factor behind the Brown polling bounce?
My guess is not. While there will be relief that Gordon is gone and praise for those who had the guts to put their heads above the parapet I don’t see coverage on anything like the same scale or with the same tone as last year.
Changing your leader too often leads to diminishing returns when its comes to media coverage – just ask the Lib Dems.