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Meditations on Alastair Campbell

APG Noisy Thinking: Strategies for Political Party Brands

Alastair Campbell at APG Noisy Thinking

Remember the famous Blue Peter clip?

The one with the elephant?

It’s walking around the studio s***ting all over the place.

You see, the elephant is Brexit.

John Noakes is Jeremy Corbyn and he’s trying to pretend that the elephant isn’t s***ting on the floor, in fact he’s not talking about the elephant at all.

F***ing politics is f***ed.

We’re in a f***ing mess.

Nobody has a f***ing clue what to do.

This and more we learned at Alastair Campbell’s Noisy Thinking.

Actually, he didn’t swear that much.

But he used to.

And I bet that was what he was saying in his head whilst he prowled the stage asking us, the audience, whether we had any answers to this f***ing mess.

Luckily for us, he gave us the answer in the end.

And it was a good answer for us.

Because you see, as always, the answer is more strategy and less tactics.

A murmur of approval swept over the audience.

It was like Corbyn promising to renationalize the railways at Labour Live on the weekend.

Alastair Campbell knew what we wanted hear and then gave it to us.

Strategists, the answer is more strategy.

If only more people had raised their hands when he asked us if we were thinking of going into politics.

Only one or two did, and one of those people had raised their hand to say they also felt optimistic about Brexit, so perhaps this was not a good thing after all.

Hardly any of us were therefore likely to grapple with Alastair Campbell’s central strategic question of the night – should we do politics like Brexit and Trump did politics, by lying our way to the top, (but with good intentions, obvs) or should we take a stand against all this s**t?

Nobody knows. Alastair Campbell doesn’t know. But his despair was engaging.

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