Innan Andy Coulson tvingades lämna 10 Downing Street, p.g.a. av skandalen kring Rupert Murdochs News of the World, var han director of communications och en av premiärminister David Camerons närmaste rådgivare.
Förra året skev han i tidskriften GQ om hur Cameron skulle kunna rädda sig själv, Conservative Party och koalitionen kvar vid makten. Här följer några utdrag.
1. Sälj in den liberal-konservativa koalitionens framgångar
[T]he party desperately needs to display more self confidence and pride in what has been achieved. Against enormous odds it has delivered real change in education and welfare. It may not be an endless record of reform but, given the circumstances, it’s impressive – and considerably better than Tony Blair managed in his three economically easier terms. To have made historic changes that will make it easier for people to get a good education and a good job is truly something to be proud of. If the party doesn’t find ways to tell that story, no one else will, because cuts will always trump reform in the media. The voters’ patience is wearing thin. It’s now critical that David continues to explain why those cuts are being made and the choice she faced. Every significant media appearance where he fails to get that message across should be considered a failure.
2. Dags att lyfta fram Sam Cameron
Sam Cameron has managed the near impossible: to have lived in Number Ten for three years and maintained a benign and broadly positive press.”
“But the time has now come for Sam to play a more public role and take some risks. She only joined the 2010 campaign once it formally kicked off. She should now be persuaded that the 2015 campaign is already underway and she’s badly needed in the trenches.
3. David Cameron – ”statesman, salesman, family man”
It’s likely that if the British political system doesn’t find a way to reconnect with the national conversation we’ll see a historically low turnout in 2015 […] David remains the British politician most capable of leading this reconnection – not in a knee-jerk, headline-chasing way, but by identifying a handful of issues that really matter to people and actually doing something about them.
4. Boris Johnson, Londons borgmästare, är ett dragplåster och inte en rival
Boris Johnson desperately wants to be prime minister and David has known that fact longer than most. When Boris asked me to pass on the message that he was keen to stand as mayor of London, David responded, ”Well, if he wins, he’ll want my job next.” If proof were needed that our PM is a man untroubled by self doubt, it came in his next sentence, ”So I think he’ll be a bloody brilliant candidate for us.
Number Ten’s Boris strategy should be simple. Support his good ideas, advise privately on the bad ones, but only engage publicly if absolutely necessary – and celebrate Boris’ considerable successes.
5. Dags att lämna rummen på regeringsdepartementen och börja kampanja
It’s time for the prime minister to wean himself off the company of the big brains in the civil service and leave himself more room to operate politically. The reforms are well underway.
The prime minister should spend more time with the people who might actually help win in 2015 rather than senior civil servants who have revelled in the power and professional satisfaction the coalition has brought them.
6. Ta debatten
The debates will carry even more value this time around. They’ll give David a clear opportunity to talk about his achievements in office, the Lib Dem dynamic will be entirely different (I’m looking forward to the first student question) and importantly Miliband, whatever he says, will not be looking forward to the presentational challenges and risks of a live TV debate – quite aside from the intense policy scrutiny they will bring.
So Number Ten should make clear now that the debates are very much on. And whoever is tasked with negotiating the terms should press for a US-style town-hall format to be included. David was always at his best when connecting to an audience directly and thrived on the risk factor. If we made one mistake last time around it was being too protective on the issue of audience participation.
7. Utnyttja minnet av Margaret Thatcher
Her death will renew those enthusiasms and the next general election will take place very much in her shadow. Both Conservatives and Labour will think this gives them an advantage. David will certainly relish the thought, use it to highlight Red Ed’s true credentials and pounce when his mask of Thatcherite respect inevitably drops. Two years after her death, Baroness Thatcher will play an important role in the next election. Something tells me she wouldn’t have run away from a TV debate.
8. En ballanserad invandrar- och integrationspolitik
One of David’s great successes has been to bring some non-hysterical common sense to the immigration debate. There will be calls for him to do more, to ramp up the rhetoric and concoct some new policies. I’m not convinced that’s where the public are. Broadly speaking, they care less about where someone is from and more about the basic principles of fairness and in particular the impact of immigration on public services.
Unlike the rarely effective but always politically flawed Nigel Farage, when it comes to immigration he should deal in fact and not the stoking of irrational fears.
9. Slå hål på Ed Milibands strategi
Ed Miliband knows that his most likely route to power is to keep his head down, silently hope that the economy continues to go wonky and, well, just be the other guy. This strategy is cynical, sensible and proof that he is dangerously self-aware. And his team who, in the main, know he is a loser and would have much preferred his brother to have won, are all holding their noses and thinking the same.
More seriously, the prime minister must push him to take positions: expose his strategy, challenge him to take a view on the tricky issues opposition politicians love to duck.
10. Påminn om Ed Balls och hans tid under Gordon Brown
The prime minister should pray that Ed Balls remains shadow chancellor until the election. He should order a dust-down of the dossier detailing how he was at Gordon’s side when every disastrous decision was made. Appointing him as George’s opposite number was the Miliband gift that will keep on giving. For Ed 2 to present himself as the man to lead Britain towards a prosperous future would be funny if it wasn’t so dangerous. Actually no, it is damn funny.
Källa: Artikeln på nätet är en redigerad version av artikeln i papperstidningen.
Bild: En sida från förra årets julinummer av GQ.