Labour backbenchers keen to rise up the ranks, take note of this sensational quote from lobbyist-turned-spinner-turned-Labour MP Michael Dugher in today’s Telegraph.
A former lobbyist for the IT firm EDS, Dugher was recently responsible for Gordon Brown’s press relations before becoming MP for Barnsley East on a reduced Labour majority.
Commenting on the news that the Tories are holding a fund-raising dinner at their forthcoming conference at which donors won’t have to declare their identities, he fulminates:
“This is cash-for-access, plain and simple. For all the Conservative talk of new politics, this is the same old Tory sleaze. Selling access to government ministers at £1,000 a head is just grubby.”
See? There may be a lively debate to be had about politicians and money – how to fund political parties, should they they be dependent on public or private money, blah blah blah – but that can be left to the likes of Conservative Home.
Instead, keep it simple. Be bold – they won’t use your quote if you sit on the fence. Try to use a few emotive words (sleaze is always a good one get in there). Maybe even ask the journo what he would like to hear to ensure that you don’t say the wrong thing!