Coalition government deputy prime minister and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has won PR Week’s gong as communicator of the year, which will be some consolation to him as angry Lib Dems eviscerate him and his sidekick treasury minister Danny Alexander for their role in preparing chancellor George Osborne’s £83bn public spending cuts, due to be announced today.
Clegg is already in the doghouse with his increasingly reluctant followers for his endorsement, alongside Lib Dem business secretary Vince Cable, of dramatically higher student tuition fees which has led many to wonder where he’s buried his conscience given that it was Lib Dem policy before the May election to oppose any such increase and even work towards abolishing the damn things altogether.
Surely being a skilful communicator means not committing yourself to things you can’t deliver?
But Cleggy has a winning manner, as was instanced in his performance in the three televised debates between himself, David Cameron and Gordon Brown.
This seems to have persuaded PR Week’s extended award jury (all 62 of them) of his merits.
The magazine’s lively editor Danny Rogers says “Clegg’s PR prowess won over viewers and ultimately led him to Downing Street.”
Well not quite Danny, Clegg may have won over viewers but the Lib Dems failed to increase their vote from 2005. What led him to Downing Street was David Cameron’s failure to secure a working majority for the Tories and subsequent need for a coalition partner.