There are a few unwritten rules in the media and one is that you never take a pop at the opposition over the kind of pitfalls that you might all to easily encounter yourself. It’s a case of there, but for the grace of God, go I.
What that means is that PR companies will keep a dignified silence when big rivals drop clangers and howlers. Likewise, even when the tabloids are embroiled in the bitterest of circulation wars won’t try to make capital when their rivals are caught out by spelling errors, legal mistakes or apologies.
But a pal on one of the country’s main papers (who will remain anonymous) forwarded me the press release below with the message: “Thought you could have some fun with this on the blog given the spelling mistake in the headline.”
And what a howler it is. Normally I wouldn’t have dreamt of poking fun at such at something like this. But this is politics and the SNP were caught short while having a right go at Gordon Brown, branding him a flop. Or as the headline on their press release would have it, a major “disapointment” (sic).
Time for Wee Eck and his Education Minister Hugh Henry to run a party wide spelling bee, I’d suggest. If you reall want to go public in branding the Prime Minister a “disappointment”, it really would pay to run the press release through spell-checker, Even on “US English” mode, it would have caught this howler.
Thanks in advance for any efforts to point out my own spelling frailties. While I welcome such observations, please rest assured your well intentioned comments are liable to get lost in moderation! Here’s that release in full:
For Immediate Release – Wednesday 5th December 2007
TWO-THIRDS OF SCOTS BRAND BROWN A DISAPOINTMENT
44 PER CENT OF LABOUR VOTERS VIEW PM AS FLOP
SNP Westminster Leader, Angus Robertson MP, has commented on polling figures, commissioned from YouGov, showing that two-thirds of voters in Scotland rated Gordon Brown as a disappointment since he became Prime Minister.
Commenting on the poll figures, Mr Robertson said:
“Even in his own backyard, Gordon Brown has been an enormous flop. Two-thirds of Scots believe he has been a disappointment. And the hammer blow is that even most Labour voters in Scotland regard Brown as disappointing.
“Gordon Brown’s premiership and the Government at Westminster have stalled – stuck in a mire of funding sleaze and internecine war.
“Alex Salmond and the Scottish Government, by contrast, have soaring approval ratings because the SNP are delivering a policy programme that reflects the priorities of the people.”
Contact SNP Westminster Press: 0207 219 0074
The question from the YouGov Scottish poll was:
“If you had to choose which of the following words would best sum up how you would rate Gordon Brown as the Prime Minister up to now?”
Don’t know: 18%
Note: 44% of Labour voters think that Brown has been disappointing – more than the 39% who think he has been impressive!