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Lodestone Communications
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right Philip Hammond was once – very recently, in fact – a politician basically in touch with the consensus of his age. Mildly pro remaining in the EU, enthusiastic about balancing the budget, keen on the relentless march of free trade and global prosperity. He fitted the bill. Nowadays, he looks like man out of touch and out of his time – a strange relic of a bygone age. To his Left, Labour has abandoned any flirtation with ‘fiscal credibility’ of the kind that was once dictated (perversely) by George Osborne. To his Right, many in the Tory Party have proven remarkably happy to sacrifice austerity and trade at the altar of Brexit. Hammond may disdain of these ideological positions – regarding those who surround him as clowns, jokers… Read Article > Lodestone consultant shortlisted for PRCA’s best young public affairs professional of the year prize We’re delighted to announce that Philippa Alway, a Senior Account Executive at Lodestone, has been shortlisted for the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) Douglas Smith Prize. This annual award recognises the best young consultants working within UK’s public affairs industry. Within a year at Lodestone, Philippa has quickly become a highly skilled public affairs specialist advising organisations in a number of sectors including energy, higher education and tech. She organises high profile events and supports the provision of secretariat services for the Parliamentary Internet Communications and Technology Forum APPG, for which Lodestone has recently been shortlisted for the Best Public Affairs Campaign by the CorpComms 2017 Awards. Philippa is also a community organiser for RegistHERtoVote – a cross-party grassroots action campaign encouraging women across the country to… Read Article > Play It Again, Sam This is the Groundhog Day Government. Another week, another scandal, another minor reshuffle to paper over the cracks. Lessons learned? None. Hope of avoiding repetition? Zilch. Theresa May is doomed to go from one ‘worst week ever’ to another in a horrifying cycle of Tory self-immolation. It is tempting, because we have a two-party adversarial democracy – to believe that the break in this carousel of chaos will be a new Government. Surely, we sigh, the Opposition will break through? Well, maybe. But there is a unique edge to Corbyn’s Labour that makes such an outcome far from inevitable. One, he shows no sign of pulling decisively ahead – disaster after disaster for the Government fails to upset the balance finally for Labour. Two, unabashed socialism makes Tories… Read Article > Chinese Radiation In European philosophies of kingship, legitimacy is usually premised on some combination of blood, faith and a nod to parliamentary acceptability. The Chinese see things differently. For Emperors of China, legitimacy comes from another source altogether. It doesn’t matter so much what blood you have in your veins (though those born into royalty obviously have an advantage when it comes to maneuvering their way to the top); religion is a different, less absolute creature in Chinese culture; parliaments never really took for the Chinese – then or now. No, for a Chinese Emperor, legitimacy comes from something that sounds vague but is actually deadly simple: The Mandate of Heaven. Here’s how it works: if an Emperor is legitimate, if they have the Mandate of Heaven, then things will… Read Article > New Award Shortlisting: Making tech policy strategic, inclusive and relevant - one year of helping Parliament engage with the tech sector We’re pleased to announce we’ve been shortlisted for the Best Public Affairs Campaign by CorpComms 2017 Awards for our work with the Parliamentary Internet, Communications and Technology Forum (Pictfor). Adding to our growing recognition — most recently Lodestone was shortlisted for the PRCA’s Ethical Champions 2017 Award — we are proud to deliver the best for our clients. Pictfor is the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the tech sector. The group provides a forum for Parliamentarians, members of the technology industry and other stakeholders to meet, understand priorities and share ideas on how to continue to strengthen the UK’s position as a leading digital economy.    We concentrated on delivering a renewed strategic focus while increasing the group’s inclusivity, diversity and relevance. To do this Pictfor needed new ideas,… Read Article >
Isn’t It A Pity The leadership of the Conservative Party hoped that their conference in Manchester this year would press pause. Pause on the deflation of Theresa May’s authority as Prime Minister. Pause on Jeremy Corbyn’s love affair with significant numbers of voters. Pause on the civil war that they can feel warming up and closing in. Despite everything – or, perhaps, thanks to everything – they will feel an uneasy optimism this morning. Yes, Theresa May’s speech to conference was a disaster. But it was such a disaster, filled with so many mishaps and almost ludicrous bad luck, that it suspends the Prime Minister in animation. The prankster, the coughing fits, the shoddy stage – any on their own might have killed her off. Together they protect her in an armour… Read Article > O Come, All Ye Faithful What to make of Labour Conference? And what does it mean for the Tories as they gather, next week, for their own? The first thing to understand about the delegates who gathered in Brighton is that they are not – for the most part and despite appearances – delusional. They know that they did not win the General Election. They know that Jeremy Corbyn is not Prime Minister. But they also know that, in-spite of all that, they have snatched a victory of sorts from the jaws of certain defeat. Closing the gap between Labour and the Tories from well above 10% to just over 2% was an unprecedented achievement. Winning seats when almost everyone predicted they would lose them – particularly in Tory strongholds such as Canterbury… Read Article > The Only Way is Up For most politicians, the rough and tumble of the day-to-day means that tactics come first and strategy has to wait. Our MPs and ministers live in a state of perpetual motion when the House is sitting – running like a cartoon character who has run out of road, refusing to look down lest gravity get the better of them. The relentless intensity of legislative life serves a purpose: it tends to weed out fools and frauds and it rewards both stamina and good, snap judgement. Many a shining political star has waned upon introduction to the grinding reality of Westminster. For example, Boris Johnson has been an MP twice and on both occasions his colleagues have found him wanting. Recess, then, is not merely a chance for MPs… Read Article > Lodestone celebrates 5th year On Wednesday, we gathered with friends and family to celebrate Lodestone’s 5th anniversary on the rooftop of the National Theatre in London. With the hung Parliament, Trump, and Brexit, these past five years have been some of the most turbulent times in political memory. One of the few firms to predict the unexpected, we’re proud of our innovative approach: combining sharp analysis, creative thinking and agile delivery with an expert team. We want to inspire the next generation to think strategically too. In celebration of our 5th anniversary, we’re giving back by supporting a number of causes that are close to our hearts.   We’re proud to have donated towards the inaugural production of the newly formed Batley and Spen Youth Theatre. The theatre group put on Les Misérables… Read Article > I Should've Known We'd Never Get Far Summer is here and, for Theresa May, it couldn’t have come soon enough. The Prime Minister needs a holiday (three weeks walking in the Alps, since you ask) and so does her party. This has been a traumatic year – full of disappointments and unexpected difficulties – for Tory MPs. Twelve months ago they welcomed a new Prime Minister into office in their traditionally boisterous manner; tables were banged, cheers resounded, relief was sighed. By common consent Theresa May was the strong, stable salvation that the party needed after a referendum campaign that had soured life-long friendships and a leadership election that had descended into sub-Shakespearean tragic farce. Theresa May was a grown-up. Theresa May didn’t ‘play games’. Theresa May would approach the real and terrifying challenges of… Read Article >
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