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Lodestone Communications
The Unlucky General Relentlessly, right up to the line, 2017 continues to surprise and unsettle. Damian Green believed that he was in the clear. So did many of his colleagues and sources close to the Prime Minister. But in the end it was his efforts to fight off allegations from a decade ago – rather than the incident with a young, female journalist – that saw him off. Green claimed that he had never been told that police had found pornography on a laptop connected to him. This was not true. And so the Prime Minister asked him to resign. It doesn’t mean that the ‘de facto Deputy Prime Minister’ accessed the pornography, or indeed that he had done anything untoward, but you cannot deceive in public statements and expect to… Read Article > The Walls Are Closing In Theresa May is running out of choices. This is happening because of the choices that she once made. The clock is ticking on our negotiations with the EU, because Theresa May triggered Article 50 sooner than was wise. We cannot make the compromises necessary to maintain the free flow of goods and people across the Irish border, because Theresa May’s election left her dependent on the DUP. She has shrinking wriggle room in her negotiations because she unilaterally ruled out almost all the alternative relationships with the EU that had been offered up as examples by the Leave campaign themselves. Our Prime Minister has placed herself in a room, locked the door and now watches as the walls close in on her from all sides – she is… Read Article > 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 >
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