Friday, 25 January 2008

Can Spin Be Good?

I recently watched Nigel Lawson interviewed on Newsnight as part of a panel of economic experts commenting on how the Bank of England should set interest rates. Nigel commented that the politicians were doing their job when they said that 'all was well' with the economy, presumably because doom mongers can spread panic which becomes a self fulfilling prophecy within the markets.

Does this mean that spin can be good?

Given that the first rule of power is "hold on to power" (in order to do all the "good" things you want to do) how much more spin goes on? For example, is it right and correct to down play crime to assuage the fear of crime? Is it right to talk up the numbers of arrests as a deterrent to criminals?

Fundamentally, how much of government is about creating a feel good factor?... And where does this leave truth and democracy?