Sunday, 17 January 2010

True Grit?

A lot of column inches and angst has been circulating in the last few weeks about the subject of grit and salt and the lack of it, as we worked our way through weeks of snowy and icy weather. Kirklees was particularly hard hit but I don't want to focus on who was to blame for the lack of grit. Whichever party happened to be the administration at the time would have been faced with the same situation and had to make similar choices. My concern was how the politicians handled it and how it came across to the public. Take Mehboob Khan's appearance on Look North. It was a down the line interview from Westminister which can be tricky if you're not used to them, but the fact that the leader of the Council was in the capital while people were sliding around in Kirklees doesn't look good at all. Mehboob was very defensive, he was having to defend some pretty direct questions from Harry Gration but he could have spent more time talking about Kirklees Councils response to the problem and praising his staff (which to be fair he has done elsewhere). The real masterclass on how to do the PR properly came from Martyn Pritchard Chief Executive of West Yorkshire Ambulance Service. Martyn was interviewed in a hospital corridor, wearing an Ambulance Drivers fluorescent jacket (did he borrow it?) and was constantly praising the work his staff were doing in difficult conditions. This was in complete contrast to Cllr Ken Smith, Deputy Leader of Kirklees Councils appearance on Look North a few days later. Ken appeared to be in his living room in a nice warm arran jumber probably about to dip his hobnob in his cocoa. He was definitely in his comfort zone, finished work for the day about to toast his toes by the fire. He should have got his coat on and dragged the cameraman out into the snowy street or done his interview by the entrance to a gritting depot. Anything but sitting in his armchair as if he's about to do Jackanory.

No comments:

Post a Comment