Sign up to our Editors Choice newsletter now! Click here

Opinion: Media training won't help the DWP where the bedroom tax is concerned

Accessibility Menu

Menu Search

24dash - The UK's most up-to-date social housing and public sector news website

Opinion: Media training won't help the DWP where the bedroom tax is concerned

24DASH.COM Logo

Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government

Opinion: Media training won't help the DWP where the bedroom tax is concerned Opinion: Media training won't help the DWP where the bedroom tax is concerned

By Alistair McIntosh, chief executive of the Housing Quality Network

Do you remember Tim Leunig? He once was the top funny man for the coalition.

He spoke at an event for me. It was just after the election and he was full of it. I must say he was hilarious. The only sour note was that I was the butt of all his jokes. Who cares? If you dish it out sometimes you have to take it.

Why did he think I was so funny? It’s because I will run any course that anyone wants to go on (up to a point). He flicked through our brochure poking fun at this event and that. I have got to tell you that the punters were in stitches when he took the mickey out of our adverts for sessions to help people get their point of view across. He said that these were just a waste of money.

Why didn’t I flinch? He hadn’t been in power before so he was in for a rude awakening. I knew what was coming. People under real pressure ask for all sorts of help. One day the coalition would need the same sort of help. And so it has come to pass.

Did you see that headline? “£75,000 spent on media training For Lord Freud and DWP staff"

Can you imagine the fun Tim would have had if Prescott did that? He’d have them rolling in the aisles. And rightly so.

Why do they need this training? It is you not them that tells people face to face what will happen. It is you that kicks someone out for the rent arrears that Freud has imposed on them. Where is he when you are doing that? He will be sitting in make-up learning his lines.

This is not an advert but I too offer media training. In normal times it does not fly off the shelf. It is steady away. The people that are about to need it just never see it coming.

When does the phone ring off the hook? I’ll tell you when. It always happens when someone is bang in trouble. It looks to me like this is the case for Freud and the DWP.

Can the gurus sort them out? I’m not so sure. They can help you tell your story a bit better, but where the DWP's concerned they just need to tell a different story.

In a lot of the country there are big flats that are not that popular. If you kick someone out you will not have a queue around the block to take their place. Where are these smaller homes for folk to move into? You could fix the bedroom tax issue in a flash. Why don’t you match the policy to the local situation? The press would move on to the next victim. We can only hope that was the advice that Lord Freud got. If he wants that advice at a cheaper price he should call me. Tim Leunig has my number.

Comments

Login and comment using one of your accounts...