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Read this: The Tories, the message and the media

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The Tories, the message and the media…

BBC sounds music Radio podcasts hello, this is the media show from BBC Radio 4 now you soon at delivered his speech to the Tory Party Conference report to an end a tumultuous few days not least the conservative party's communications team the question for the prime minister.

Kept getting asked whether HS2 Manchester would be Council we now have an answer to that.

Yes, it will be but many questions remain about how the media and the Conservatives are interacting.

That's took that through with my career deputy editor of little girls London PlayBook clear Watson format number 10 advisor to Boris Johnson and the presenter of how to win a campaign which is currently on Radio 4 and Tim Montgomery and founder of Conservative home all three of you.

You're you're very welcome.

I wonder if you want the last few days playing out what you consider to be the most pressing issue for the Tories as they've interacted with.

You could start off internet interact with the media I suppose they wish they could just have a blackout all together with the difficult at conferences.

Is it the whole point is bringing your based? It's all the people that instantly voted in this trust last year and so a certain kind of Tory MP appeals to the lanterns and so forth what is Boo difficulties, how brought the media landscape is now everyone's got a mobile phone and so these little Fires all the time as someone managing to get a picture of someone being dragged out for heckling or having an embarrassing gas somewhere and it Nigel Farage singular party quiet and it's kind of inescapable so normally you would try and sort of flood the Airways with your announcements.

Can I keep Genesis busy as possible, but everyone's doing journalism and it's very difficult to counteract a very persistent narrative right you're wrong.

The Conservatives are going out and they've is coming in the lot more outlets Media outlet in both professional and everyone's Media outlets for their phones are there any what about you? Yeah? I think it's really think what clear you were saying just now about the Conservative Party will try to flood kind of conference the conference with announcements in the opposite of Smyths in Cork during conference in the van up to the prime minister's speech today instead and the prime minister announcements in a speech and left a little to talk about and actually what I ended up dominating to the media and during conference was stories about HS2 the HSE lead to Manchester been cancelled because only saying the government was planning to do but will confirm until British night.

Speak to you later that ended up being that because of major story of conference just sat.

That order can we exchange from everything else? So it's been a really unusual in that respect that's interesting there's a calculation for the comms teams about how much information they push out day after day building up to prime minister's speech Tim Montgomerie you've been to a few of these conservative party conferences in terms of this one.

How does it differ in in terms of the the medias role within it pick up in about 31 or 3031 committee conservative.

I don't know first one was Margaret Thatcher 1989 and I don't know whether still put it but I was stood on the chair singing 10 more years looking a lot of for you.

I'm going to be after the shouting and it turns about this composite agree a lot with what's just been said it was pretty clear for a while that the government we're going to curtail the HS2 project and when the spec.

Mountain over the last 2 weeks.

I think it was a shame in advance for example of the prime minister's big interview with Laura kuenssberg additional Prime Minister interview on the Sunday the programme they did they make it clear then that was what was going to happen because they have been someone else with it hasn't been announcement rich conference but the speculation about HS2 has overshadowed all about and it's really HS2 been the only big story to come out at the conference at the government ever wanted us to be discussing and we have some clarity on that as you know of course the prime minister speech is happen now.

I've got a few different things.

I'd like to ask all three of you about the first is the hostility that we've heard from some Conservatives towards some parts of the media Let's Begin this clip of Priti Patel are friends that are here for the newest most successful most dynamic.

No nonsense mutation and the defenders of Frisby that is my friends.

Thank you for everything that you do the Tory hating brexit bashing free speech desires at the BBC and the so-called mainstream Media democratic organisations gala dinner that a lot of attention, so did this it's the journalist Adam Payne talking to the deputy chairman of the Conservative leandersson, and sharing what he's been hearing from some of his Tory MPs is with specific reference to Home Secretary swabhiman, think she's topsify in the party Brandon would prefer if the p.m.

Was replaced by the wrong on that which episode one nation proud.

But I'm not going to reveal you know what the journalist in a political adversary politics home he tweeted after that incident was referenced on Twitter he said this was me and it wasn't very pleasant but I very much appreciate jealous colleagues and others there who Express support within heard from Mark Wallace chief executive of the total politics group which includes politics home and he said my colleague is a great reporter.

It's wrong to base layer his professional standard just because reporting what someone doesn't want to hear clear.

What do you think when you hear those clips specifically to get the golden rule of not reading your sources? I don't know what he gave Adam pain.

Such a hard time.

Obviously he was there on the kind of sides of the conference like I said that.

Open competitions that seen your base and touching touching with members and I think he was trying to make appointment to the room and not necessarily, how is this landing Elsewhere and I'm going to come across as a bit of ability on the kind of combining that with Priti Patel speech.

It's obviously quite fashionable as a monk right-wing circles to basta Media even though ironically the newspapers are right leaning and it is fashionable working number 10 to there wasn't a do you think that will be here as an extension of how the conservative party's been travelling for some years.

I think I think it's always has been so long as politicians have been interacting with them.

It's been a nuisance for and I don't particularly recent.

I think that feels more aggressive now because so much of it is conducted online and it's 24-hours.

London PlayBook politico, do you think that what we hearing is different or merely an extension of of what's always gone before I think that it is definitely more pronounced this sort of distrust this dislike of the media is more pronounced among those with fringes of the political parties so on the right of the Tory party on the left of the Labour Party so we sort of aggressive attacks against the media in the Labour Party Conference when Jeremy Corbyn was leader a few years ago similar atmosphere where there was a section of the membership at least who really distrusted mainstream Media outlets, because they felt that you know they were bias against time I think similarly.

There's a section of the three membership that really really dislikes mainstream news outlets on the basis that you know they're not they're not telling the truth often is.

You know they have brought this trust of Amelia there on the side fringes and I think I think that is definitely from work analysis here.

I think it's really simple leandersson is a party he's somebody who himself is extremely critical of the media and he has artificial role in The Party and so I think it's that's not really interesting phenomenon and its speak to the fact that his team do want to appeal at least partly to the voters that we understand the filter and that sort of that section of the British Public as well as appealing more broadly the fact that he is in that position is demonstration that day that you know that so basically wanted him to and what they keep on side as we're approaching election.

I should add the Anderson is common to all of this saying when the media do they do not like a strong politician they resort to this nonsense I called the journalist out because for far too long.

I think some of them.

Just make things up then.

What do you make this?

And what the Anderson said it's a basic rule of responsible journalism that you don't reveal your sources and I can understand the exasperation of some in the Conservative Party at the Conservative Party received.

I think for example the spirit the coverage is to wear a problem and speech at both last week and this week you get the impression from most men media coverage that she was saying something absolutely outrageous.

What is opinion polls showed in this week's Sunday Times you got a large majority of the British Public identifying with her and I think that's the gap that channels like GB news and talk TV are playing they are speaking more to the mainstream audience but am attacking journalist not revealing who provides them with a confidential briefing.

I was out of order in the Anderson should have done it conservative home and Eleni

Play but I can hear you coming in.

I think it is to try and create controversy.

You know they want the kind of that something that they they want to to get it gets headlines that gets attention.

I mean definitely if you look at some of the policies that the immigration they do they do sometimes talk right well, but often the rhetoric that something like a brother would use it is intentionally used in order to promote and to get those headlines at Great around profile the public speeches when they use sort of excitable rhetoric so I think there's a lot of blood to get around and responsible when you when you were in number 10 was there ever a calculation the forest?

Said something particularly controversial you knew it would then generate coverage it would generate impact and I think he needs that because he unusually is a media person.

He's become a politician you kind of bridges Both Worlds he has a background in journalism, and he I think we are deliberately say quite inflammatory stuff, then it will get a reaction and it but I think the best thing to have to focus on his this is a pivot towards starting to campaign so I think he's right about about being extremely kind of inflammatory with some of her remarks, but that appeals to a certain base that the Conservatives want voting for the next year and some people might be mysterious and say campaigning for the next election campaigning for the next Conservative Party leader, but that's perhaps a question for a program rather than a media program the relationship between the media and the conservative party was one thing I wanted to ask you about but within that let's look at the issue of the immediate Media efforts to correct things.

Services I said in the last few days for example.

This is Claire Coutinho the cabinet Minister in her speech is Storm it doesn't eat it by his skirmish with a bacon sandwich labour.

Don't have any plans to tax me there's no evidence being offered to show their relaxed about it either that was all highlighted in an interview by Sophy Ridge on Sky News which went viral and then that's one example here's another this is transport secretary Mark Harper during his speech first of all.

I'm calling time on the misuse of so-called 15-minutes.

It is a walk or cycle to the shops or school traditional town planning, but what is different what is sinister and what we shouldn't tolerate is the idea of local councils can do.

How often you go to the shops and they ration who uses the roads and when and a police at all with CCTV well as I've been pointed out by Evan Davis on Radio 4 on the others local councils can't decide how often you go to the shops 50 minutes city is an interesting case study in terms of how an idea more than changes to become something quite different from where it began in this case critics a 50-minute said he say it's an example of the state overreaching so let's try to understand how it's made its way as an idea through the media ecosystem all the way to stage of the Tory Party Conference I'm going by my colleague and BBC News Marco Silva of BBC verify market thanks for joining us on the media.

So just tell us festival exactly are 15-minute cities so fundamentally with talking about an urban planning Concepts around this idea that within a city everyone lives within a 15-minute walk or cycle.

All basic services, so we're talking about schools supermarkets officers and primarily beside year is about reducing traffic but also how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions greenhouse gases which as We Know are driving global warming as you know in the introduction.

There are some people think it's a win-win.

It's better for the environment critics say it's because for some people in some parts of the country cars are still very much central people's livelihoods and some people think it's a bad idea to move away from cars when actually they may not have all the forms of Transport available and when Mark used the phrase reference in his speech.

Why did you pay attention to the issue with what Mr Harper said there? Is that it's not an entirely.

Accurate representation of what 15-minute cities are as I as I explained this is an ideal a goal a concept but we know by looking at some of the places where 50 minutes it does have been a doctor not only in this country, but also brought that the concept in itself does not give council's any additional powers to limit people's freedom of movement as far as we can tell you know I reported on the story.

We are not aware of any councils in this country determining how many times or how often people can come go to shops but also you know they supposed this 15-minute cities are supposed to cut down on car tracker people can still use all the other forms of Transport and it's just one contact Mr happy to try and get any application statement, but didn't hear back from him Market thank you and people can find your reporting on the BBC News website that's bringing Jenny

Is head of climate research and policy Institute for Strategic dialogue in London because Jenny have also been following this issue, how have you follow the 15-minutes 50 cities idea through its trajectory through its evolution of the opposition to 15-minute cities is actually a refashioning of an older conspiracy climate lockdown, which first appeared during the covid-19 pandemic and broadly claims generally with no evidence base that climate action or any policy that had environmental outcomes with actually an excuse to strip people of the civil liberties and to kerb their freedoms really interestingly the climate lockdown conspiracy was very aggressively pushed in the stages by lobbyist for the fossil fuel industry in the United States before it then became a viral Sensation at the international level and it has since mutated or being a dad.

To fit some of these quite specific public policy issues most recently 30-minutes.

Could it be possible that some people see a conspiracy where there's no evidence that there is one but other people could have genuine concerns about how their cities are being reorganised at the Conservatives are focused on that side of the equation absolutely any public policy issue whether it's urban planning climate change or public health fundamentally requires there to be good faith debate between citizens and decision-makers about the benefits or potential trade-offs the problem and what I think is really concerning is when the framing for those discussions is grounded in unsubstantiated claims or false accusations or a broader conspiratorial framing wear any form of public policy making is part of a wider shadow agenda, and I don't think that the presence of a conspiracy theory itself is what's a problematic care? It's the way that conspiracies become a normalised in public Life

And the way that they become a defining part of the conversation about all of these key elements of society and the way that we run Communities and Local councils to believe I can just jump in that's the the final point that I'd like to ask you about what is it that allows an idea to jump into the mainstream as we've seen has happened with this show that the media and I really don't think we can ignore the interplay between Legacy Media so broadcast and print and radio and the social media ecosystem.

You know there is a a game play where a very vocal and committed minority will create viral 84A conspiracy in the online space and that then does get platforms and legitimised by specific parts of the traditional Media ecosystem, and I guess to an extent that kind of final stage in that process is for it to be given a mouthpiece through elected officials or parts of the political establishment and that's why it is really worrying to see an idea.

And joking about within the big public forum and given an error probability by by politicians sort of relied upon to navigate these complicated public policy areas Jenny thank you much Andy Jenny's from the Institute for Strategic dialogue still with us early career from politico clear Watson former number 10 advisor to Boris Johnson and Tim Montgomerie the founder of Conservative home clear, what is made of some of the claims that we've heard at the Conservative Party Conference and also how people have reacted when they've been challenged was going to be that doing the rest of the Year receptors Estate have a whole team of civil servants to fat check everything they saying and two rooms of people to double check everything you're going to say in a keynote speech Party Conference it's party political so civil servants can't go anywhere near it.

So they were the relying on their advisors and their headquarters to do this for them and

That's because this is an honest mistake, but obviously we seen doubling down on it which I think is the interesting part.

You know the the idea of my tax was disputed as soon as Rishi Sunak net zero goals and there was a doubling down my own way some people listening might be thinking this hasn't gone in because it hasn't been checked.

It's gone in without my next one is going to be my sunshine then is that they can see something we can't which is some kind of salience in Poland and focus groups for this kind of stuff.

We get about campaigning.

Is it? Ok? I mean I don't think it is but the question is if copper is saying there is no suspicious situation going on with 50 minutes if he's but I think he's getting out people are concerned that there's a she going on with with.

50 minutes if he has Jenny said, is is the case it's come from somewhere kinda strange you miss information you but the point is people are worried about it.

Let's bring you in time first look I think whatever short-term advantage there might be for the Conservative Party in spinning these things sorry about my about to do the Conservative Party strapped electrically in the past is always willing we spin seem to be the party of competence the grown-ups in the room labour if you like simplify, you know where the hearts on the sleeves are the Caring party, but where the party that get things done and I think we're in danger that fundamental brand reputation by spinning silly stories get a short term sugar hit if you like cactus actually the long-term impact on a

What is that we aren't taken seriously and I hope given the negative reaction that we've had this week will be something that can third party discontinued with it sis it's not growing out politics and you're not good value have seen some people suggesting the the media being particularly muscular and dealing with some of these issues this week.

Do you think that's true or these moments have just been noticed a little more Adam in the middle spinning pushing back.

I think we've just listen in the last few days.

I mean we still BBC Newsnight last night was question about this about series of claims that tell us that have been a dryer Cabinet ministers that I think so, I think you know that this is definitely become something that has been noticed in the media and that is being charged and immediately just getting it now as well and I cannot significant.

I'm 50 minutes cities that comes to me over the fact that as clear as I said earlier Conservative conference is about appealing to the story based and as we've already discussed some of that bass will be kind of what kind of people who may be exposed to the conspiracy theories and consumer kind of Media where they might have concerns about these issues and it seems like the government is it sort of trying to play to some of those photos and members and the other thing that comes to mind is the fact that British more broadly wants to appeal to Motorists and drivers and this feels like that.

You know for the government.

They have had a sign that they want to see them at least in the seas on this issue is as part of a wider strategy to talk about how defending The interests of drivers and but you're not as we discussed slipped into.

Normalising and it just minding what is actually got one question.

I'm very sorry.

I'm going to jump in very short on time and I do have one last question.

I'm keen to ask all three of you because that we don't know when the elections going to be precisely clearly the Conservatives all the political parties are gearing up for the election when it comes what part of the media management task for the Conservatives the other parties matters the most.

What are they now focused on more than any other to give them a message the best chance to my goji first the big thing that comes out of the conference for the Conservative Party is this replacement strategy for HS2 the Manchester leg Dave now.

Got to convince the population that these network North projects of local infrastructure Investments are actually good my question for you to his where do they do that? What's the most local Media in local Media that sent.

Ok, trust is and so I think they'll be in an awful.

Lot of concern focus on local sites local radio.

That's where the Investment is not because that's what all the listeners Bureau in Trading most.

Thank you Clio campaign to basically jiu jitsu mats between the different parties so as much as it is about play Conservatives getting their messages out in the right places.

It's fighting where labour able to plan their messages.

There was famously able to get the Murdoch papers behind him in 1997 so he said he had the idea focus on when you were involved.

I was not immediate and I'm happy birthday, but I think one of the problems that can serve to do how do you can start to see this people like was stressing and Rachel he's getting interviews in The Spectator and the times which they wouldn't need label with nowhere near.

There has been increased upon and maybe that's why they're kind of holding onto GB news which by the way doesn't bring any new voters towards them at the Lonely I've only got 30 seconds perhaps newsletters are also important in the equation given that you work on one so hopefully it is focused on if you sing us then we'll go we'll have to see if they if they tried to recreate from London PlayBook thank you very much indeed.

Thanks to Montgomery as well clear up and running on Radio 4.

It's called how to win a campaign with onto on on Tuesday will be messaging and the messenger so it's pretty convenient alright.

Everyone this new watch out for that.

It's how to win a campaign you can get it through BBC sounds and here on Radio 4.

I should say you can also get all the additions of the media show through BBC sounds.

And radio for as well.

Thank you very much.

Jenny King and Marco silver as well and we'll talk to you very soon.


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