Thrashing royal Rollers: some public relations tips


1:37 pm - December 10th 2010

by Dave Osler    


      Share on Tumblr

IT IS entirely possible that the people who smashed up the royal Rolls Royce last night do not have McCann Erickson, Burson-Marsteller or Weber Shandwick on a retainer, and are largely making up their public relations strategy as they go along. And Daily Telegraph commentator Damian Thompson is clearly a man who can spot rank amateurism when he sees it.

What happened to the heir to the throne and his wife constitutes ‘a richly-deserved PR disaster’ for the anti-tuition fees cause, he opines today. The thing is, all the PRs I know – and like most journos, I know scores of the air-kissy darlings – seem to measure their performance in column inches.

On that metric, the upshot looks more like a spectacular public relations triumph. Not only is the story the front page lead on every British national newspaper this morning – Torygraph included – but a student demonstration with a turnout that would be considered small in countries well up for a rumble with the riot cops has been transformed into an international news event. Propaganda of the deed, I think anarchists call it.

‘Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall are not, perhaps, universally beloved,’ Thompson observes. ‘But you don’t have to adore them, Queen Mother-style, to feel anger at the sight of a couple in late middle age being screamed at by thugs.’

Sure, Middle England will be horrified. But Middle England isn’t everybody, whatever the proffered devotion politicians have displayed towards Worcester Women in recent years.

Those who were happy to hear that the windows at Fred the Shred’s Edinburgh gaff or Tory HQ in Millbank got bricked in are unlikely to be unduly upset this time either. It’s not as if the perpetrators are out to court majority opinion, anyway, although I appreciate that point will be lost on Thompson.

What is more, no Royal Highnesses were harmed in the making of this movie, and it wasn’t long before the Crown Prince and his other half were laughing and joking with Kylie, Cheryl, Take That and N-Dubz.

The morality, overall pragmatism, or general advisability of thrashing posh cars likely to contain armed bodyguards is open to debate. But this is publicity that could not be bought, which is why repeat performances can readily be expected.

    Share on Tumblr   submit to reddit  


About the author
Dave Osler is a regular contributor. He is a British journalist and author, ex-punk and ex-Trot. Also at: Dave's Part
· Other posts by


Story Filed Under: Blog ,Education ,Our democracy ,The Left

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Reader comments


repeat performances can readily be expected

….. unless Plod stretches every sinew to bring at least one of the perps of this outrage to book.

The sight of some student spending the next three years in Wormwood Scrubs rather than at the University of La Hacienda should concentrate some minds.

Speaks volumes that our born with a silver spoon in his mouth Prime Minister is not concerned with all the people injured, or the millions of students he has screwed over financially for the next 5 years. No, all Call me Dave is concerned about is the Royal car.

Sharpen up those guillotines, we are going to need them with this bunch of aristocratic shysters.

The irony is that those who trashed Prince Charles and Camila’s car and probably rich themselves!

Oh posh annarchist rampaging for the good of the “proles”!

4. Samuel Wheeler

Remind me how much HRH paid for his education?

“The morality, overall pragmatism, or general advisability of thrashing posh cars likely to contain armed bodyguards is open to debate, which is what the comments box is for.”

Well, “thrashing posh cars” = vandalism.

Is that “open for debate”?

Perhaps I should come round and “thrash” something of yours which I have decided is “posh”?

(Not that I would; I’m too cowardly.)

Actually “thrashing posh cars” with late middle aged couples in them is worse than vandalism.

There’s no way any violence can be condoned.

But, to be honest, it’s not rocket science that if you kettle thousands of people for 6+ hours (before anyone even did anything remotely wrong) in freezing temperatures that’s not going to soothe the situation, is it?

And also, on what grounds are eggs on the Man Who Was Born To Be King more vile and more appalling than the dozens of students already lying on the floor who were still being battered by policemen ?

Why should I feel more outraged at the former?

‘It’s not as if the perpetrators are out to court majority opinion, anyway,’

So what IS the point if not to win people over?

Instead of police charging protestors today’s news is going to feature nothing but ‘distressed’ royals.

‘Remind me how much HRH paid for his education?’

Whatever it was, I don’t think he got his money’s worth.

Of topic but quite interesting ……..”One of the two Swedish women who have filed sex complaints against the founder of WikiLeaks has reportedly left Sweden and may no longer be cooperating with the criminal investigation.

According to a report at Australian news site Crikey.com, Anna Ardin has moved to the Palestinian territories to volunteer with a Christian group working to reconcile Arabs and Israelis.”

Her work is done.

LATEST LEAKS

“The world’s biggest pharmaceutical company (Pfizer) hired investigators to unearth evidence of corruption against the Nigerian attorney general in order to persuade him to drop legal action over a controversial drug trial involving children with meningitis, according to a leaked US embassy cable.”

Which is quite interesting because…..

“They’re getting ready do pass the Shortride bill to make WikiLeaks a terrorist organization.

The House version of the bill was introduced in the House of Representatives yesterday by Congressman, the Senate version was introduced last week by Senators John Ensign , Joe Lieberman and Scott Brown”

By all accounts Lieberman owns a lot of stock in Pfizer.

Well, in column inches this was a victory for us radicals. As it was only paint and quite light hearted, I think it was one of those well measured spontaneous things that happen on the field of battle that shows warriors are human beings, like when Flintoff consoled Lee after we won the ashes.

What is Quite Interesting is that Royal security sources say that there are usually at least three potential routes a Royal vehicle can take when off out on a jolly – so why did they deliberately drive through the protests? It’s very helpful, to say the least, that all the coverage today has focussed on this minor bit of public nusiance rather than the teenager with brain injuries caused by a copper hitting them, or the 300 kids illegally kettled on Westminster Bridge until 2am – with people saying they weren’t allowed to leave the kettle unless they gave their name and photo.
This incident is either a cock-up or conspiracy, basically. The former is more likely but it does make one think…

“warriors” ?

“field of battle” ??

Right.

@10

Ms Ardin has had her personal details (including home addess, telephone number, etc) splashed all over the darker corners of the internet thanks to misguided Anonymous fools. I’m not surprised she’s gone to the Middle East. I would too.

Now that yesterday’s disgraceful events are known worldwide, what hope is there for international confidence in our ability to run secure and safe Olympics in about 500 days ? Not clever folks.

When it was reported on the news that protesters had set light to a Christmas tree, I speculated that their next PR coup would be kicking a puppy. Nope. They went one better and attacked the Royal Family (oh, and a statue of Churchill).

The problem here is that it leaves students open to the sort of criticism us lefties reserve for the BNP – they’re anti-British in their values, they’re thugs masquerading as political activists etc. We say those things about the BNP because we expect them to resonate with people who might otherwise be tempted to support them. Same applies here.

There was a phone-in on BBC Radio 5 Live about the demo and violence this morning. I was anticipating a howling mob of Flowerpower saloon-bar-bore types @ 1 to come on and rant.

But oddly enough about 50% of the callers wholly supported the protestors, though a few made some caveats about certain violent acts, but many were not bothered by the violence. It was like “at last someone is getting off their arses and doing something”

You could claim the producer was going for a 50/50 balance in calls, but this is not the case on 5 Live phone-ins many of which have overwhelming support on one side of an issue over the other side.

The worm is turning.

@2 – And it speaks volumes your not concerned about injured officers or a middle aged couple being terrorised, why its almost as if you and Dave share different ideologies or some such

@3 – Your right, the rascal swinging from the cenotaph turned out to be pink floyd guitarist David Gilmours (worth £80 mil) son

17 – let’s see what the opinion polls say first. I suspect a majority will oppose both the government’s position and the students’ antics.

“The irony is that those who trashed Prince Charles and Camila’s car and probably rich themselves!”

I suspect the extremely wealthy students are more likely to be found trashing local restaurants in Oxford as members of the bullingdon club, before a nice career in politics where you can say with a straight face that is wrong for people to get something for doing nothing whilst awaiting a 40 million inheritance.

We ‘rioters’ are not acting in an ‘anti British’ way, we are fighting against something very anti democratic, an act of betrayal that cannot be forgiven. This is our future we are trying to protect. The trouble with the british is they complain about their govt and electoral system, then condemn those who actually have the courage take them on. Most of the people doing the ‘violence’ (in the words of the right wing press) were of non british origin, there were many black and asian people who came from poor backgrounds ,who were fired up by a sense of exclusion from mainstream british life.
‘Britishness’ i.e submitting without protest to the upper class capitalists is dead, this is someting to celebrate. In all probability the Monachy will become unsustainable in the long term. Listen to ‘Master Passion Greed’ by nightwish that suits this government. ‘who the hell are you to tell me’ etc.. HEP HEP

“the rascal swinging from the cenotaph turned out to be pink floyd guitarist David Gilmours (worth £80 mil) son”

Really?

Brilliant!

23. Cynical/Realist?

If you think violence and attacking people in their cars will bring good publicity to any cause you really need to pull your head out out of somewhere.

Instead of debating the vote and showing a massive demonstration anyone involved has handed Cameron et al the excuse to tar everyone with the ‘mob’ brush and now the talk is all about royal security rather than the education reforms.

I’m quite aware that trundling a Rolls Royce full of royalty through any demo is likely to see only one result, Christ its like dangling a cream egg in front of a dieter (I know this pain). But that doesn’t excuse it or make it productive.

It is true.

More on Charlie “swing from the cenotaph” Gilmour:

“David Gilmour is estimated to be worth £78 million, ranking 861st on the Sunday Times Rich List.
His son has been on the books of modelling agency Select Model Management and has also tried his hand as a journalist, writing music reviews for the Guardian and the Observer.
In an interview earlier this year, he gave an insight into his privileged lifestyle.
“I’ve always loved good-quality clothing,” he said.
“My parents said that if I got into Cambridge, they would buy me a Savile Row suit.
“They made me two suits — a single-breasted day suit and a slim-cut dinner suit, which is useful, as there are all sorts of feasts and formal occasions at Cambridge.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/8194540/Charlie-Gilmours-privileged-upbringing-as-the-son-of-rock-n-roll-royalty.html

Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

It is rumoured that – in less scrupulous countries than ours – popular protests are infiltrated by agent provocateurs who are there to ensure that peaceful demonstrations descend into violence. The winners in this nefarious game are the government – who can claim the moral high-ground – whilst not being blamed for the inflammatory situation in the first place, and the agents of law and order who can be lauded and praised as the defenders of freedom/ democracy / stability – take your pick. The losers are those hapless souls who have a justifiable cause to protest about – the cause and its causes being submerged in the moral huffing and puffing from the hypocrites on high. Thankfully that kind of cynical manipulation of events and news cannot happen in our fair and ‘we-are-all-in-this-together’ land of hope and Tories – Rule Britannia!

@21 – Yes you are, for example swinging from the cenotaph, pissing on churchills statue, attacking the royals car.

Thats what the rioters were doing, the rest were trying to have a peaceful protest

And this land of hope and Tories, with its Big Society, are with us for a fixed 5 years (nice little south american style law change, that). I can’t believe who actually voted conservative, its bad enough being a liberal voter but at least we can say we were betrayed, conservative voters actually chose them by their own free will (assuming activists from the Conservative Youth didn’t go around dementia care centres saying ‘put a cross next to the little tree’).
Like when the Aussies at the MCG said to Pietersen ‘he’s the worst of the lot, he actually wanted to be a pom’

28. Cynical/Realist?

@25 Thats right. Its all someone elses fault.

In the odd very cynical five minutes today though I have wondered about the mechanics of deliberatly steering a prince into a mob because then you know the news stories the next day….

Jaeren –

“Most of the people doing the ‘violence’ (in the words of the right wing press) were of non british origin, there were many black and asian people who came from poor backgrounds ,who were fired up by a sense of exclusion from mainstream british life.”

Huh? Are you suggesting that Black and Asian people are ipso facto of “non-British origin” and/or that Black and Asian people are responsible for more of the car-kicking, missile-throwing etc that went on than White people?

“Listen to ‘Master Passion Greed’ by nightwish that suits this government.”

Chuggy pseudo-‘dark’ guitars – check! Cod-symphonic synth strings – check! Cheesy power-ballad vocal melody – check! Wind-machine – check! Do you mind if I listen to ‘Big Bottom’ by Spinal Tap instead? That kinda suits this government too, but at least it doesn’t take itself seriously.

Most of the people doing the ‘violence’ (in the words of the right wing press)

Also in the words of The Collins Dictionary,

‘“the rascal swinging from the cenotaph turned out to be pink floyd guitarist David Gilmours (worth £80 mil) son”’

I disapprove of wascally wioters but I don’t really want to see them swing for it.

Pardon me all to hell, but would some kind person clear up a misgiving I have just been smited with? Do you have to be LIb Dem or middle-for-diddle thereabouts to post with political validity to this site? What then are the parameters?

‘“Most of the people doing the ‘violence’ (in the words of the right wing press) were of non british origin, there were many black and asian people who came from poor backgrounds ,who were fired up by a sense of exclusion from mainstream british life.”’

Who let Rod Liddle in?

@ 19

Yes we must wait for idiot psephology coupled with gossip from the papers “political editors” on who is up and who is down this week in the Westmnster bubble before forming our political views.

35. Chiase Guevara

@ 34

In fairness, this article is about PR rather than determining who’s right and who’s wrong.

Anyone thought that Prince Charles is an MI5 plant.

How convenient that he should be driving along just at that moment, and what about all those nice pictures, many of them seem to be from the inside of the car? It is almost as if the authorities planned it………

By the way, the fake mock out rage at Charlie boy who’s education, car , numerous houses, and everything else is paid for by the state, and the Prime Minister and his fellow mps living off the state and legislating against students is breathtaking.

@27 My manager at work voted conservative and is now cunting furious with the tories for doing exactly what they said they were going to do. His exact words were:

“I only fucking voted Tory to get that fat scotch cunt out.”

My theory is that people who vote tory are fuckwits.

““I only fucking voted Tory to get that fat scotch cunt out.”

My theory is that people who vote tory are fuckwits”

Priceless!

Further comment to this news report seems redundant:

Sir Paul Stephenson’s comments that armed officers showed ‘restraint’ not shooting protesters who attacked Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall’s car has been met with fury by Twitter users.
http://www.metro.co.uk/news/850065-sir-paul-stephensons-remarks-spark-twitter-outrage

40. Robert Anderson

Don’t be too middle classis about this because you alienate people like me who have had huge vilolence inflicted upon our villages, estates, communities etc for the last thirtry years. It is good that these upper class parasites see first hand what the minions think!

PS I deplore physical violence bu try telling that to cops that nearly killed me in 1984

Regards

Bob

@40 – Robert Anderson – 1984 – You can only be an ex-miner – your moving post has rekindled my 26 year-old outrage, you have my deepest respect and sympathy – these are social scars that will never heal – not to mention injustices that will only be righted by historians – if at all. Many of us who lived through the Thatcher years and particularly the police excesses of the miners strike – will never take the establishment’s allegedly unbiased commentary about ordinary working folk fighting for their human right to preserve a livelihood – at face value. The similarly vilified students are hopefully learning that lesson currently. One day perhaps – the truth will out.

It was only a car

Why didn”t Prince Charles just get the bus like any student would ?

Or walked takes 21 mins as google says

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&expIds=17259,24472,27147,27213,27558,27868,27927,28066&xhr=t&q=buckingham+palace&cp=5&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=Buckingham+Palace,+13+Buckingham+Palace+Rd,+Westminster,+London+SW1W+0&gl=uk&ei=-ZACTb2LCdHusgaUvbDpCQ&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&ct=title&resnum=1&sqi=2&ved=0CCMQ8gEwAA

Btw

did they show the guy in the wheelchair throne out of it by police ?

Now i think a wheelchair is more important to summon than a posh car.

so out of touch

@ 16. Wrong. I don’t like the BNP anymore than most but they’re more British than some of the stuff I’m reading here. Perhaps they – and their supporters – should have been policing yesterday’s disgrace in London ? There would have been no problem with Royal security – and ………there would have been no enquiries afterwards ! Some – not all on here – will deserve your own futures.

We live in a great country. We have the right to free speech. We have the right to peaceful protest. Some people (like my dad) have given their lives (I was 4) to protect the freedoms we enjoy. As a nation we are not perfect. We do not have a limitless pot of money. What is paid out must be earned. We should invest in real students who can add value economically and socially to the future of our country. I hope that most of the moronic behaviour yesterday and some of the moronic views expressed here do not represent the ‘genuine’ students. I will have to sell my home to be able to afford to send my daughter to Uni. I wish the world had not been greedy and that we weren’t in our current predicament. But NO-ONE has the right to desecrate a monument to the people who are a billion times better than some of the people who acted so badly yesterday and sadly some of those whose views are expressed here. David Gilmour must be so proud!

This is all really about integrity in mainstream politics in Britain and by mainstream political leaders. Remember many news reports like this at the time of the election in May?

“David Cameron has denied that ‘tough’ decisions on spending will mean cuts to frontline health services while campaigning in marginal seats he needs to win to secure overall victory.” Nursing Times, 4 May 2010

This was a news report in the Telegraph on 4 December 2010:

“Across swathes of the country, patients waiting for the most common types of surgery, including hip and knee replacements, and cataract operations, will now be forced to wait months longer for treatment.

“Patients’ groups described the decisions as ‘desperate’, warning that thousands of people, especially the elderly, will be left to suffer in pain this winter as their conditions deteriorate.”
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/8181390/Patients-denied-hip-surgery-and-fertility-treatment-amid-NHS-cash-crisis.html

This is interesting clip if you haven’t seen it considering yesterday’s comments re: youth and ideology.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-U_gHUiL4P8

““My parents said that if I got into Cambridge, they would buy me a Savile Row suit.”

He appears to have changed his views on the need for education.

48. douglas clark

Mary @ 46,

That is an astoundingly good bit of polemics. I think you might be seeing a Prime Minister in the making.

@7 – “… it’s not rocket science that if you kettle thousands of people for 6+ hours (before anyone even did anything remotely wrong) in freezing temperatures that’s not going to soothe the situation, is it?”
Pretty clear that the people roaming around Oxford Street weren’t in a kettle. This wouldn’t have happened if they had been.

@37 – A Tory voter with regrets? You should have him framed.

I’d like to thank all the ‘student protestors’ and their fellow travellers for being the perfect political opponents.

PS – Is anybody going to enforce the comments policy against Sally?

50. douglas clark

Praguetory,

Is anybody going to enforce the comments policy against Sally?

Hopefully not, she is a breath of fresh air and you are not.

51. douglas clark

Anyway,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8UtojJT8ts

If you don’t feel in favour of that even a little bit, then you have no soul and you are against us. And for them.

Some sanity:

Police must not be seen as arm of the state, warns top officer
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/dec/10/police-tuition-fees-protests-orde

Michael Portillo was telling BBC News this morning that the difference between this and the Poll Tax was that one was already teetering on the brink of failure and the other… well he should have said “was the poll tax”.

Sally – a breath of fresh air?

Well, it takes all sorts, I guess.

Conspiracy theories first – Charles et al weren’t driven through a crowd of protesters to incite an ‘incident’ to sway public opinion against the students, a fragmentary group of ~300 students broke away from the main protest and came across his car by chance. So put your bloody tin foil away.

I imagine I hate the royal family quite a lot more than any of the people who were trying to trash the car, but I don’t want to utilise physical violence against them – just give them all Canadian or Australian passports and send them packing. *sigh*. They have widespread public support at the moment, though; until that changes, attacking them in any way is simply a stupid move.

Attacking anyone with physical violence, of course, is entirely wrong, even if you hate their guts and they unashamedly represent everything you hate. I guess some people just don’t have enough self-control.

As for very rich ex-students protesting against the fee increases – it seems a bit silly to immediately assign their motivation to wanting to retain their privilege. If you’re worth 80 million, you probably won’t notice if you’re paying nothing, 1, 3 or 9K/year for your tuition. Is it such a stretch to believe that, just maybe, they’re protesting on behalf of everyone coming after them who will be affected more negatively? Much as it pains me to say it, being rich doesn’t /automatically/ make someone a complete prat.

While we’re on the subject, churchill was a bit of a cock, and the people who died in the first world war were poor buggers, but I don’t get why we deify them so much. Being inappropriate with their monuments will get you arrested, charged and convicted for “outraging public decency”. Which is a bit of an outrage, really. Urinating in public should be illegal because it’s not hygenic, not because it makes the RBL angry. Ah well.

Er, at the end of a day, a car got some paint on it and two benefit scroungers got ‘a bit scared’ at so called violence. Big deal, measure that against millions of people driven into poverty, driven out of their homes, out of jobs and whole communities trashed. I thought ‘we were all in this together’ and the ‘pain was to be shared?

If the only thing that happens to these parasites is that they get a fucking big car covered with paint, then that is a price worth paying then, isn’t it? Perhaps they think that social unrest is okay as long as it doesn’t affect them?

How ironic that Camillia suffered terror in a car, when you consider how she got the gig in the first place.

…Oh and another thing…

Come3 the Royal nuptials this April. I wonder if it all kicks off there, will we see the indscriminate ‘ kettling of great swathes of bowers and scrapers ‘on the of chance that one or two of the number may have a snooker ball?

“you don’t have to adore them, Queen Mother-style, to feel anger at the sight of a couple in late middle age being screamed at by thugs.”

– As someone entering early midle age, I see things increasingly becoming a generational battle. Who else will 16 – 30 year olds blame for employment prospects, education debt, unaffordable housing, climate change inaction.

I don’t adore Mr and Mrs Windsor, but with the wealth and opportunities currently tied up in an exclusive deal amongst those over 45, it is inevitable that a couple in late middle age get screamed at one the mob gets going, and this particular late middle aged couple are a prize target.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Thrashing royal Rollers: some public relations tips http://bit.ly/gyNxZF

  2. Barnsdale Brigade

    RT @libcon: Thrashing royal Rollers: some public relations tips http://bit.ly/gyNxZF

  3. Jess Worth

    RT @libcon: Thrashing royal Rollers: some public relations tips http://bit.ly/gyNxZF

  4. Pucci Dellanno

    likes this! RT @libcon: Thrashing royal Rollers: some public relations tips http://bit.ly/gyNxZF #ukuncut @johannhari101 @PennyRed

  5. alysyn curd

    Thrashing royal Rollers: some public relations tips | Liberal …: What happened to the hei… http://bit.ly/eAYLro & artimpactnetpr.com

  6. Spir.Sotiropoulou

    RT @libcon: Thrashing royal Rollers: some public relations tips http://bit.ly/gyNxZF

  7. Rachel Hubbard

    Thrashing royal Rollers: some public relations tips | Liberal Conspiracy: http://bit.ly/gkFB5V via @addthis





Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.