In a Downing Street memo leaked this morning, the Prime Minister's Office is considering over-turning decades of media management thinking and adopting a surprising new 'diversion' tactic.
In fact, it can be revealed here exclusively that this diversion tactic might have been in place for some months already.
Readers might recall the controversy surrounding Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt at the height of the infamous 'hiding behind a lamp-post so no-one spotted him going in to a Murdoch garden gate'-gate scandal. In fact, insiders close to the PM's inner circle have suggested that that might just have been an early attempt at 'Diversion'. While all eyes were on the hapless Hunt, no-one noticed Murdoch slipping out the back door on his way to brief David Cameron on what he ought to be doing next.
From this leaked memo, we can reveal now the government's top 5 'diversion' tactics:
- Find someone else who's screwed up, sound angry about it and then call an inquiry into how badly those other people are doing their job. Self-explanatory.
- Get photographed next to poor school children. Everyone will be too busy laughing at how out of place and awkward you look, no-one will notice you've stolen the last bar of soap out the loos and sacked the teaching assistant.
- Involve an animal. So long as it's not in a Catherine the Great kinda way, people will want to know whether the ex-police pony was saved from the mines and forget that you were best buds with a wannabe mafia boss.
- Eat a pie. You can always run round the corner, gag and spit it into the gutter, but as you grin and try to force it down your gullet, the hacks watching on will be too busy coming up with the 'and he called mushy peas guacamole' jokes to remember the tax you've just slapped on it.
- Hide and seek to be new Olympic sport. If it goes completely pear-shaped over the summer, Lord Coe is ready to bring a new hide-and-seek round before the closing ceremony. Nation hides, troops come out on streets to 'seek'. Martial law and we're untouchable for ever more. Even rhymes. Cool.