‘Weren’t they disbanded after the Battle of Waterloo?’ – The Press Officer’s Guide Lesson 9 – Create clear divisions in the battle of personalities

Weren't the Warwick Light Foot disbanded following Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo?

Whilst sitting in a bar discussing the recently selected candidate for the local Conservatives we couldn’t quite get over his name; Warwick Lightfoot. 

Warwick, as I have explained, was Chief Economist of the Royal Bank of Scotland, and his experience in advising government was quite extensive, which was a great variance to the Cornish credentials of our local candidate.

Nonetheless having given our initial response to his political experience we were getting an increasing number of requests for comment about his selection from the Cornish media.

An interview with Radio Cornwall was planned for the next morning, and we discussed for some time the next stage in the plan to undermine the Tory candidate’s local credibility before he could gain any local traction.

In the end the interviewer ran our original line of him just needing a reference from the Captain of The Titanic, so what else could we add.

‘Well,’ I said, ‘I have to be honest when I was asked to comment on Warwick Lightfoot I asked “weren’t they disbanded after the Battle of Waterloo!’”  The interviewer felt he had his quote for the day!


‘All he needs now is a reference from the Captain of the Titanic and he’s got the full set…’ The Press Officer’s Guide Lesson 8 – Turn your opponents strengths into weaknesses

With referees like these who needs enemies...?!

Any martial arts expert will tell you that even smaller opponents can defeat larger opponents by identifying their larger opponents’ weaknesses.

As such, when the phone call came through to tell us that the new Conservative candidate for our constituency had been selected we needed to respond quickly with a line that made them seem much less of a credible opponent than was the case in reality.

When asked the question ‘apparently he is a very serious opponent, this Warwick Lightfoot, he’s been an advisor to Nigel Lawson, John Major and Norman Lamont when they were Chancellor of the Exchequer and is now Chief Economist at the Royal Bank of Scotland,’ I think we rather deflated the local reporter, who had clearly been given the Tory spin.

Our response was, ‘with references like that all he needs now is a reference from the captain of the Titanic and he’s got the full set!’

RBS allow the serfs to eat mud – but thanks for the paintings!

Dumbarton Castle is unfortunately already on display in Birmingham, but something similar would be nice on my wall if RBS are feeling generous

Dumbarton Castle is unfortunately already on display in Birmingham, but something similar would be nice on my wall if RBS are feeling generous

The Royal Bank of Scotland has announced that it is going to make the 2,200 British artworks it owns available for public viewing, art, which includes works by LS Lowry and David Hockney.

It is difficult to know how to respond to this largesse on behalf of RBS, but I was actually under the impression that we, the taxpayer, actually owned them already.

The paintings, by all accounts, will be displayed in the National Galleries of Scotland, but in this selfless act of generosity I was considering writing to the Chairman and asking, as one of the nationalised banks shareholders, whether it would be possible for me to display one on my wall at home. I have a nice bare wall that would be very suitable to a large canvas from one of the Pre-Raphaelites.

When considering the attitude that seems to have motivated this act of condescension I cannot help but be reminded of the scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, when Michael Palin is eating mud. Though it explains why they are bankers if they feel they can lend you something that you already own.

The bankers still don’t seem to have grasped how devastating their actions have been over the past few years. This donation, although welcome, should simply be taken as a down payment on what they owe us, I presume when the National Galleries eventually get them they will be kept as collateral by the Government against the billions of pounds that we are still owed by RBS.