Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Alan Johnson performs another U-turn?

I've just been told a totally unsubstantiated rumour that the Secretary of State for Education, Alan Johnson, arrived in the Midlands today, received a call from the Whips office and promptly turned around without doing any of the planned hand shaking etc.

I tried to ring the Department of Education press office to see if he really did go to the Midlands, and whether he returned early, but sadly they close at 5pm and you just get an answer phone. To be honest I think they might really have left the office at 3.30pm when the bell rang.


Richard said...

Err... what makes you think you should have access to DfES press officers out-of-hours or otherwise?

As their job title suggests, they are their to assist the press, not Tory blogs that are read by only a few dozen people every day.

It's hardly an effective use of tax-payers money for them to be wasting their time talking to you, is it?

dizzy said...

Actually, I call it a press office but the answerphone says "Public Relations Office",I beleive, last time I looked, I was a member of the public. As to it being "out of hours", I rang them at 17:15 which is hardly late. It's also significantly more than few dozen as well.

Richard said...

significantly more than few dozen as well

So, you're rivalling The Times, The Sun and the Daily Mail are you?

dizzy said...

Did I say that I was?

Nice try at bait and switch. Like the way you ignored the other part of my post that exposed you're "why should a Government department speak to the public" idiocy.

Ricahrd said...

First you said you'd rang the press office, if you hadn't, why say that in the first place? For this reason your whole post is completely misleading. There is is difference between Public Information, which work "normal" hours, and a press office, which will have 24 hour cover. You're either very niave, or a liar.

Normal working hours in this country are 9-5. I didn't suggest you were calling them "late". I suggested you were calling them "after hours" - which you were.

Of course their should be a public information unit in every Govt. department - and there is. But there is no reason for it to be open outside of normal working hours. Unlike the press office. You would soon be complaining about the cost if there was X number of civl servants on double pay fielding six calls an evening.

My point is that you should think things through before slagging them off.

dizzy said...

Are you taking the piss? I called it the press office because that is what they called it on the website but the answerphone calls it "public Relations" office.

As for slagging people off, I made a joke about the school bell ringing in the Department of Education. It's not fault if you lack a sense of humour to get that.

Please do keep visiting, I want to beat last months stats you see.

Richard said...

In which case, my original point still stands:

Why do you think you should have access to the out-of-hours press office? You are not the press.

Public Information/Relations is for the public (ie. you) and I don't see why you are so outraged that they leave the office at 5.

Croydonian said...

If Richard knows anyone with a white collar job in the *private* sector, especially in media / comms, who works 9-5, I'd be fascinated to meet him or her. I might ask how long they think they will be remain in employment.

dizzy said...

Why do you think you should have access to the out-of-hours press office?

I didn't say that I did. You said that I said it. They are different things.

You are not the press.

I didn't say that I was. You said that I said I was. They are different things.

Public Information/Relations is for the public (ie. you) and I don't see why you are so outraged that they leave the office at 5.

I didn't say I was outraged. You did. They are different things.

Anonymous said...

Ding-Ding, round #1 to Dizzy I think,

Given that Dizzy has also got a few stories into the press I would consider that he is now part of the new media, and that the MSM (main stream media) is changing in its role.

Also I always thought that office hours were 9-5.30 although most people end up working 9-6, but I guess there’s different rules for the public sector.

dizzy said...

I know where Richard works anyway. He probably works later than 5.

sjk said...

the name Richard is sometimes shortened to Dick.
seems fitting in this case.