Truth be told

Tim Dowling on a bizarre new fad for honesty

PR Future Public Relations Thinktank

Re: The New Candour

Recent studies reveal that in terms of enhancing one's profile with the public, candour is the new lying. Our analysts have been scouring the media for examples of this upward trend in honesty, forthrightness and pitiless self-examination. It may fly in the face of everything we know about "PR", but see if these statements, plucked from this week's news, don't convince you:

Estelle Morris, former education secretary: "I am not good at dealing with the modern media. I have not done the job as well as I should have done."

The Daily Mirror's apology to Liz Hurley's ex-lover, Steve Bing: "Last year we published a series of mean-spirited and inaccurate articles about Steve Bing."

Nasser Hussain, England cricket captain: "Of course we'll do our best, but I don't want anyone to get their hopes up about the Ashes. Most of our players are injured, and I've got a gut feeling this is going to be a disaster. I know as captain I should try and do something to boost morale, but I'm hopeless at that sort of thing. Oh God, we're going to lose. I hate myself."

Jim Davidson, comedian: "I am leaving the Conservative party, because I thank it's obvious that my continued presence does them no favours. I love entertaining people, but if I'm honest with myself, I'm just not very funny. I think I could best serve the Conservative party by joining Labour or the Lib Dems, but I'll go wherever my unpopular brand of gentle racist humour can do the most harm."

Jeffrey Archer, letter to the MCC: "What can I say? I lie all the time and I can't write. I'm very sorry for all the trouble I've caused, but believe me when I tell you I don't deserve your sympathy. Please just let me die in prison."

Andy Gilchrist, leader of the Fire Brigades Union: "Asking for a 40% pay rise - well, with hindsight, it was a bit cheeky. I guess I got carried away with my own Scargillite agenda, and then I was too embarrassed to admit I was wrong. Now I'm worried that someone will get hurt or worse. It's all my fault."

Recent Real IRA press release: "Looking back now, the whole idea was bollocks."

Gordon Brown: "Why do I feel the need to lower my growth predictions? Because I'm an idiot, that's why! Half the time I have no idea what I'm doing! I'm just crap. Well, the hell with it. I quit."

The GuardianTramp

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