As an object lesson in how not to convey a message of change, the Bones Commission has achieved near perfection. A high-profile launch, some pretty comprehensive consultation and then… nothing. A timetable which slipped by just enough to raise suspicion, plus some judicious leaking to give the impression that the document was cover for a naked power grab by the leadership, and the muttering was underway. Oh dear, this isn’t working terribly well, so we’d better publish the executive summary. Of course, we all know that the main document is much more interesting… I wonder what it says…
I can’t help but feel that we deserve better. As the ‘poor bloody infantry’, if we don’t have a feeling of common purpose, we have nothing. Unlike so many Labour activists, who appear to be able to accept virtually any insult from their leadership as long as they keep winning, or Conservative activists, happy to accept the kiss of the organisational whip, we tend to be rather less willing to blindly trust our generals.
However, rather than proposing that we set up a commission to look at how we might best improve our communication skills, here are some proposals for our glorious leaders;
- If your timetable is slipping, tell us what is the likely revised date and what the cause of the delay is.
- Address the leak. If it’s anonymous, condemn it. If you find out who it is, purge them - they almost certainly have their own agenda, and it probably isn’t friendly.
- Launch it and then publish it - in full. By all means put it in a member-only area but do tell us that you’ve done so.