I hope you won't consider it a betrayal of our old and deep friendship for me to write an open letter to you in the Huffington Post.
If we're both honest about it, it wasn't much of a friendship anyway. More of a.... correspondence. I sent you an email once at Carlton in 1996 -- and you never replied. So truth be told, you were rather rubbish as a friend.
However, not withstanding that, the least I can do for an old mucker in trouble is proffer a little free curbside advice. What you need right now is some crisis management.
I had a quick whip round among the best damage control merchants here in the US, and this is what we've come up with.
1) Right now you need to protect yourself. Especially with that pious, priggish PC Plod Stephenson exiting Stage Left so high and mighty on you. (Who allowed a bloody Northerner to become boss at Scotland Yard anyway?!)
Our suggestion is that you have a mini cabinet re-shuffle. Dump Theresa May at the Home Office and replace her with Chris Huhne. It'll keep Corporal Clegg and his daffy wing-nuts on-side and Huhne is such a loathsome spotted reptile that he'll draw a lot of the enemy fire. Huhne may also have some good ideas about how to spin the Coulson mess. As you know, he has a very vivid imagination. And he's obviously one of us. Had no qualms about using emotional blackmail on his son to get him off the driving points charge.
2) You caught a lucky break with the timing of all this palaver. Summer hols etc. You were wise to extend Parliament by one day -- let the riff-raff vent one last squawk before they toddle off to the Dordogne etc. So fortunately, after Wednesday, there will be no PMQs for the next couple of months. Though that's no guarantee that that little Boy Scout Miliband will keep his trap shut. There must be someone at Central Office who is halfway decent with Photoshop. So get a digital artist to run up a few images of Miliband in compromising social situations with Rebekah. We can leak those to some reliable hacks at the Mail and Express. Best leave the Sun out of this for a while...
3) You need a bold gesture at this point in order to seize the initiative. A dramatic PR stunt... Especially to divert attention from the dog's dinner of having hired that wretched Essex up-start Coulson with his poncey "I'm so studious" glasses.
There's a big thing here in the US whenever there's a political scandal. If a politician johnny has received campaign contributions from someone subsequently discovered to be a trifle dodgy, then that dosh is deemed to be "tainted". And the good form is to return it forthwith with a high and might sniff saying you won't accept "blood money". Makes the politician look like he has scruples etc etc.
You didn't take money from that jumped-up oik but there's no denying that his media spinning leading up to the election won you votes. Rather crucial ones given how tight the election was.
So we suggest that in the middle of August you declare that everything Coulson did for you from July 2007 up to the-2010 election is now tainted and you have decided that it would be unethical to live off the fruits of the immoral electoral earnings etc etc
Then call a bloody election! That'll fix 'em! The wretched pink-tennis shoe wearing Lib-Dems are so unpopular that they'll be wiped out. Which means you won't have to pretend to tolerate that schoolboy Clegg anymore. The SNP will hold up its vote in Scotland thus preventing Labour getting a clean sweep up north. And of course Ashcroft has got the City boys lined up to spend a rather large fortune in adverts to make sure you win outright. No one could possibly want Milipede and Balls-up back in power. So you would carry the day and win with an overall majority!
These ideas are just off the top of my head. What the American PR chappies call "spitballing". But I trust you'll find them helpful.
Long live the Bullingdon Boys!
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