NEWS: Next government must lift public trust says MP

The next government will have to address the problem of the ‘fractured trust’ between people and parliament, according to Derek Foster, Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

The next government will have to address the problem of the ‘fractured

trust’ between people and parliament, according to Derek Foster, Shadow

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.



At the third IPR Fifth Estate conference on faith and PR, Foster said

MPs must ‘scale down what the public expects of them and just address

the few things they can deliver’.



In answering the question ‘When does spin become sin?’. Mr Foster, a

former Labour chief whip (and a Salvationist), said it was when the

press was intimidated into a relationship so strong that spin was easily

accepted. For democracy’s sake, he said that he preferred a fiercely

sceptical press that printed anti-spin stories.



Peter Hunt, head of group communications for Shell International, said

that spin becomes sin if ‘you refuse to allow facts to alter what you

say’. Awareness had increased, understanding had not, so there was ‘a

diminution of trust’The conference also heard an attack on the

‘traditional model’ of charity by Lotte Hughes of the Save the Children

Fund. ‘People survive without us,’ said Hughes. ‘That is never shown’.



On the Church’s relationship with the media, the Times’ religion

correspondent Ruth Gledhill, said that the Christian churches treated

the media ‘as serial killers of the truth’ while Jewish and Islamic PR

performed much better.



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