, 15 tweets, 4 min read
Downing St wants you to kick off about him not signing the letter.
This is a perfect example of Lakoffian framing.
The fact is that an unelected Prime Minister has again been humiliated by an elected Parliament.
A short explainer...
To win the PR air war you need to be first, with a fresh message, no matter the setback you just suffered. That's how you manipulate the media. By giving them a new story, to distract from the bad story.
Vote Leave (which is basically now the government) has been very adept at this.

Remember when the Electoral Commmission ruled that Vote Leave had broken electoral law? They instantly declared the EC as "politically biased".

The story then? VL accuses EC of political bias?

See?
That is what we call framing.

Today's story is now about Johnson's 'defiance', rather than his humiliating political failure.
In the age of social media, those adept at framing have millions of people to manipulate. Most of us aren't aware of much comms theory, so we are easily manipulated into amplifying these talking points.
I too have been momentarily tempted to post some snarky 'hot takes' on Johnson not signing the extension request & sending a contradictory note. But reality bites when you spot the framing.
Today's story, behind the framing flannel, is that Johnson preferred to die in a ditch than do the thing he has been forced to do.

As ever, well-meaning people will argue the toss on this. Because often the last people to spot skilled manipulation are the skillfully manipulated.
If you're inspired to better understand framing, a good follow to consider is @dirktherabbit who consistently shines a light on these tactics
Framing is what the best journalists cut through, to bring you the real story. Which is why @BethRigby is one of my go-to sources for insight, rather than gossip
I should also recommend @jennirsl, who is calling out the same problem
If you'd like to journey into the deeper subtleties of framing this, by @zephoria, is a brilliant introduction.

“Media Manipulation, Strategic Amplification, and Responsible Journalism” by danah boyd link.medium.com/Y5OvWhqZV0
Postscript: some people are greeting this little explainer of Downing St comms practice as evidence of the dark 'genius' of one Dominic Cummings.

Honestly, it isn't.

It's bogstandard PR.

As any small local PR agency (or solo practitioner) worth their salt would recommend.
PS. This is Lakoff himself, on a similar theme.
Follow him
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