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Burying brexit bad news?

Hope is nature’s veil for hiding truth’s nakedness. 

My news feeds this morning make me suspect that either the ‘silly season’ for rubbish no-news news-stories has started early, or the Government is hoping to bury some bad news.

It’s not often these days that we get Church and State on the same page politically-speaking, but it seems as though they are today.

Prime Minister Teresa May has, it seems, ditched everything that is right and proper and forgotten to mention the word Easter in their publicity for the tie-up with the National Trust this Easter. They did this tie-up last year and, to be honest, I can’t remember, whether it was called an Easter hunt or just a chocolate hunt or a treasure hunt. The end result – a cupboard full of chocolate bunnies – was just the same.

I get that the Church of England might be upset if the word Easter were removed from the publicity. It is, after all, arguably their most important festival. The out-pourings of outrage do seem a little over the top, but that’s what happens when stuff like this is seen thought the magnifying glass of social media. If you visit the National Trust website, incidentally, it’s chock-full of references to Easter, but that seems to be beside the point.

I do completely get how it happened.

We’ve all been in those marketing meetings when some bright spark suggests trying something new “thinking outside the box” if you will. What was the biggest buzz about last year – Brexit? Maybe. Cameron resigning. Nope. Trump, possibly. The Great British Bake Off leaving the good old BBC – definitely. What better way to tie your event in to the ‘now’ than to use the term Great British?  You can even imagine the plaintiff cry from the corner – “but won’t people get upset if we don’t use the term Easter?” only to be rebuffed with the words ‘Oh  no-one will notice. Don’t worry. It’ll all be FINE”.

Of course, the more we find the papers filled with stuff like this – and the £500m to get our blue passports back story – the more it might take our attention away from other stuff. It’s becoming increasingly clear that the Government has even less of a clue how to handle Brexit than we thought.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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