Tactical Briefing

From: The Unit

To: GB

Subject: Budget/Madame Tussauds

So, after a quiet period for the team it felt like normal politics had resumed this week. Obviously there was the Budget, which was fine, but more importantly the Madame Tussauds story that played massively everywhere.

Budgets, after all, come and go. And polling suggests that no one really believes much is changed by a few billion here or there, tax relief for double-seater buggies, free cans of Red Bull inside loft insulation, VAT on EU flags, three pence on environmentally friendly cheroots, tax breaks to encourage narrative history on digital TV channels, or whatever else we do.

People do, however, remember stories that chime with the political narrative being spun by the major parties. Obviously the Tories' current line is that you have been shit at being Prime Minister, you are shit at being Prime Minister, and you will continue to be shit at being Prime Minister.

It is not subtle, admittedly, but we are finding that it is having growing salience with the increasingly small, but still statistically significant, proportion of the population who think about these things at all.

That is why it was so important for us to get our line out there quickly that Tussauds did in fact invite you in for a sitting. Great that the security services swung into action so effectively to find the smoking gun of the offer letter. GCHQ shows once again why it is the best in the world.

Our feeling here at the Unit, however, is that our rebuttals could have been more aggressive. This is a classic story which reinforces the notion that you are in some way "not good" at being Prime Minister. It also chimes with the sense that you are an uncharismatic leader and likely to be a footnote to history.

Obviously, the Tussauds version of the grand sweep of history is not necessarily going to be the definitive version, moving as it does so quickly from Attila the Hun to Drew Barrymore, Dr Crippen, Blair, Bush and ending somewhat abruptly with Howard from the Halifax.

Still, it is galling that while the entire cast of Big Brother 6 and 7 is represented, the Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is considered non-essential.

One suggestion to keep your public profile up is that we pitch to Tussauds that if they can't or won't go to the expense of making a full model of you, then perhaps they could use one of their spares. For example, say, Sam Allardyce (of whom they have two for some reason). And we might pay for a hairpiece and nose remodel?

This is the positive way of approaching this tactical issue. Promoting a waxwork of you in an action pose, for example, signing an early and stringent PFI contract.

The other option is to go negative. After all, Clegg and Cameron don't have waxworks. And we could put the line out that people often carve abusive slogans into Blair's forehead, which have to be ironed off by a dedicated forehead-censor during the night.

Let us know your thoughts.

This article first appeared in the 17 March 2008 issue of the New Statesman, Iraq: the war that changed us